There are certain events that stand out in the blur of summer memories past.
One particular 4th of July stands out in my memory –
There was a long baseball game being played in the street; a quiet side street. What made this game stand out from all the others over many summers? My dad was out in the street pitching for both teams – because it was a day off.
All the neighborhood kids were out, including a couple kids whose grandparents lived across the street from where the game was being played. These older neighbors did not like us playing ball in the street – even though we were very conscientious about staying out of their yard. We rarely even entered their tree lawn because a telephone pole near the street in front of their yard served as third base. Trust me, no one slides into a telephone pole in order to steal a base! We never tore up their grass.
On this day, as they did on most days, these neighbors called the police to report our game. Yes, they routinely called the police even when their own grandchildren were playing baseball. And the police always came – their son, father of our playmates, was a policeman!
That 4th of July, I remember both the policeman and my dad chuckling when the policeman drove up and warned my dad of the dangers of playing in the street. All of us kids listened intently. The policeman and my dad shook hands and the patrol car drove away. No arguing, no hard feelings, no raised voices, no fireworks. Yes, my dad was playing with the neighborhood kids, but he behaved like a grown man.
Since the sky was dark with a storm approaching, we called the game and all went home.