Re: Where have all the flowers gone

05/06/20 - posted by Paul Judge

On this Willie Mays’ 89th Birthday I’ll loft a reverie or two if you do the same.

I recall a sunny spring afternoon sitting on my bed with radio dialed to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons broadcasting the Giants. Earlier I’d bought a Mad magazine at Warnock’s Rexall Drug Store on 42nd & Balboa and I’m savoring it. I have the house to myself which was a rare event. I’m enjoying a PB&J and cold milk while paying attention to what Mays, McCovey, Marichal and the Alou’s are doing confidently soothed by the voices of Russ and Lon. I gaze out my bedroom window and just feel all over how great it is to be alive.

Another memory. Bo Links and I have exhausted ourselves after playing stair ball, one of our favorite past times, against the long front stairway to my house. It was always my house since his had a two-step entryway. We’re sitting on the sidewalk curb sharpening popsicle sticks into swords on the concrete. Glenn and Craig Carter roam up our hill to plop down next to us. They have a bag of balloons. On this cold foggy day, we’re not motivated to fill them from a garden hose and start a waterfight. Rather the inspiration is to fetch our bicycles and attach the balloons to the spokes to transform ourselves into a motorcycle gang or highway patrol cops. We push the bikes up the hill to ‘the Flats’ of Anza between 43rd & 44th Aves. The Flats is where we ride bikes, skate, and play kickball and baseball when it’s more than just the kids who live on our hill between Anza and Balboa. Heck, it’s the Flats, we don’t have to chase anything that gets away and rolls forever beyond Balboa or Cabrillo towards Golden Gate Park.

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