Wow, Mary-Ann, such a heart-warming remembrance. I can hear the ball bouncing as the Jacks are swept away; the skate-key clinking on the cement, the pastel chalk-covered fingers entwined, skipping off into adventure-land
We, too, were shrouded in fog, saved only by our street running non-stop to the school-sans-bus-stop. Our yellow rubber raincoats could be seen as apparitions through a maze of mist and raindrops, collecting like puddles of munchkins in the school yard playground. Come January and we’d all reside in a Joni Mitchell image: “Yellow slickers up on swings Like puppets on strings hanging in the sky They'll splash home to suppers in wallpapered kitchens Their mothers will scold”
Probably not what you young ladies dared but we Northgate pirates would mesh popsicle sticks into KonTiki craft, Shanghai a crew of night crawlers, then launch them down gushing gutters in a death-race to the sewer grate. I’m certain my life-long, low fish-count as an angler is from this karma as a kid: Worms are known to talk.
The bonds of childhood friendships are so formative and lasting. I’m blessed to host a weekly Zoom gathering of old friends from the hood who live as far away now as Florida and New England. What’s amazing, much to every worm’s chagrin, is how little we’ve changed.