Phelan: Neighborhood friends made childhood memorable
I grew up in a small neighborhood. It didn’t have sidewalks, streetlights or fire hydrants. What it did have was tons of kids my age. There were seven girls within a year or two of each other, and I cannot imagine my childhood without my neighborhood friends.
Because of the lack of sidewalks and immensely low level of traffic, we would walk around in the middle of the street. Of course, we became more visible when we rode our bikes or Razor scooters, and we rode those often. The bike was our staple of transportation because it was faster than walking and much more fun. Nights in the summer were spent taking bike rides. I don’t know where we went because there really weren’t that many places to go in our tiny, isolated subdivision, but I can still remember showing up at friends’ houses with my bike and us riding together until 8 or 8:30 p.m.
I remember having secret forts, with locations ranging from a horribly unstable treehouse to a 5-foot-deep hole dug into a field. I remember my friends and I set up a club called MASAC – the first letter of our first names in order of age – on our compost pile. We didn’t seem to mind that all of our playtime there involved sinking into piles of decomposing leaves crawling with spiders. I remember throwing rocks into the creek for hours. I remember walking my friend, Mary, home once and almost getting hit by a golf cart. I remember holding our breath when we walked through locust corral, and I remember Little Kid Island.
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