Chalk on the Sidewalk


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.:


So often these one-word prompts take me to a song.  Remember this one?  About 1959, I think:

We don’t have sidewalks in our little neighborhood, although I’m thinking the township may be planning on installing them. There was some talk a while back about the township claiming eminent domain on some front-yard footage of all the yards along our road. Hasn’t happened yet, though, and maybe the people’s voices were actually heard.  Like ours, the biggest parts of the yards are behind the house. I’d be sorry to lose any of the front.

We played on the sidewalks all the time when i was growing up in Minneapolis. Hopscotch, jacks, jump rope, roller skating, step-on-a-crack-you-break-your-mother’s-back (who on EARTH came up with that one!)  In the evenings, we could usually play in the street. All the dads were home from work, so there was very little traffic. We played Red Rover, Captain May I, Simon Says.  Sometimes the guys played football, but that held no interest for me. If we wanted to play softball, we’d go the three blocks to the school playground. Back then, there were no skanky guys slinking around trying to sell drugs. In fact, such a thing never entered our heads.

The sidewalks of my childhood were safe. We walked to the corner store to get bread and milk, all alone, and no one ever worried that we wouldn’t come back. We played outside until the street lights went on, and in the summers that meant we were out until after nine. Nobody complained about noise. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood, and I’m sure the parents all preferred we run off our energy outside before coming into the house.

We lived on a street for two years where there were wonderful big old trees. I loved them. They offered shade, and they were beautiful in the fall. I remember huge piles of leaves in everyone’s yard, and the smell of burning leaves on a still evening.

And of course, the sidewalks downtown were lined with crowds whenever there was a parade.  I especially loved the Christmas season when the big stores did amazing decorations in their display windows, and people went out walking just to enjoy seeing what had been done at Dayton’s or Donaldson’s that year. Whole families.  And no cell phones, so they actually talked with each other and smiled at strangers.  Wow.

See what one little word can evoke?

P.S.  I wish they’d get the pingback fixed.  I don’t have the time to keep checking back all day to see if it’s working yet.  Bother. Just for the record, it is now 8:24 a.m., but who knows when I’ll be able to get this on the grid.


3 thoughts on “Chalk on the Sidewalk

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