My Mom supplemented my Dad’s income from the late 1960s and continued the work until only a few years ago with baby-sitting. Today, we are a far too-sophisticated folk to call it that; we now call it child care services. Hundreds of people in
Just take a look at that backyard, son, she told me one evening. This yard has never had that much grass! It was plush, straight and as green as the brightest emerald. Indeed, the turf never looked this way in the 50-something years the Stutevilles staked claim to the property. And for good reason: kids at play for generations, even long after my brother, sister and I moved on.
Got me to thinking about something a neighbor once remarked to my late Dad. You have to understand that Gerhard Frenz (the adults called him “Gary”) ironically had immigrated and resettled at no expense in our ex-GI subdivision after serving in the German army during “The Big One.”
Buck, why do you let all of those kids come over there and trample down your grass?, he asked, gesturing to a lawn as pristine as Hitler’s flower garden at his Eagle’s Nest retreat in Berchtesgaden. Truth is, no kids – even his own – were allowed to play in the Frenz backyard, much to the chagrin of his children.
My old man never was one to delay replies, especially those which irked him. Well
Mr. Frenz just walked away shaking his head not really understanding. To this day, I wonder if he ever knew that his youngest son Frankie was one of the best Kraut-killers in our juvenile reenactments of our dads’ grim work.
AND SO FOR A FEW MOMENTS AT TWILIGHT, I walked out onto the back patio of my Mom’s well-kept home on Kensington Avenue and fired up a Macanudo. There was a waft of meat on a grill drifting through the neighborhood. A couple of loud-mouth mutts were barking their conversation back and forth while a few lightning bugs’ butts were beaming with that neon, summer yellow. The air was a dense as the collective brain power of Obama’s board of economic advisors; a thickening humid haze slumping.