National Siblings Day is on April 10th, so I am late with this posting. However, it took me some time to find this photograph of my brother, David, and me that I treasure.
The photo was taken about 1946 in front of our home in Jacksonville, FL. Our neighborhood, North Shore, at that time was “villagey” in that many of its residential streets were not paved (making for truly Great Puddles to play in and sail homemade boats after frequent Florida showers).
Our mother, Miriam, took this “trick” photograph with our sturdy Kodak box camera. She posed us in front of the square, cast concrete street marker for the corner of West 58th and Vermillion Streets. I am affecting a Charles Atlas pose while David sits/stands on my shoulders.
Those of us who grew up in those decades were so fortunate, we were young people with promising futures in the greatest Nation the world had ever seen.
During those gloriously free summer days, after breakfast we played until Big Jim signaled lunchtime, when we reappeared looking somewhat the worse for wear, for a quick lunch typically including a baloney, cheese, and tomato sandwich made from Merita bread and baloney bought from King’s grocery store on Ellwood Avenue. Then, it was out the door again to explore the neighborhood.
As we headed out, most likely with one or more kids from the neighborhood, the only warning I can remember my mother giving us was to “be careful crossing Pearl Street.” At the time, Pearl Street might’ve had a car or so every minute or two passing by.
She never told us not to climb the big oak tree across the street from our house that was so tall we could see the tops of the downtown buildings.
She never, that I remember, ever forbade us to explore “the Ditch” that ran all the way to Trout River between Vermilion Street and Perry Street – including the large drainage culvert that carried runoff water – and who knows what else – beneath 61st Street. I don’t know how many times we crouched and crawled our way beneath 61st St. to the other side never knowing what critters we might meet – in the dark – on the way.
No, it wasn’t the heights or the critters that worried her, but the occasional car passing on Pearl Street. Well, I am living proof that her warnings were obeyed. I was never hit by a car on Pearl Street.
© Copyright 2015 Tracy D. Connors