Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sweet breezes of August

Back in Hoboken where I was born, August was associated with humid and hot days. Fireplug days for kids. The ice man delivered ice to our apartment, a huge block of ice on his shoulder held by iron tongs. We'd ask for chips out at his wagon and grinning his missing teeth smile he'd oblige.

Around the corner a small Italian man made Italian ices and sold them out of his garage. One nickle. Fresh lemon, custard, strawberry, cherry, rootbeer - all made fresh. We ran around with shirts off playing kick the can on city streets, and listened for the melancholy howls of the rag man, the fruits and vegetable wagon, bell tinkling on a string across the front seat. My father was a milk man and as an occassional treat would bring home fresh choclate milk that we drank from the bottle.

Here is Southern California, August has surprised us with balmy weather, sweet breezes and cool nights. There are few children playing in the streets, parks or front lawns. We miss the sounds of the city, the vitality of community before television took away our neighborhoods and we miss the characters who delivered our milk, bread, vegetables, ice, coal and accepted our rags.

Marriage flourishes within community. In our time we have to create it. It will not happen through nostalgia, or indifference. How about making August a time to create a block party or a neighbors in the park day. You couldn't spend your time more fruitfully and you'll be changing the course of civilization.

1 comment:

L.L. Barkat said...

Hi there. I came over through the HC blog site. Ioved the images in this post. Yes, community just oozed in and around your words.

I have a conflicted relationship with community. I'm very social, but I also long for the silence of country fields and forests. Guess I'll never be quite comfortable this side of heaven.