Sum Sum Summertime

In our Elmhurst Larson household during the 1960s, the time of summer was measured by light not clocks. I most enjoyed the dark.

My two brothers and I played outside after dinner. Mom let us loose, which was a concession. “Be home when the street lights go on.” So, naturally we grabbed any chance to disobey.

A blot on the family name occurred one night when my older brother was among some unlikely felons who pea-shooted a lit light on our corner. Technically, we weren’t due home because the street light was NOT on. I don’t think my bro had much to do with the misdeed. I do think the parental outrage and shame was excessive. I most recall looking up that night and seeing stars instead of street glare.

We played the game of ghost on nights we visited our cousins in Lombard where streetlights were fewer. It’s like tag but better because you could barely see a tree, let alone a cousin.

Another night, a man, the first, landed on the moon. WE landed on the moon with him, as much as possible from our spots on the floor in front of the TV. So immense was the emotion of the moment, so small was our living room to contain it, I walked out our back door, got on my bike and rode like a spirit wooshing among street light shadows. Whoosh. Whoosh.

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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