Monday, July 27, 2009
Willams Park and The First Boy in Space
We took Williams Park for granted but when I go there now, I simultaneously go to two places. I go the quiet place where nature is at its best and I can relax and breath in the freshness of the park. I also go back in time fifty to sixty years and see boys I knew, having fun, laughing, being the best of friends to each other and making silent vows to each other that they would always be there for each other.
I remember the big swing sets and how we boys tried to outdo each other as we went higher and higher and Bobby Hughes went so high that the tether of the swing set was almost parallel to the ground. Boys on the ground were shouting to him, "Jump! Jump! Jump" and laughing so hard that they almost fell down, and then Bobby moved forward, left the seat and the tether behind and went sailing out into space, the greatest leap to which I was ever witness. I can still see him suspended in air, for a moment, as he laughed and then the wide grin on his face slowly turned to fear. He seemed to sail forever as his arc went above the plane of the swing and then began to level out, and then to sink. He shrieked as the ground moved upward to meet his re-entry to earth and then there was the thud. No sounds came from him as we ran to him, for he had knocked all the air from his lungs. We thought he was dead at first, but he soon began to gather color, and then breath, and then he was on his feet, no harm done, and a smile began to spread on his lips, and for a moment he was our hero, the boy who had gone further, higher, and faster than any of the rest of us.
"Do it again!" said one of the boys.