What happens to us in our youth must define us. The memories of Roseland are burned deep within me.
It was not a utopia by any means,just a wonderful place to grow up.
There were football games at 103rd street where were scared of riots-Fenger High School versus CVS or any other school.
There was my cousins new fancy Schwinn was stolen in front of Gatleys People Store,how naive we were just to leave it in front of the main door.
Gatleys had a machine in their shoe department to x-ray your feet.How many times did mom make me put my feet in there to see if the shoes would fit? Fooling around as teens we would go get our feet x-rayed.
But it was a time of innocence.
I remember being scared to death of 2 sonic booms at about 11 PM on a warm July night.Of course we had no idea of a sonic boom,my dad and I went outside to see what we could see..nothing at all. Our neighbor Bob suggested we get in a car and go up the ave to see if we could see anything at all. I could sense nervousness in my dad and Bob,these were scary times,in 1963. President Kennedy had just announced missiles were in Cuba pointed at us.
We often played baseball right in the street on 104th place. A sewer cover was where the pitcher stood. Some times third base was the tail of Mr.Slagers 56'Buick. The rest of the bases we made up as needed.
Some of the bigger kids once drew a toilet in chalk right on the street.Someone called the cops,when the cops came they told us it was illegal to draw a toilet in chalk on a Chicago street.
High school years were very tough,these were the sixties where some kids used drug and some remained straight.I was a beer drinker then,it was easy to get some guy of legal age to buy us some.
It was cold drinking beer along the railroad tracks in the winter months.We did it just to prove to each other we could do it. I am glad I never developed a taste for beer,to this day I would rather have coffee and still have my senses intact.
The drug users were plentiful. My best friend Bob used heavily until his death in 1988 .Bob's death had a profound effect on me..
I had told Bob of Jesus since I was saved,he just kind of blew me off all through those times. Two weeks before Bob died he did accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The drugs he took held onto him until he finally overdosed. I still believe firmly the Bob accepted Christ. His sister Mary Ann told me he did.I have to believe that.
Bob lived directly across the street from my house. Some of my earliest memories were of me asking my mom if I could go to Bob's house to watch Captian Kangarooo on the tv.
We hung out together, we could laugh and just be ourselves all day. Drugs killed my friend Bob and I remain sad yet today.
end of part 2,more to come.