Rainy Day Children of the Summer

Kids in my old neighborhood found fun things
to entertain them during a summer storm from watching
the sidewalk steam away its heat to dodging raindrops
to call one another out to play.

The best part of being a kid on Gless Avenue in Belleville in the 1960s was having four cousins - Patsy, Tommy, Bobby and Lorraine - living next door, and about a dozen other kids all just a few houses up or down our dead end street.

For a few years, my Dad’s older brother Joe lived by himself downstairs from us after Gram died. Uncle Joe was old then, to me, anyway, and had no kids of his own, as far as any of us knew. And it seemed to us as if he was already retired, or simply too worn out to work anymore.

Someone called him a babysitter once because he had a half dozen kids and me playing on his front porch. He just smiled at the babysitter remark and waved his hands in a "suffer the little children" gesture.

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