Time sure moves slower now
I take my kids places during their summer vacation, and it's nice. I took my youngest daughter along with one of her friends to the park today, and it was kind of funny. I'm watching these kids, and you can't help but notice how ethnicities must have some type of influence in their behaviors.
All of these kids were girls from the ages of around 5 to 11.
There were these black girls. They were proudly wearing their braided hair with the beads in the braids, swinging in unison with each step. They were wearing shorts with high-heeled sandals and jewelery. Their clothes perfectly matched, and there wasn't a stain anywhere in sight, even though they were both eating ice-cream cones - with no difficulty whatsoever in eating those cones without spilling a drop on their clothes.
There was the blonde girl: tall, with long hair. She was wearing flip-flops and just regular clothes. You could tell she had something for lunch that involved mustard and ketchup.
While the black girls were talking about different cliques of people they knew, the blonde girl (who wasn't playing in the same circle of friends as the black girls) was laying down the rules of freeze tag with her playmates, with all the seriousness of a corporate lawyer conducting a hostile take-0ver: "No tap-backs, no baby-gaurding, what do you guys think the boundries should be?" that sort of thing. She didn't give a damn about her clothes, but whoa to the little person who engages in "baby-gaurding" base! She had it all figured out.
They have this thing called the "bicycle." It's 2 metal posts, side-by-side, which hold up hand and foot pedals. You put your feet on the foot pedals, put your hands on the hand pedals, and your hands and feet are supposed to crank their respective pedals at the same speed, and in the same direction - in perfect unison. It's alot harder than it looks.
Most people either fall off, or crank the foot pedals one way, and the hand pedals the other way.
When you do it correctly, it produces a body motion, almost like a dance. It's pretty cool.
My youngest daughter (who's very athletic) got up there, and got the hand and foot pedals going in the same direction, at the same speed. My youngest daughter is six. Then, there was this heavy-set girl, about 11, whose mother and grandmother were oooohing and ahhhhing over my daughter on the bicycle, so the 11 year old, tells her mom and grandmother, "Ah, that's nothing!" and as soon as my daughter is done, she gets up there, and falls, and falls, and falls! (Hell, I probably would too!)
It was a picture-perfect day. The town I live in, is headquarters to an oil company, even though it's a small town (less than 50,000 people - and we're the largest population center within a 40 mile radius, so we're not a suburb of a bigger city!)
Because of all the oil money, the park is beautiful, when the weather's good, if you don't mind overlooking the shit-brown color of the river.
The ancient Sycamore trees go up and up forever. I love the way the bark of the Sycamores is two-toned, brown and off-white. When the sun shines through the canopy of leaves, the colors are brown, off-white, and gold, from the dappled sunlight, with broad, large, dark-green leaves bristling in the wind. These ancient Sycamores and Maples line the footpaths of the park, providing shade from every direction, on every inch of all the foot paths.
There's a huge, clam shell-shaped band shell, made of concrete and painted bone white and a variety of pastels. The bandshell is so huge, the human figure is dwarfed while on stage. This was made in 1940 by the Works Project Administration (WPA). The band shell isn't used that much, except for one or two outdoor concerts a year, and sometimes they'll show a regular movie to the public on a screen and video projector when some prominent citizen allows the city to borrow his AV equipment from his mansion.
I have a feeling the band shell isn't used to it's full potential, because it was made by the WPA, and that's just a little too communist for most of the voters, although it is kept in great condition by a group of musicians, who conduct yearly fundraisers for the upkeep.
At the falls, there's a stone memorial with a bronze plaque attatched, memorializing the lives of the firemen who drowned while trying to save 2 teenagers who decided to take a canoe over the falls. (The kids drowned as well.)
At the falls, there's also a shelter house, which is nothing more than a funky-shaped 40' tall roof, supported by masonary columns on one end, and a limestone-slab fireplace, whose chimney goes up all 4 stories, which was donated by one of the Fortune 500 companies that has a division or headquarters here. (Oh, and that's used all the time!)
Just behind the falls, on the other side of the river is the former Eastman-Kodak complex, and a row of Sycamore trees lining the river from the Eastman-Kodak complex, all the way to the country club.
In certain spots in almost every park are bronze plaques memorializing great natural gas wells that once stood there, and a brief history of how the gas boom of the 1880's, transformed the city.
Walking along the footpaths, you've got the lesbians, usually holding hands, and walking some big-ass dogs, along with the mothers of the underclass. These women push their umbrella stollers with babies in them, the babies wearing nothing but a diaper, regardless of whether it is male or female. The rest of the kids in their brood are running wild, while the mothers scream at them, as though they're on their last nerve.
Today was a picture-perfect day!