Sunday, February 21, 2021


As a kid, we played baseball. 
We had a vacant lot beside our house and from dawn until the Mercury Vapor Street Lights came on,
We played Baseball. 

My Cousins, myself and the various Kids in the neighborhood had a Summer Long game of
"Roll the Bat" going that began in May and ran until school Started after Labor day.
We broke up that marathon with games of "500", "Pickle" and the occasional game of 4 on 4. 

Our 7th inning Stretch was a water hose break from the fawcet of my house(mind the fire ants that always seem to build their nests next to the only water hose)
Sometimes mid pitch we would hear that sound that sent every kid in a mile sprinting back to his house in search of loose change and Piggy Banks.
The first few notes of
"Mary had a Little Lamb"
Caused land speed records by kids 10 and under to be shattered
All at once the Chorus of ICE CREAM MAN would be heard while  gloves and bats seem to hover in the air as the kids who used them moments before were no where to be seen on the field. 

After the fudge bars, nutty bars, ice cream sandwiches and pushups were more worn than actually eaten,next would come the endless debate of whether Hank Aaron or Willy Mays was the GREATEST baseball player ever.(Hammerin Hank Aaron is the correct answer of Course), 8-10 nut brown shirtless/shoeless kids would then get back to the seriousness that was baseball.
Baseball was all consuming and seemed like the Lowcountry summer to be never ending. 

Once when I was 6 or 7 my Parents made me stop early to get ready to go out for a family dinner. Left alone in the bathroom, I crawled out the Bathroom window that faced the baseball lot and played NAKED
For almost 2 INNINGS
Before my father drug me off the field, literally pulling the bat out of my hands(insert your Pun here). 
He was so amused that I didn't even get punished (my mom, who was NOT amused, made him remove the Bathroom window)
The game went on.
The players changed,
Then one day I realized that the sound of Kids didn't come from the lot anymore. 
The world had gotten more serious.
Seems sad that kids don't play in vacant lots anymore. 

R. Sweat

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