Monday, November 2, 2009

nerf footballs

I have been challenged by Teri (see blog on left) to join NaBloPoMo and try and post every day in November. So I will give it a shot. By the way, Teri just posted about diep surgery and it is much more informative than mine so you may want to check it out! I will try not to bore you with all my posts and try not to weigh you down with 30 heavy posts. I usually just post when something is on my mind so we'll see if I have enough stuff to last 30 days.

I saw a couple of nerf footballs left on the grass this morning while walking the dog. Takes me back to my childhood days full of playing football. I didn't really care about watching football on tv as a little kid but I have always enjoyed playing it. My earliest recollection  of playing was at our old house by maplewood park. We lived there until the summer before 3rd grade so I was pretty young. I remember running around in our huge back yard with one of my brothers, playing ball. Then when we moved, our front yard became the center of the neighborhood. We had a nice flat yard and the neighbor's was flat as well, so all the kids would congregate there for games: tackle football, zip (a wicked game where you tried to hit kids hard with a frisbee), and british bulldog. The neighbors never seemed to complain that we trampled all over their yard even though their kids were all grown up. We repayed their kindness by playing ding dong ditch on them. As we got older, the yards were just too small so we played two hand touch in the street. Around junior high, a new kid came into the picture. Joey was a skinny, blond kid who loved the miami dolphins (an oddity in a buffalo bills town) was bow-legged and always wanted to play quarterback. His younger brother would often tag along but didn't usually play. They looked nothing alike. Ralph was a big kid with really dark hair. I'm not sure where Joey came from - why I had never seen him before. The other kids seemed to know him.

I kept playing street football for a few years. I think I stopped somewhere around freshman year in high school. Not because I didn't like it anymore. More like it was something that girls weren't supposed to play and I was afraid what others would think. But I was damn good at it!

I didn't see Joey again until years later when I was managing a sports store in the mall. He came in and we caught up a bit. He looked pretty much the same. Skinny, blond guy. He talked about his pride and joy, his camero! I can totally picture him in a car like that! A few years after that I found myself working in a car plant, making motors. At break, people were talking about going to a wake of a fellow employee, this guy named Joey. I didn't know who they were talking about. I was new to that department and the plant was pretty big. But then I caught Joey's last name. I asked some questions and turns out they were talking about my Joey. I found out that Joey had leukemia as a child and he ended up getting cancer again and dying. Maybe that is why I never saw him before junior high and maybe that is why he was so skinny. He never talked about his illness and I never would have guessed. He was always so happy out there, pretending to be Dan Marino.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you decided to join in the challenge - I'm going to do my best though, yeah, it's going to be a little hard! But still - kind of a fun thing to do.

    That's awful about your childhood friend! I'm so sorry to hear that. :( I find it strange how some people are able to hold their secrets so close, and other (like me) feel the need to share with others..