Hal and I will be heading downtown tonight. Again. HOLD THE THOUGHT.

As kids, we lived right by the school. Not a bad way to grow up. Everyone was on foot and we centered the mix. On the right were Gelfand and Davidson; to the left: the Bulb, the Fentons, Morton and Garry Cohen, Fromin. The corner brought, under his car, Norm Codeluppi.

Best of all…across the street…Rowland Elementary, with its backstopped diamond, several multi-purpose fields, and black-top area if need be. (Not to mention all kinds of brick walls to play Swift Pitching against. We’d draw a batter’s box in chalk, grab a twig for the pitcher’s rubber, and go).

It was the morning of my life.

H and I were never at a loss for friends, yet more often than not, we were each other’s companion. Weather permitting it was the schoolyard. Crossing Bayard together, playing ‘til our porch light turned on…

Euphoric recall is that there were always games to be played and kids to play them. Indeed. Eyeballing the school from bedroom windows, we could always see if guys were congregating. One moment we’d be home— the next we’d be batting. Hey, in the days before the wii and cable TV, what was there to do but go outside? And where was there to go but the ball field? Even just a third body meant “Running Bases.”

Rainy days, too, could be filled. Our home for Monopoly; Gelfand had Careers. They were nothing if not time-consuming. Fenton, on the other hand, had an extensive train set. Bogarts didn’t know from such things, and we’d evaporate as Stuart and Ricky stared mesmerized by stupid cars going under two inch bridges. Let’s call it the way it is: I still have my baseball trophies….where are Stuart’s trains?

“Wait for the whistle!” they’d urge, (but we’d already crossed Wrenford).

There was an ease to life. We had school and family commitments, but with all our cares we remained care-free. It was 1959.

And so it was, yesterday, that H and I headed down to Hilarities to see Richard Lewis. Cleveland, Ohio after dark. Mid-week. The boys were back in town.

The crowd was big and the show was great. To my surprise, this 62 year old Jewish OSU alum drew a remarkably non-Jewish mix.

We roared, though.…for a solid hour. And the joy was so pure, the laughter so infectious, that waking this morning…it had to be heard again.

So it will.

We’re taking reinforcements this time. Margie and the Burnsides. And we’ll head back down for more. Same show—same jokes–24 hours later. I can’t wait!

It is 2009. There IS an ease to life. Like most adults, we have commitments to attend to. Still, tonight, from 8-10, my little brother Hal and I will be care-free. And laugh. Together.

We are, after all, in the morning of our lives.

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