Bud's Beat

By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News correspondent
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I spent the Memorial Day weekend with Kobe and Micah, two of my youngest grandsons. They were gloating over the fact that they only had a few days of school and were looking forward to a whole summer of just fun. When I asked them what they planned to do with all those fun days, they said “nothing.” It reminded me of my young days when I, too, looked forward to those long summer days. About two days into vacation time and I would be bugging my mother about being bored with nothing to do. She was busy doing the laundry, sweeping floors and cutting up vegetables for the family dinner. She always gave me the same answer, “Go out and spit in a shoe.” That pat answer made me mad enough to storm out the door and sulk. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends or siblings to be with. Sometimes my friends were either visiting cousins across town or doing chores. To compensate for being alone, I developed an alter ego. I called him “Mo.” It wasn’t long before we decided to do our favorite thing: Kick the Can. All that was needed was an old discarded can found in the garbage and. of course, an alley. Most kids today probably wouldn’t know that an alley is a roadway behind houses. In my day, alleys substituted as the neighborhood playground. Kick the can was made for alleys. Most of us kids carried a sponge ball, a golf ball, or if you were fortunate enough to find an old, almost bald, tennis ball, you were king. The added challenge was to set up the can on a fence post, then rebound the ball off a garage door and quickly, with all the skill of the greatest third baseman of all time, Kenny Keltner, knock the can off its perch. Out at first by half a step. It wasn’t too long before we again became bored and headed for home. I was hoping Mom had finished her chores and would have a baloney sandwich and a glass of milk ready for my lunch. She did. When she asked what I did all morning, I winked at Mo and replied, “Oh! Nothing.” I miss Kick the Can, long summer days, and I miss Mom.