Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 5th of July

I feel a little weird using the word "park" after my article the other day about how a real park has to have rides, but I spend quite a bit of time visiting the local parks with the scooter. Today was no exception as I made my way to where the city did the fireworks last night. I haven't gone to the actual site of the fireworks display on the 4th of July since the girls were very little, but it was probably the same teeming mass of vaguely civilized humanity that it was back then, though a generation later.

I managed to get a great parking spot for the BV thanks to the circular dog legs and the way the parking lines are painted around them. There's just enough room for a bike next to the first car!

I ventured farther from the scooter today than usual because there were people to watch. Three different softball games were going on and there were folks all around from the dike walkers to the guys with their metal detectors hoping to strike it rich after last night's fare. I walked to the west end of the paved path that leads up to the fence that separates the park from my alma mater's football field where this little guy landed on my left thumb.

I thought he was a spider till I got back to the house and took a closer look. He has five legs, but I think he's only missing one, and he has antennae which insects have but spiders don't. I tried Googling various combinations of his features, but came up empty with an identification. Just another mystery to take to my grave.

Then there were the things with which some anthropologist years from now would have a field day. Spent balloons.

A tennis ball that met a cruel fate at the hands of some juvenile delinquent with fire crackers, or his drunken old man sporting a beater and a can of Bud.

A table scene reminiscent of pictures from Pompeii after they dug up what was buried under the volcano ash. In this case, just the meal scraps from some slobs too lazy to clean up after themselves.

Portable toilets doing their imitation of the June Taylor dancers.

Oh! And I talked to "The Creeper" - the old guy who parks his car at the park every day and just watches everybody. He was out of his car sitting on a bench today so I just had to saddle up next to him and strike up some small talk. I wasn't so bold as to ask blatantly, "So, why are you here every day as if you don't have a life?" We talked about the weather and the softball game being played. A tub of peanuts in their shells spoke of a gentle soul who didn't think it a waste of his money nor time to feed a few squirrels. A 12 oz. Pepsi showed that he appreciates a great drink now and then. He seems like somebody whose friends are all gone and who's biding his time till he can dance with them again.

It was a good day to ride, and to walk a little too! (If you can imagine me walking somewhere voluntarily.)

1 comment:

Doug K. said...

Your story of meeting "The Creeper" brings to mind a conversation I had with a security guard at work before I retired. He worked graveyard shifts and was in his early 80s. He was quite an interesting man with whom to talk.

He'd had some serious adventures in WWII but the thing he mentioned that stuck with me was that it was tough to make friends at his age. People were either younger and not interested in being friends with a geezer or the people his own age had given up and saw no point in making new friends since life was sure to not last much longer. In both cases the people, old and young, were missing a lot. Old people can sometimes be a treasure chest of first person history for those willing to listen for a bit.