THE BIG WHITE BALLOON

The Writers Desk

THE BIG WHITE BALLOON

The year was 1950. The place was Maspeth, New York. We lived in the house on 73rd. St. There were four of us. Myself, almost 7, my two older sisters, 8 and 10, and my brother, 5. It was summer, and in those days the only recreation we had was summer school. The local elementary school was open to all children. They offered arts and crafts. Knock hockey. Checker Tournaments. Basket Ball, Potsy or if you prefer it was also called Hop Scotch, and every day they would put the showers on and everyone was allowed to cool off running through the delightfully cool water. This was all supervised by teachers that worked through the summer to make extra cash.

We (my siblings and I) were allowed to attend summer school with the consent of our parents. Every morning my mother would pack each of us a lunch and a…

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