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Concord Observer: Scenes of summer 

June 29, 2024

By Ken Anderson — Columnist

Not long ago, Lynda and I headed up the street to walk our dog. We spotted a boy coming out of his yard a few houses up from us to walk his dog. We lost sight of him until he came back into sight eating an ice cream sandwich. Upon questioning, he admitted that he had found it in another neighbor’s untended house!

I was carried back to my youth when, probably in middle school, I came home and smelled bread (Pepperidge Farm bread, to be exact) being toasted in the kitchen. John Boynton, hungry after school, had come into our unlocked house and had helped himself! 

Times haven’t changed.

One night, we watched one grandson play in a baseball game and then left to watch another grandson play in another town.

In the latter game, our team staged a late rally but fell short. On the way home we talked about the game. He said that their best player was absent because he was at a soccer game. We talked about letting your team down for your own purposes, but our grandson just rolled with the punches and didn’t seem disturbed by the player’s absence. 

Different times.

This morning while cleaning (well, beginning to clean) the garage, my cell phone rang. It was Carol Wayland, who said that she enjoyed my latest column and that she had a copy of her husband’s book on baseball (“Making Contact” by Bob Wayland) for me. She said that she was at 51 Walden most of the day preparing for the next show. I offered to stop by and pick it up.

As I entered the building — the “Veterans Building,” for old-timers — my mind was transported back in time. When I was growing up, it was the Teen Center. 

My first memories of the Teen Center were seeing several high school kids hanging out on the front steps and porch smoking cigarettes! As I grew older, I went to the Teen Center from time to time. There were basketball backboards and nets, a ping-pong table, and room for a dance floor. 

At one dance, I won a twist contest with Roberta Luhaink. I have always wondered whether it was her beauty or our dancing.

As I approached my car, a 1988 BMW 635csi found by Ronny Klein for me several years ago, a young man approached me and asked about it. A standard transmission? Yes. Could he take a picture of it? Yes.

Later, I stopped at the Goodwill truck to say hello to Scott Kendall. As I prepared to get in my car, Lucy Miller drove up. Lucy has moved out of town after, among other things, being a driving force behind the Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle. She has moved to Stow and is now on grandmother duty.

After dropping two propane tanks at my younger daughter’s house, I saw Heather Leonardo, whose son Brendan played baseball with my grandson Fox, sweeping her walkway. After a quick chat, she observed that she had one helper but that her other son had disappeared to play with a friend.

My final stop that day was the Fowler Branch of the Library. As I parked to pick up a requested item, I saw two young ladies sitting on the bench in front of the building, talking and enjoying the sun.

It crossed my mind to ask if I could join them, but I decided it wouldn’t be right to disturb their reverie.