Posted by: Kara Luker | August 25, 2011

A happy corner

X marks the spot

Ah, the neighborhood kids. They used to gather on the corner across the street from our house, all shapes and sizes, sitting on the sidewalk in front of the cranky couple’s house, talking and laughing ‘til the sky was black. Sometimes they would wander around the neighborhood, hang out at one of the kids’ houses, or maybe walk to Moon Park.  But mostly they sat on the corner being kids.

This went on for several happy years, right where Indiana Ave. meets Illinois. And then something began to shift. Cole said things were different. Dylan started working out with his older brothers. Katie started high school and was buried in homework and dating. Corbin’s stepdad died of a drug overdose and he moved away. The group of kids shrunk and shrunk until the corner was empty. I felt sad like the Giving Tree when her favorite boy grew up and moved on. A year or two passed.

When I came home last night, there they were, sitting on the corner being kids. Katherine jumped up and wrapped her arms around me. Corbin, who had recently moved back to the neighborhood, towered over me with his 6’2” frame and melted me with his warm smile. Chicky was lying on her stomach chatting sociably with Alexa and Riley, next to the street sign that marks their old haunt. They energetically filled me in on their sports injuries, the schools they are going to, the way they hardly recognized Cole when they saw him. I listened happily, filling myself full.

It wasn’t the whole crew, but I know that community draws others to itself, so I’m pretty sure there will be more kids there tonight. If not, I’ll just be grateful for the joyful remembrance I got last night. And for the young neighborhood kids who are now taking up community the way they learned it… on the corner of Indiana and Illinois.


  1. sweet story. I love those kind of memories.

    • Me too! I’m definitely getting more sentimental these days.

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