Sunday, January 31, 2016

SWEET SIXTEEN Poem #16 #Reminiscing


16
Sweet Sixteen
 

What can you do in
a small industrial town,
with the Rivoli
and Outdoor Theater
both shut down? 

You can ice skate, roller
blade, and fish for small-mouth bass;
bike; swim; golf nine holes.
Try your luck at bowling
after mass. 

Ski on water, walk on
land, play badminton or
croquet. There’s trampoline
and tumbling on high school
Phy Ed day. 

Throw for your life in
baseball; run for your life in
track; and when it comes
to Archery, try mimicking
Cupid’s knack.


Did you count, to make sure I didn’t stop at fifteen?

 
Author at a young age
practicing Cupid's knack

I was born in this poem’s "small industrial town." The Outdoor Theater was located near the city limits, down a side road off Memorial Drive. Mom and Dad would pack up all four kids in the back seat, and we’d head to the “Outdoor” on Saturday night. Because I was so little, they would lay me on the shelf behind the back seat with my blanket and I would sleep through most of the shows. 

The Rivoli was on Main Street, next to the candy store. I’d purchase a foot long barber-pole candy cane before each movie that lasted through the end credits. Reel-to-reel movies were mostly jungle and cowboy themes. 

First the Outdoor, then the Rivoli shut down when the economy was unable to support such luxury for an industrial society. But it was a sports town. Everyone was active back then. There were no iPhones or e-Readers or Nintendo to occupy our time. 

Of course, Nitschke’s bowling alley on Main Street was more a hang-out for us than a place to actually bowl. Ray, a relative of the owners, was a well-known Green Bay Packers football player in the days of Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. We always knew the latest football news, and on game days other sports paled in comparison.
 
Football was and is big in Wisconsin
but this photograph was taken in . . .
Honolulu! Football is big here, too.
 
 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Aloha and thank you for visiting today!