Taste of Pensacola, a Chicago neighborhood block party, cordoned off with cars at each end, so the kids can ride bikes and trikes on the street all day.
Complete with a blown-up-bouncing??? like a trampoline on steroids??? machine? Where children bounce up and down, giggling, falling, getting up again, sweating with exertion, breathless with fun.
A Water-Balloon Contest, with different generations partnered to toss water-balloons at each other and step back. Balloons bursting with contact—shower water and shrieks, energizing the eager contestants.
Followed by a water fight for the kids who can’t get enough of the fun!
A Sand-Bag Toss contest, Bingo, and Musical Chairs with all ages and sizes going round-and-round, scrambling into a chair when the music stops—won by Katherine, who is going into first grade.
And Elvis, yes he’s back, singing all our favorites to the tapping feet of the ladies sitting on lawn chairs on their driveway.
A long banquet table filled appetizers and side-dishes brought by friends and neighbors to share, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, tamales, beet salad, Greek salad, potato salad, Italian salad, baked beans, coleslaw, roasted corn on the cob. I wish I could remember everything…
A table full of desserts, I brought A Mandala of Summer Fruit Tart.
A make-your-own Sundae Bar with all the toppings, sprinkles, cherries and whipped cream.
A Norman Rockwell day for a generation of city dwellers, some of whom may never have heard of him. Every ethnicity with all American heart, out to celebrate their neighborhood, spend time and meet— new neighbors, babies, children, relatives and friends. Eating, drinking and playing until the day ends.
During the festivities I watched as two men— of stature and size fell playing a game.
One making a swan-dive for a water-balloon tossed by his 10 year old partner, and the other during Musical Chairs, diving into a plastic lawn chair that broke. Each, startled… got up with an I’m OK— I wonder if I should still be doing this— grin.
What did these men teach me? Dive in!
Participate in the moment, take risks to win— to do.
“If at first you don’t succeed, then Skydiving is not for you!”
But everything else is.