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Real Rockwell portraits

Published July 28. 2012 09:01AM

Recently Sis and I went to a terrific concert performed by the Cressona Band. The concert was a real treat but while I was there, I was not only embraced by the music, I was truly in a reverie of childhood memories. It was real Americana too; the concert was at the East End playground in Tamaqua, part of my old playing grounds with my cousin Joseph, who lived nearby.

As I listened to selections like "Morning, Noon & Night", "Stevie Wonder in Concert", and "Rockwell Portrait", I sojourned to another time …. I saw slices of childhood, and special times reminding me that life really still has family moments: like a young Dad with his little girl on a swing. He sat down and she happily sat on his lap while they went back and forth just enjoying their time together.

There were also the two little girls who rode rides, sat listening awhile, each keeping time, and then, excitedly went over to the stand for a real treat- a CMP! As they sat beside me on the wooden beam supporting a tier of benches, one little girl, the one with her upper front teeth missing, smiled a big smile to me as she enjoyed her ice cream sundae. What a treat for both of us!

Suddenly, I saw her out of the corner of my eye, she had dropped her spoon! To most, that would have spoiled the joy of that moment. Without a thought though, she quickly observed "the 5 second" rule and in a flash, really, she picked up her spoon, wiping off the bottom using the front of her shirt! (with great flourish I might add) and resumed eating like nothing ever happened. Ahhhhhh to be that little girl all over again!!

Another girl mounted the teeter-totter and rode awhile. Now, that was one of my favorites a ride you could enjoy nicely with a friend or go fast and high squealing with delight, or you can just ride the same way all by yourself. That ride, by the way, happens to be right next to my all time favorite: the sandbox. Whoever does not enjoy the sandbox must have a penchant for over-cleanliness or something. There's just too much fun in there not to dive in and shovel bucketful after bucketful, to make a big pile only to smash it down and start all over. If you had no tools, you made piles with your hands, holding fistfuls of sand then letting it slowly stream out teeny glistening kernels of sand, like our childhoods, racing away little by little.

Here's a real "Rockwell Portrait" at the break: a Band member came down, lifted his pre-toddler Grandson onto the small (still metal) sliding board and guided him for a short ride to the bottom.

They also have some newer rides now, but they also still have those old favorites like the big pipe frames sporting strap swings (remember the wooden ones!?) There are still picnic tables and porch swings mounted between a few trees like when we were growing up. There was even a young lad who broke our parents' all time rule: no running. Of course, he took a spill, got up, and brushed off his scraped knee, then looked back to Dad who could only smile and shrug.

As we listened, Sis says: "Look at those kids over on the merry-go-round! I remember being here for a birthday party for Francie Emerich! We rode so much, he threw up." Now there's a REAL party for you!!

While all that fun was happening, the band played more greats like "Tin Pan Alley", and the finale of the "Washington Post March" and "America the Beautiful." What an evening, truly a Rockwell Portrait.

Jeannie Paslawsky


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