By Aaron McDaniel – August 22, 2020
Recently my teenage grandson, Aaron, was browsing Facebook and came upon a post with a picture of the Sandlot kids that included the following quote: “At some point in your childhood, you and your friends went out to play together for the last time and nobody knew it.”
1993’s The Sandlot movie was a coming-of-age story about a group of young boys growing up in 1962 in a small town. Filmmaker David Evans based it on real events inspired by an incident from his own childhood and my grandson strongly related to it. In response, he wrote the following:
The lot back in my old neighborhood of North Beach, Maryland, was “our place”. We played football, baseball, soccer, wiffle ball, kickball, rugby, and manhunt.
The last time all of my neighborhood friends showed up to the lot, was the last day of school in seventh grade. I’m going into 12th now.
I moved near the end of my 7th grade year but I finished out my year at Windy Hill Middle School with the help of my dad. He would drive me to school in the mornings and then I’d take the bus to my old neighborhood in the afternoon because my dad still worked in the office of my old house.
I would go over to my friend Konnor’s house and my friend Kyle would also be there swimming in Konnor’s pool. We would all swim for a bit, wrestle, and do flips off the ladder. And then things changed. I texted the group chat to ask if they wanted to play football one last time. I told them I wasn’t going to be living in the neighborhood anymore after that day. They all agreed and we showed up and played until my dad was done with his work and we left. I said bye and got in the car.
No one plays in our lot anymore and someone took advantage of that empty lot and parked their boat there. So even if we wanted to meet up there again, we couldn’t.
That lot provided some good times but we all grew up. When I moved, four of my friends moved too. Now every time I stay at my great Aunt Margaret’s to care for her, I make plans with the neighborhood kids I grew up with to hang out.
That lot was just one of the many places we went to play, but our times there were very special to us. I know this was a long post to a short quote, but I strongly related to it.
I think regardless of our age, most of us can relate to that special place where close friends gathered and shared our good times and sometimes “growing pains,” as we grew up together. Thank you Aaron, for reminding us of those years that will forever remain dear to us.