Thursday, November 5, 2015

Operation Heaven Over Population

Like the old person I am quickly becoming, went to yet another funeral today. Met up with two high school friends at another old peeps hangout, Cracker Barrel for lunch before the service.

Dick Lane was a state representative for my old home town of East Point for decades. I grew up and attended school from kindergarten through high school with his daughters. He was also the superintendent of the Parks and Recreation department for East Point and was known, respected and liked by everyone. My parents were friends with them as well and I spent many hours and nights at their house.

I got to be a page at the state capitol with his daughter one year. We pretty much did nothing but hang out in the snack bar eating tomato soup and crackers but it was an awesome day out of school. Laurie was always tall blonde and beautiful and I pretty much always looked like a short skinny boy.

Not much has changed.

We worked together at the East Point swimming pool in the summers during high school. The pool was a hangout for every kid in East Point. I took swimming lessons there when I was five and spent every day of every summer after there...then worked there when I turned fourteen or fifteen.

There was an old juke box blaring out "Ride Captain Ride" "Brandy" and all the other old hits while you bought frozen candy bars from Old Nash (Mrs. Nash who ran the concession stand) and ate them on the blazing hot painted concrete sun deck.

It was great to grow up in East Point, Georgia.

When I was still a little girl, Mr. Lane even took our Bluebird troupe for a tour of the state capitol.

We all attended Harris Street School. They never called it Harris Street Elementary. Don't ask me why... and still not sure. It even said that across the bottom of all our class pictures.

Then we moved on to high school and cheered together. High school in East Point was just as fun if not more than elementary school. We grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" town and roots went deep. If you grew up in East Point, you'll always be an East Pointer. We have reunions where sometimes hundreds show up, once even over a thousand.

We may have drifted away and apart over the years but thanks to modern technology and social networking have all re connected and still stay in now constant cyber touch. It's great to have been part of a community which refuses to die, even when one of them literally does.

We all show up and give each other that ole East Point support. We reminisce, retell stories and introduce kids, grand kids, partners and new friends.

We laughed, we loved and we smiled.

We all grew up less than eight minutes from the heart of the largest city in the south east but kept our small town feel and appeal. We remember where we came from and feel proud to.

If the world had as much love as my hometown did and does it would be a much better place to live.

It is sad for my friends to lose their father but was great to grow up in a city he was so instrumental in making a terrific place to live. He's gone on to his just and much deserved reward and joined the hundreds and hundreds who got there even before he did.

He's probably drafting a city charter as I type for the East Point Angels.

Til next older EP COTTON

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