Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Running Through My Childhood

Last week I started a new job. While I will be remaining in Philadelphia and working remotely, I went into their corporate office on Long Island for onboarding. If you didn't know, I grew up on Long Island and was there from the very beginning until I left for college.

I arrived on Sunday to start at 8am on Monday morning. Being that it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon when I arrived, I decided to tour my old memories. I started at the old house which I still refer to as "my house" even though I haven't lived there since my mom sold it in 2002. Then I drove past schools, dinners, the library, and other places I frequented as a child. I was surprised at the things that changed but also how many stayed the same.

Mini-golf was closed
for the season.
Before heading back to the hotel, I decided to take one more trip down memory lane and I went to Eisenhower Park, parking near the mini-golf course. It's still closed for the season but the park itself was obviously open. I changed into my running gear in a bathroom and then made sure my car was locked with everything of value hidden in the trunk. 

As a kid, I was always the one making excuses NOT to run so while this park has amazing paths I never used them. Now I've changed that. I ran 5K around the park and zig-zagged through different paths. I made many stops during my run to just take in the memories that came flooding back. I remembered the field where we would launch model rockets and the pond where we drove our remote-controlled boats. 

Outside Safety Town.
One memory that stuck out the most was Safety Town. This was something that I was honestly shocked still exists. Safety Town was a miniature town where school groups, scouts, and more could go to learn about... safety. During the program, students start in a classroom learning about how to cross the street without their parents (no more holding hands), signal while riding a bike, and more. Then they go out to the town and replicate conditions. Some drove go-carts, some walked, and some road bikes. Then they swapped. This allowed the kids to get practical experience using the skills they just discussed. As I said, I was shocked, nostalgic, and a little happy to see Safety Town still exists for the next generation. It may seem old fashion but these skills are still important and we've all seen how many people jay-walk not paying any attention as pedestrians.