The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My grandpa shared with me that he would have his friend Collin over after school every day so that he wouldn’t have to go home between school and practice. He said that the two got close and this was one of his most prominent memories of high school.

As the final bell of the school day sounded the doors were flooded with high schoolers rushing to get out of the hot miserable school. As Gary and his best friend Collin ran out of the door they were hit with the rays of sunshine. The breeze hit their exposed skin and cooled them down. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was a cool 67 degrees.

“This is the perfect day for coach to kill us huh?” Gary said turning to Collin.

“Yeah, it is going to be a rough practice today. I can’t believe that we blew that game last Friday.” Collin responded.

 “You ready to head off? We have 2 hours until practice.” Gary said as he threw his leather backpack over his shoulder and motioned toward the road.

                Collin followed in form and followed Gary’s lead. The two were about to embark on the journey that was uphill both ways and nearly impossible to complete, the five-minute walk from the high school to Gary’s house.

                Collin came over every day after school because he did not want to travel home in between school and practice

                The two of them made the walk joking about all the things that happened that day. Crossing the train tracks, they walked into Gary’s yard and proceeded to walk straight to the refrigerator. They consumed most of what was in the refrigerator before they went back outside to throw the football around.

                Once the fateful time came to walk back uphill toward their impending death. The two grabbed their backpacks and headed for the football field.

                They arrived at the locker room with sweat beads forming on their red faces. Wiping off the sweat they put on their pads and went out to the field.

As the sun was starting to set, they walked out onto the field. Stepping onto the hot turf they could feel the heat radiating onto their legs. The coach yelled to get on the line. Gary looked a Collin and there was a look of dread in his eyes.

The team lined up on the line and began to run. After about 5 minutes the team was dead. Gary looked over at Collin who had fallen off pace, sweat dripping off his forehead. “Come on you can do it man.” With this encouragement, Collin continued. Gary checked to see the pace of his friend about five minutes later. He looked and saw Collin bent over, throwing up onto the turf. They all continued to run not fazed by this.

Players started dropping like flies. They were cramping up and falling to the hot turf. Some of their teammates followed in the likeness of Collin. They all suffered for the whole hour until the coach said that they could go home. After this they all headed for the showers to wash off a hard day’s work and got ready to head home to do homework.

After School Adventures

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1954
Chelsea, MI

My grandpa shared with me that he would have his friend Collin over after school every day so that he wouldn’t have to go home between school and practice. He said that the two got close and this was one of his most prominent memories of high school.

Decade: 1950s
Rating:
Recorded by Brendan Houle on June 5, 2019
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