Friday, July 20th would have been my dad's 62nd birthday. He passed away in 2002. I was reminded of an old memory. I must have been 5 years old, living in Saginaw, Michigan at that time. We lived in a neighborhood surrounded by a bunch of fields. My dad took me and my brother to a baseball card show at the mall. Instead of driving he said we would go on an adventure. We hiked through the field behind our house, down through a ditch, into some woods, along a stream, over some fallen trees, through more fields, and woods, and more fields, until we came out behind a Meijer, and through the parking lot, to the mall to buy some baseball cards.
Whenever I think about the feeling of freewheeling this image comes to mind. Ambling through thickets in the space behind big box stores.
He managed a J.C. Penney store for many years. I remember visiting him at work sometimes, and there was this darkly lit little room with an old boxy computer that would scroll the day's sales stats. He would check that a lot. So there was this space within the big box that was an anti-thesis to the feeling of freewheeling. It was years later when I managed a tourist photo-op location that would I understand that compulsion to constantly check the financial stats, and the feeling that despite how good the numbers looked, there was someone else who would later look at the numbers and tell you they could have been pushed further, and you would have to answer for the numbers.
When I lived in Maine one of our good sledding hills was on a steep slope next to a Wal-Mart. But then a Home Depot was developed there. But year's later we discovered an over grown baseball diamond behind there that overlooked our town and it proved to be a great vantage point for the town's fireworks on the 4th of July.