Labor Day meant one thing when I was young, it was the day before the beginning of the school year. It was the day my mother would take us on a final walk to school cautioning my younger brother and me not to stray from this route as it was the safest, needless to say this became a challenge to find alternatives. Some of these included alleys, cutting across backyards and learning where the aggressive dogs were as well as cranky neighbors who didn't want paths worn in their yards. I actually went to six different grade schools which necessitated these tours, one in Fort Des Moines, Central City then Denver Colorado, Bird School, Wallace and finally Park Avenue in Des Moines. School clothes laid out, extra bath taken and earlier bed times were all part of the routine. Little sleep was had as I wondered about new friends and what was ahead. I miss that adrenaline flow especially with the isolation the pandemic has brought but at least it allows me some escapism as I close my eyes and drift back to the days of mom, little brother Dave and older brother Joe who always lovingly made our sack lunches so he could take our lunch money to buy cigarettes, those were the days!

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