Here are a few more stops on the walking tour of my childhood (book your trip now).
1 - Once again, this was my home, at 143 Country Village Lane.
2 - The New Hyde Park Pool was a major summer location - nobody had their own pool (unlike the neighborhood we moved to in California, where everyone had one). This was the social gathering place for kids and parents (especially moms) alike.
3 - This is the hill where I first tested my wooden go-kart, which my dad helped me build. I remember getting wheels off of a baby carriage in a thrift store somewhere. We painted the kart in very cool fluorescent colors, and it was absolutely one of my favorite playthings for a while. I even took it out to California. The only known image I have of my go-kart is a brief glimpse on a strip of super-8 movie film. One of these days I'll transfer it over so my vast audience can see what I mean.
4 - This is an intersection I raced through on my beautiful Stingray bike and just missed getting hit by a car. I instantly became a more careful bike rider.
5 - This is where I got my one and only black eye after an argument with one of my best friends, Chris. Many years later I returned to New Hyde Park and he had no memory of our little fight, but apologized anyway. I apologized too, because he remembered something I did to him as well - for which I had absolutely no memory. It seems that he got sick on the school bus on our way home and threw up. In all the standard commotion, nobody noticed - until Guess Who announced to the entire bus, "LOOOOK!!!! CHRIS THREW UP," after which everyone moved to the opposite side of the bus in a huge dramatic rush only little kids can carry off. That was another one of my special kid truths: if you can deflect attention from yourself, do it every time you have the chance. Do it even if nobody is paying attention to you. Today we would call it a pre-emptive strike.
Now that I think about, I don't recall if he punched me in the eye before or after I humiliated him on the bus. It all makes sense now...