Baton Rouge, LA
“I grew up on Longwood Drive. There were six or so kids my age on my block, but Rich Marvin was my best friend. He and I were inseparable. We went to different grade schools, but as soon as we got home we were together.
It was a much simpler time in the late ‘60s and early 70s. Louisiana State University was three and half miles away from Longwood Drive. From the age of 10 or 11 onward we were allowed to ride our bicycles (without helmets as they were not invented yet) to LSU. Eleven year olds in the Student Union on their own. Pinball machines, Foosball, and the Bowling Alley were our focus, but my best memories were of the late summer before school started. LSU football training camp was in session. The collegiate players were our idols. We would ride to campus and hang out at the player’s gate at the stadium. The players would mill about before practice and we would bring our footballs (mine was named after our All American quarterback, Bert Jones), and they would play pitch and catch with us. It was absolute heaven for a young boy! We were free to roam the neighborhood and campus as we pleased. The only rule was our mother’s required we let them know where we were and when we would return. We always had a nickel in our pocket for the pay phone just in case there was a problem.
Rich lives on Cape Cod. I live in the neighborhood where I grew up. I’d love to ride bicycles with Rich again. We’d ride to Campus. Just the two of us. We would go to the Student Union and observe all the changes that have taken place. It has been totally renovated. We would ride to the stadium and re-visit the players gate. We would visit the track stadium and baseball stadium where we spent Friday nights in the spring. Once we have visited all our old haunts, we would go over to “The Chimes” just off campus and have a beer. We would then ride home. A Day Devoted to being eleven years in Baton Rouge again.”