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The Boys Of Summer
by John Yelavich

Eddie had fond recollections of his high school years back in the nineteen sixties roaming the hallways with his best pals and gals. He and his friends were proud, cocky, and cool. They were carefree characters, absorbed in outlandish adventures filling their fertile imaginations with boyish spunky smirks. Their view of life that lied before them was that of a salacious scene from "Tropic of Cancer". They never grasped the concept that a beautiful mind was more exotically fulfilling than a curvy silhouette.
Eddie learned everything he thought he needed to know about sex from Jimmy Rampulla, a narcissistic guy with a Neapolitan nose.  Jimmy was always hanging out at Sam’s Candy store on Market Street. He was like an older brother that Eddie never had.  Jimmy explained the rudiments of sex, as he knew it, not necessarily as it was in real life.  Much of Jimmy’s street corner lessons were colored with imaginative recreations of encounters that everyone in attendance suspected never took place. He was funny, told exciting stories and road a Harley.
The guys who hung out at the Sam’s always joked and cavorted about their friend Eddie, but in reality he was a guy blessed with non-stop energy and a fascinating personality. To those around him day in and day out, he was a friend you couldn’t live without.
In the summers of their yesterdays, fearlessly they would ride the highways, city streets and backroads. Today they welcome each sunrise but shun the sunsets. They bask in the glow of the golden sunshine and their exhausted recollections are framed in delusive bravado.
In my neighborhood, every summer night or Saturday morning, Eddie, Jimmy and a bunch of “Old Geezers” meet and greet at our local Wawa.
A bit hunched over, they stand in circles around their chrome chariots. Sometimes they seek support by leaning against the wall of Wawa. They are easily recognizable by their gray hair and beards, overweight physiques and faded vests. The denim vests have long ago replaced their black leather jackets. Many of them limp and move very slowly as they cautiously mount their bikes like one of us would get on a horse. They laugh as they share their exaggerated stories of riding from one bar to another in the dark of night.
Today they ride only in the light of day as they make their run for coffee from one Wawa to another. When the streetlights turn on, they scurry and hurry home to take their Crestor, Lipitor, Prozac, Xanax, Aleve, Motrin or Tylenol. Coffee not beer is their drink of choice. Now, a warm bed is more comforting to them then the wide seat of their motorcycle.
Like many of us they wallow in faded memories while reality steers them on a different course. Time and years have shifted their wishful perspectives. They now hope for one more golden sunrise and a gentle breeze at their back as they head home to the driveways in their age restricted retirement communities.