I stopped at a red light on the feeder road to 610N this morning. To my right were three kids around 10 or 11 years of age. Each wore a helmet and a towel and were on bicycles, dutifully obeying the traffic laws and waiting for their turn to cross the congested street. They had goggles hanging from their handle bars. And looked cared for and protected.
I had just left morning TV where I saw two disturbing pieces of news. There was a man driving recklessly across the city trying to elude the police. Not 20 minutes earlier, he had been on the very interstate, these kids were about to ride under. The other saddening note was that George Carlin died.
My sister introduced me to Carlin when she told me about but wouldn't divulge the 7 words you cannot say on TV. I was about the age of the lead girl in this makeshift bicycle parade at the time. Later, when I could understand the depth of Carlin's humor I appreciated most that he was an intelligent comic. His word play was an amusement park of fun. I didn't always agree with what he said but I almost always laughed at how he said it.
The three children made me flash back to days in Greenfield when my brothers and I (my sister was older and wouldn't have wanted to be seen with us) would make our way to the city pool. We'd go by foot since it was only a block away. I hoped for a moment that these three would maintain the innocence we possessed in those days -- even if they were already navigating Houston streets. I hoped that they would know to cherish summer days and life.