A Word to the Wise: Anyone up for a game of hide and seek?

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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So here is June and here comes summer, ready or not. We have been blessed with a mild and pleasant spring so far. I have family and friends in Phoenix, Oklahoma and the east coast. When I speak about California, one of the big bonuses is our beautiful weather. Even as I type these words, the cool delta breeze wafts the curtains. June brings the official start of summer. School either already is out or soon will be for everyone. It was a different experience when I was a kid. Please allow me a few moments of reminiscing. When I was young we did not have all of the electronic gadgetry that today?s youth enjoy. No one stayed inside the house, unless you were sick or weird. Why stay inside when we didn?t have air conditioning anyway? It was nicer outside, even with the heat and high humidity. Plus, there were games and activities. Sure I played Little League baseball, but back then we didn?t have our own bats and bat bags. We didn?t use batting gloves and personalized jackets or uniforms. The uniforms were handed down year after year. Sometimes the grass and dirt stains from the previous season and the previous wearer came out slowly, if at all. We didn?t get trophies just for showing up. No one cared enough about my self-esteem to make sure my feelings didn?t get hurt. Just as I found out later in life, there are winners and losers. If you couldn?t afford cleats, you wore your tennis shoes to the game. And we made memories and had fun. One summer we acquired some large boxes and made forts out of them. The only problem is ? back east during the summer it rained nearly every night, so the cardboard only lasted so long. No worries ? we went on to some new adventure. Perhaps the most haunting time were the hours after dinner but before it got so dark that you had to come inside. Some of us remember the feeling of not wanting to go inside, of trying to stretch a few extra moments in before the inevitable arrived. Back then there was always another day. I just went outside for a moment at 8:30 looking for a game of hide-and-seek, red light ? green light or kick-the-can. I was out of luck. The streets are empty. Only in my memories. Reach Tom Rupp at