Oceanside Junior High - 2004
It all seemed so much smaller than I remembered. I was back on Long Island for the 40th reunion of my high school class. Decades earlier, when I trudged to school from my home in the look-alike slab development on Evers Lane, it always seemed like a really, really long trek. Now I could make a circuit covering all the "hot spots" of Oceanside, NY in no time at all. I strolled past Passetti's Luncheonette, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, and the Carvel soft ice cream stand with its great location on the way to the ocean and boardwalk in Long Beach. There was Dominic's Barber Shop, the library, Oceanside Bowling Alley, my uncle's TV store, the two-family on Brower Avenue which was my second home in town, and finally, the lighted basketball courts nearby where my friends and I played to perspiration saturated exhaustion during summer evenings. The chain metal nets were now mostly missing in action and the asphalt court surfaces were, to say the least, beat up and loosely salt and peppered with gravel. But as Gene Hackman's coach character in the movie "Hoosiers" pointed out to his team as they were about to play for the state championship in the Big Arena, the basket was still 10 feet from the floor and the free throw stripe 15 feet away.
From Shooting Hoops