Tom Purcell

The Givens boys, up on the hill across the railroad tracks, were called in by a large bell. The clanging sounded off at 6 every night, giving us the sense that a river boat was making its way up the Mississippi or a chow wagon was calling in the cow hands for some grub.

One family used a riot horn. The piercing "hrmmpppphhhhhh!" could be heard for miles. There was no way that kid, attempting to explain why he was late for supper, could claim he didn't hear it.

These mystical summer sounds have been gone a long time now. How wonderful it would be to bring them back.

At least one month every summer, why don't we cease every structured activity for our children, cancel every tournament, and end every adult-run event.

Let's turn off the television and computer. Let's shut down the air conditioner and un-shutter the windows and doors.

Let's allow our kids to go out into the hills to roam and play and discover all day long. That will require us to call them home at dinner.

And our shouts and chants and bells will breathe some much needed music into the sweet summer air.


Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell, author of "Comical Sense: A Lone Conservative Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" and "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood," is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons. Visit him on the web at www.TomPurcell.com

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