Maury Z. Levy

Posts Tagged ‘the el’

Independence Day

In SJ Magazine on September 1, 2009 at 4:38 pm

liberty_bellBack then, back when men were men and wars were wars, the seats on the Frankford El, the city’s first low speed line, were made of hardened cane. They ripped at your skin and tore at your pants but they could never break your spirit.

Every year, on the Fourth of July, we would put on our Sunday best, my mother, my father, my sister and I, and take the B bus and the El train to the cradle of liberty, better known as the Fifth Street El stop. There, we would join the thousands of other sweating citizens who didn’t have barbecue plans that day, to sizzle in the sun while bands played and politicians did what politicians do.

This was back when the Liberty Bell was still in Independence Hall, before they moved it to that barren building that looked like a bad Burger King. This was back when patriotism wasn’t considered corny, back when this country was considered to be the smartest country in the world.

I remember sitting on those folding chairs on what would become Independence Mall and looking at all the military men in crisp, clean uniforms, thinking that was a good thing to do, to be a soldier.

In the years that followed those lazy lemonade days, I would grow up way too fast. Just like all the boys I knew, I would quickly be facing manhood, highly eligible for the war that everyone said would be the last ground war of our lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

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