The Boys Of
by John Yelavich
Eddie had fond
recollections of his high school years back in
the nineteen sixties roaming the hallways with
his best pals and gals. He and his friends were
proud, cocky, and cool. They were carefree
characters, absorbed in outlandish adventures
filling their fertile imaginations with boyish
spunky smirks. Their view of life that lied
before them was that of a salacious scene from
"Tropic of Cancer". They never grasped
the concept that a beautiful mind was more
exotically fulfilling than a curvy silhouette.
Eddie learned everything he thought he needed to
know about sex from Jimmy Rampulla, a
narcissistic guy with a Neapolitan nose.
Jimmy was always hanging out at Sams Candy
store on Market Street. He was like an older
brother that Eddie never had. Jimmy
explained the rudiments of sex, as he knew it,
not necessarily as it was in real life.
Much of Jimmys street corner lessons were
colored with imaginative recreations of
encounters that everyone in attendance suspected
never took place. He was funny, told exciting
stories and road a Harley.
The guys who hung out at the Sams always
joked and cavorted about their friend Eddie, but
in reality he was a guy blessed with non-stop
energy and a fascinating personality. To those
around him day in and day out, he was a friend
you couldnt live without.
In the summers of their yesterdays, fearlessly
they would ride the highways, city streets and
backroads. Today they welcome each sunrise but
shun the sunsets. They bask in the glow of the
golden sunshine and their exhausted recollections
are framed in delusive bravado.
In my neighborhood, every summer night or
Saturday morning, Eddie, Jimmy and a bunch of
Old Geezers meet and greet at our
A bit hunched over, they stand in circles around
their chrome chariots. Sometimes they seek
support by leaning against the wall of Wawa. They
are easily recognizable by their gray hair and
beards, overweight physiques and faded vests. The
denim vests have long ago replaced their black
leather jackets. Many of them limp and move very
slowly as they cautiously mount their bikes like
one of us would get on a horse. They laugh as
they share their exaggerated stories of riding
from one bar to another in the dark of night.
Today they ride only in the light of day as they
make their run for coffee from one Wawa to
another. When the streetlights turn on, they
scurry and hurry home to take their Crestor,
Lipitor, Prozac, Xanax, Aleve, Motrin or Tylenol.
Coffee not beer is their drink of choice. Now, a
warm bed is more comforting to them then the wide
seat of their motorcycle.
Like many of us they wallow in faded memories
while reality steers them on a different course.
Time and years have shifted their wishful
perspectives. They now hope for one more golden
sunrise and a gentle breeze at their back as they
head home to the driveways in their age
restricted retirement communities.