Franklin Street was the best place to be in 1963. It was a time when folks did not hide out behind privacy fences on backyard patios because we had front porches. Who needs Facebook when you can just sit there and have your own social network as neighbors stop by to share the news on their way home. It was always my first stop when I came home from work and the last place to wind down before going to bed.
You just sit there, in a big rocker or on the swing and enjoyed the best part of the day. You could see a whole block and you knew who was at home because they were on their porch too. When you walked downtown, to stores, theaters, the library, bowling alley, restaurants or Klines Frozen Custard, you saw everyone else on their porch and you stopped to chat or at least waved. You knew who was from the neighborhood and who wasn't, who had company or who was alone. You checked on your neighbors and they checked on you.
I suppose neighborhoods have evolved beyond the porch stage since we now have central air, 150 channels and the internet to keep us occupied. On nights like tonight though, when I am sitting on my private deck, shopping on Ebay, I think about that Franklin Street porch and the summer of '63.