The sport to which I owe so much has undergone profound changes, but it's still baseball. Kids still imitate their heroes on playgrounds. Fans still ruin expensive suits going after foul balls that cost five dollars. Hitting streaks still make the network news and hot dogs still taste better at the ballpark than at home.
While visiting Costa Rica, I was inspired to hear that someone had donated a playground to a local school. So when I returned to L.A., one day I just called the principal of a nearby elementary school and asked what I could do. Five years later, I've helped make over nine schools, repainting, renovating, and fixing up playgrounds.
As parents, we need to send our kids back to 'old-fashioned' outdoor summer camps, which have been on the decline as the demand for sports and academics-based camps has risen. We need to fight budget cuts to public parks programs and resist closures of public swimming pools and playgrounds.
I was never afraid of the dark and I spent my youth walking through empty playgrounds at midnight, worried mothers telling girls to be careful and 'the world is an ugly place and not everyone wants you well'. But I was not afraid and I wished for adrenaline to make my veins pulsate in that way that puts them more on the outside of my skin than inside. After the first night with you I never walked alone at night again because suddenly I had something to lose. Something to save.
The family is the corner stone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest - schools, playgrounds, and public assitance, and private concern - will never be enough.
Lyndon B. Johnson
In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.
It is contended that those who have been bred at Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and Westminster, that the public sentiment within each of those schools is high-toned and manly; that, in their playgrounds, courage is universally admired, meanness despised, manly feelings and generous conduct are encouraged: that an unwritten code of honor deals to the spoiled child of rank, and to the child of upstart wealth an even-handed justice, purges their nonsense out of both, and does all that can be done to make them gentlemen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
After visiting several of America's most fashionable playgrounds, I have reached the conclusion that men who work hard enjoy life most. The men at such places can be divided into two classes, first, busy men of affairs ... and, second, rich loafers. I was impressed by the obvious enjoyment corporation heads and other important executives were deriving from their vacation activities.... The idle rich fellows, on the other hand, although indulging in exactly the same activities, palpably were bored.
B. C. Forbes
In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. Even Grandma often says that, but she and Steppa don't have jobs, so I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well. In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thing like butter over all the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.
Mammoth is an incredible community and world-class attraction, ... Were committed to creating a vibrant living experience that matches the natural, majestic beauty of the area. 80/50 Mammoth will make the new Village at Mammoth one of the hottest year-round playgrounds in North America. For the first time, Mammoth will be a place where outdoor enthusiasts can experience the unparalleled amenities and services of a five-star resort hotel combined with privileges of owning a prestigious second home.
It's that moon again, slung so fat and low in the tropical night, calling out across a curdled sky and into the quivering ears of that dear old voice in the shadows, the Dark Passenger, nestled snug in the backseat of the Dodge K-car of Dexter's hypothetical soul. That rascal moon, that loudmouthed leering Lucifer, calling down across the empty sky to the dark hearts of the night monsters below, calling them away to their joyful playgrounds.
Poor children live in a particularly dangerous world--an urban world of broken stair railings, of busy streets serving as playgrounds, of lead paint, rats and rat poisons, or a rural world where families do not enjoy the minimal levels of public health accepted as standard for nearly a century. Whether in city or country, this is a world where cavities go unfilled and ear infections threatening permanent deafness go untreated. It is world where even a small child learns to be ashamed of the way he or she lives.
The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall - they fell unnoticed - seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the [Civil] war. I believed in it. I don't know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable - which I need not discuss today - it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it - if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy - what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.