I have found country richer, deeper. A blend of storytelling and a salve to my urban-fried nerves.
As little boys trotted around the bases, basking in the glory, it was clear that baseball in Ford Heights has made a comeback.
I believe in God. The God I see in the serenity of a new golden sun, rising above a rippling blue lake as a cool, late-summer wind blows.
There is no recipe for getting it back. No Fountain of Youth. No pause button for life, which increasingly seems stuck in fast-forward.
The tally of shootings and homicides this summer fails to convey the human loss and incalculable harm to the psyche and soul of a people.
FOUNTAIN: When boys slap-boxed. Made slingshots. Licked icy cups. And girls jumped rope. Hopscotched. Kissed lollipops. And nobody got shot.
FOUNTAIN: Was it the loss of hope, faith and purpose that contributed to a sense of disillusionment?
As sure as my American flag flutters in the summer wind, I am cognizant of this truth. Always painfully aware of the skin I’m in.
FOUNTAIN: Among my heritage mothers: Ida B. Wells whose scholarship and advocacy — by speech and by pen — helped lift America’s cruel lynching hand.
JOHN FOUNTAIN: I could never abandon my children. It cuts against every fiber and fabric of fatherhood.