It was only three blocks from my house on Asbury Avenue to Dewey Elementary School. To this day if I close my eyes, I can remember most of the houses along the way. My memories of this route are invariably set in the fall where a carpet of leaves crunch beneath my feet. It was a wonder I was ever on time for school on a crisp, bright, October day because picking up leaves was an endless temptation. I can remembering gathering red, yellow or bronze leaves like a bouquet into my small hand, only to discard a leaf I’d already selected for yet a prettier one. Part of my memories encompass the canopy of Elm trees that formed a tunnel to walk beneath that was an exquisite umbrella over a young child growing up in Evanston, IL. What a shock it was to return home many years later after the Dutch Elm Disease had ravished this covering leaving beautiful architectural homes marooned like ships washed up on shore. Fortunately, trees were replanted and over time have grown, but my recollection of those childhood autumn days, traipsing through fallen leaves, have never been touched by a disease of any kind.
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