The short-cut.

by James K. Sayre

For some seven years, I walked from our house, which was located just over the hilltop crest on the second block of Hazel Drive, to school three plus blocks away. The Washington Elementary School was on Washington Road, on the southern edge of the downtown of Mount Lebanon, while the Mellon Junior High School was built next to it and actually was a little closer to home. There were several different streets you could walk on, and thus vary your route, depending on your mood, and what you wanted to see on the way. There was a "shorf-cut" which was actually two alleys, which crossed and provided a different route. There are many ways to go from one corner of a rectangular grid to an opposite corner, all being exactly the same total length.

It was not any shorter, but it always sounded cooler to call it "the short-cut." In early autumn, there were bunches of ripe purple Concord grapes growing on the back of one fence that faced on the alley. Delicious. If you walked all the way down Hazel Drive to Washington Road, on a vacant lot on the corner, there were some great old horsechestnut trees that produced those magically shiny and beautiful red-brown chestnuts each fall. Unfortunately, they always faded to a dull brown color in a few days. Ephemeral beauty, but every fall we always had high hopes of harvesting real beauties.




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