For years that chestnut tree from my youth withstood the test of time. It weathered many a storm, a hurricane or two, and many, many hits from neighborhood kids.
I drove through the neighborhood one day recently and noticed how drastically everything has changed. The grammar school I attended is replaced by a housing project. The variety store next to my house is gone. In its place is a thrift shop.
Still standing and shedding its branches is the old chestnut tree. But there was no one beneath it.
The good old days were the days when all this country needed to activate its youth was a good chestnut. And a good game of conkers.
Writer and photographer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.