There were five of us. We thought of ourselves as a “gang,” and gave ourselves all kinds of names. For a time we were the True Mints, because mints are cooler than cool. Then someone came up with the bright idea for us to wear those heavy chain dog collars as bracelets and call ourselves the Chain Gang. And for a few days—I don’t remember why—we were the Spoons.
It was just one summer. A summer of freedom and joy. We were old enough to get on our bikes and disappear for the afternoon (this was back in the 70’s before kids showed up on milk cartons), but not old enough for summer jobs. My bike was stolen toward the end of that summer, and by the next my family had moved to a new, less bike-friendly town. But it’s still the summer I remember the best.