It was a place where the old came to die....Sunnyvale Rest was just the waiting room for the funeral parlor!!!
Charley watched the children playing outside in the soft summer air....running across the freshly mowed lawn....laughing and yelling as they played a game of Kick the Can!!!
He turned to his oldest friend Ben and pointed to them....
"Look at them Ben....do you remember when we ran and laughed like that?"
"Why don't they play at the school....I was trying to take a nap!!!"
"Ben....don't you remember.....when we were young....it was like magic....we really did have magic.....the world had magic....you just had to believe!!!!"
"Ha....what magic is there.....we're old and broken down....and we'll be gone soon....where's the magic in that Charley?"
"But maybe it doesn't have to be that way Ben....maybe we could capture it again....maybe the fountain of youth isn't a place....maybe it's the magic we felt then...."
"Go lie down Charley, you're talking crazy talk!"
"Maybe Ben....maybe not...."
Late that very night most of the residents managed to meet out by the large tree on the front lawn and Charley told them that he thought that this was the night....that the magic was here.....he could feel it....all they had to do was....
"Join me....I can't play Kick the Can by myself...."
All the men except Ben moved to join him and so did a couple of the women....but two of the women stayed with Ben
"Oh no Charley.....even when I was young I never played Kick the Can....it was far too rough for me.....does it have to be that game?" said one.
"Yes Charley. we used to skip rope when the boys played those rough games..."
"Yes!!! Then skip rope!!! Feel the magic of youth....forget everything else....become young again!!!"
The men scattered as best they could as Charley counted to 100 by 5's...
The ladies took an old red handled jump rope and began to slowly twirl it and step over it as Ben looked on scowling!!!
"You ladies are going to break a hip, I'm going to go get Mr.Cox....he'll put an end to all this nonsense!!!"
"Oh no Ben....why don't you join us for a couple of jumps....I believe I'm feeling better already...."
"Yes come on Ben....just a couple....please..." and her smile made her look young again!
"Well OK....just so I can catch you before you fall and break your neck!"
And the three of them jumped together....slowly at first....then faster as those roughhousing boys ran nearby....and they laughed and giggled as all young girls do on soft summer nights like this...
*** I borrowed liberally from Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode of the same name for this one....if you're not familiar with it, it was Season 3 Episode 21 first aired on February 9, 1962