Cllay Moyle and Caleb Moyle for column



Queen Anne





By Clay Moyle


Your column on the small driveway and the big ice cream cone (see reminds me of an asphalt-covered fenced ball field that was located a block away from the home we lived in on the lower western side of Queen Anne Hill above Interbay when I was a boy.

When I was about 9 or 10 I would round up all the neighborhood kids on a daily basis and we’d head down to the ball field across the street from a Catholic church/school and we’d play baseball for hours.

When you’re that age the summer seemed like it lasted forever. Of course, now they seem like they last a couple weeks.

Anyway, like your driveway, that ball field looked pretty large to me back then. It was surrounded by a chain link fence and like Fenway Park that fence was about twice as high in left field so it seemed like a pretty good accomplishment whenever we knocked a tennis ball over it for a home run.

I remember how proud I was to blast 49 home runs (yes we kept track) over the fence that summer and that I’d almost doubled the total of my 13-year-old female neighbor.

There was a home lining the left side of that field that was owned by a crotchety old woman who apparently didn’t appreciate the noise we made playing ball next door because anytime we hit a foul ball into her yard she’d come out and confiscate the ball. On a number of occasions we had to quit and go home because we ran out of tennis balls.

I can’t tell you how many times since that I’ve driven by that same ball field and shook my head at how tiny it appears.

But, if I could select any period of time in my life to live over it would be that carefree summer of playing ball and running all over Queen Anne Hill with my siblings and neighborhood buddies.

Times were so different then. My mother not only had the five us to care for that summer, but had seven other kids that she watched for two other families while their parent(s) worked.

My father worked a swing shift and I can’t imagine how he got any sleep, except for the fact that kids were allowed a lot of leeway to run all over the place in those days. We’d just hop on our bikes and be anywhere from 3-5 miles away exploring other parts of the city and our mother wouldn’t have a clue where we were.

It still amazes me to think that when I began kindergarten as a five-year-old my folks took me to the school and showed me the way I was to walk the one and one-half mile trip home from there on out. Of course, I deviated from that course and traversed who knows how many different paths home.


The grade school I attended (North Queen Anne) bordered a football field/track that Seattle Pacific University used and we not only were allowed to go and play there during recess, but we ran all over the heavily wooded surrounded hillsides unmonitored.

Of course, if that school was still in use today the kids would never be allowed to leave the school grounds.

It’s a different time now. I wouldn’t let my own kids walk a block or two unsupervised as young children these days.