Dancing in the Dark

The autumn exam season was over, and there were only withdrawals in my bank account. The situation was unbearable. While partying with Italian students, I had gotten to know Giancarlo, a true Italian, who did […]

On the Buses!

The superior mode of transportation in the 60s and 70s was the bicycle. With a bicycle, you could quickly and reliably get anywhere. Tapiola, the garden city, was not a maze-like stone city like Helsinki; […]

Tar, Sweat and Tears

– Mom! I can’t tighten these. Can you press here, so I can tie the knot? The new Pro Champ Kobobol ice hockey skates are black leather with brown reinforcements. On the bottom of the […]

Backyard Hockey and Ball Sports

Tapiola was teeming with kids of the junior league age. The soccer league between residential areas had started even before we moved to Tapiola in the summer of 1960. I played soccer too, but love […]

The Wizard of the Silver Ball

”Ever since I was a young boyI’ve played the silver ball.” In the 1960s, many a child was enthralled for good when a Fortuna game emerged from the large package plucked from beneath the Christmas […]

The youth center called Spittoon

The reason why the youth center of the Tapiola parish, officially named Olotila, started being called Räkälä – in English, it might have been Spittoon – is unclear. The name, however, perfectly suited the large […]

The Age of Aquarius

Räkälä, as the church’s youth club was called, had burnt to the ground and Heikintori’s disco didn’t even have a B-license. Teenagers on the verge of adulthood could smoke cigarettes publicly – if they dared. […]

Thieves Like Us

Theft is a regrettable occurrence. Both stealing and being stolen from – most of us have experiences of both. Usually, it’s over some trivial thing, not a bank heist or a train robbery. One can […]

Burrows, Shelters and Dugouts

I’m not sure about girls, but at least for boys, there’s a certain age phase when an irresistible urge develops to squeeze into all possible holes, cracks, and crevices. Possibly this instinct, combined with a […]