Some nails, a little wood and a Crayon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Erin Hall likes purple.

Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Erin Hall likes purple.

Email newsletter signup

Katrina Dawn likes pink the best.

"Not pink there’ll be boys in here, too, and they won’t like it," Erin says. "I want purple."

What about red or green or yellow? They would be good, too, says Devin Kreider, chiming in on the debate.

She smiles.

"We’re fighting over what color to paint it."

Debate quickly makes way for Pokemon figures as the three plus a couple more sit playing inside their North Seventh Street clubhouse Tuesday.

Watching from her nearby porch, Traci Kreider tells how the wood and nail construction came together in her yard.

"It started out with just a few of the kids but now it’s everybody."

About nine neighborhood children started building last week. Small hands clutched bulky hammers as they framed up the box and nailed the roof into place.

"Every day or so, there are eight or nine kids carrying boards," Mrs. Kreider says, chuckling. "They have a wonderful imagination."

There’s a jingle bell dangling over one side that acts as a doorbell. The little builders scribbled on the back wall, naming themselves and favorite Pokemon characters.

"Um, we did it so we might have a place to like trade baseball cards and Pokemon cards and like have picnics and stuff inside it," Devin says. "I wanted it to be in a tree but we don’t have a tree tall enough."

Little Zachary Kreider, without looking up from his bug box toy, already has remodeling plans.

"Dad’s going to get wood and paint," he says.

"We’re going to make it into a rectangle," Devin says quickly. "It’s too small for all of us."

Mrs. Kreider shakes her head, talking about the children’s excitement in doing it all by themselves.

"I’m just afraid of how big they want to get it," she says, laughing.

It doesn’t matter, though. The simple wooden clubhouse has attracted neighborhood attention to the Kreider yard – after only a year of the family living there.

And the clubhouse, unpainted and unnamed, has given the young builders somewhere to spend their summer vacation, which is the most important thing, Mrs. Kreider says.

"I’m kind of glad the kids are doing it," she says. "You don’t see kids getting together too much anymore, especially all of different ages."

Still, to the children, it’s a place of their own – a place to imagine and dream and talk and have fun.