We are entering the deep summer part, a time of year when many of the activities organized in the early summer come to an end.
Kids who haven’t had their whole summer on a spreadsheet are probably past the “bored” part of summer and are either deeply involved in spending time with other kids or on the verge of going wild. .
My wife and I are watching the current season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things”, the horror/fantasy show set in a small town in rural Indiana in the 1980s. teenage friends who spend a lot of time together facing interdimensional challenges.
As I watch this show where friends spend so much time together that their parents don’t care where they are, I feel nostalgia for my own childhood in the late 1960s and early 1970s I didn’t have to fight interdimensional demons, but I had a core of friends who would definitely help me out if they showed up.
Summer was the time to spend all kinds of time with neighborhood friends. You have to remember, this was before cable TV (hell before widespread color TV), cell phones, personal computers, and home video games (unless you were a millionaire).
We were taking a tangent, whether it was playing the card game Spades or swimming and diving in the municipal pool, and literally sinking it into the ground. There was one summer when we played pickup baseball games on what seemed like almost every day. There was another summer when Tang flavored with grapes came out. We drank so many pitchers filled with the drink that we later learned that the food coloring had a way through the body relatively unscathed.
Sometimes we would come up with some pretty grand ideas, like building a raft out of empty oil drums to go down the little stream that ran through my hometown. This particular plan escalated until we realized we would need to weld the raft together and haul the several hundred pound contraption half a mile to a creek so shallow that you could cross it without getting your knees wet.
Needless to say, this particular plan did not materialize.
I remember spending the night with a friend during the summer. We left the house at 2 a.m. to see what was going on in town. Having never been outside this early in the morning, we weren’t sure what we might see. That was the charm of adventure. Would we see a murder? Car accident? Drunks?
We went downtown and saw absolutely nothing but a deserted downtown.
No crime, no drunks, just closed shops and empty streets. After doing a second round of the four blocks downtown (just to be sure), we bought a can of pop and headed home.
This was our great adventure on a hot summer evening.
Childhood, like summer, passes far too quickly. I’m sure you all have memories or stories like these. It’s often fun to share them with your children, for no other reason than to let them know that you, too, were a child.
Enjoy the warm weather, but take it easy with this Grape Tang. Sure, it’s good now, but believe me, you won’t like it later.
As always, I await your comments. You can reach me by email at [email protected], phone 715-268-8101 or write to me at PO Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.
Thanks for reading. I will stay in touch. Do not hesitate to do the same.