I'm taking part in a meme started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. Using
prompts from "The Book of Me, Written By You" I'm leaving my memories
of my life for present and future relatives. This week's prompt is:
Favourite Season (s)
I live in New England. Weather can change in a few minutes, and sometimes we
feel like we are having two or three seasons in one day. As I've grown older I've started
paying more attention to the weather and appreciate the part it plays in my life. But
if I have to pick a favorite season it would have to be Summer and the memories
attached to it.
I don't have many from my early childhood; my Summer memories start about the
time I was 8 years old, after we'd moved from Malden to Dorchester: playing wiffleball
in the alley between two triple decker apartment buildings or "Three Flies Out" bouncing
a pinkie ball off the cement steps of one of those buildings. (Cement gave you a better
bounce than wood steps.) Other times we'd flip baseball cards, or if it was raining I'd
play the "All Star Baseball" box game with Barry Solomon. We'd walk to the store and
buy baseball cards, comic books, and penny candy. Summer evenings we'd wait for
Westy the Ice Cream Man to come around. He'd have the kids guess the "magic number"
and if you were right, you won a free ice cream. I liked the "drumstick" cones.
And when all else failed, there were three branches of the Boston Public Library for me
to visit and take out books, and I used all three. I had a paper route and I used my
newspaper bag when I'd go so I could carry some of the books in it while I started
reading one of the books while I walked. I'd visit the three libraries once a week and
check out thee to six books from each, then have them read and returned in a week so
I could check out more.
Summer also meant visits to our cousin's cottage at Houghs Neck and the occasional
picnic at some state park whose name I can't recall. When the nights were really hot
our parents would take us down to park along the seawall at Wollaston Beach where'd
we sleep in the car until dad drove us home after midnight. And there were the trips
"up home" to Maine and New Hampshire to vist Dad's family.
We left Boston for Abington, a town to the south of the city, before I entered my
sophomore year in high school. Wiffle ball was now played in Paul Conant's backyard
instead of in the street. There was only one small library back then and I spent afternoons
mowing the small front lawn and large backyard. We still didn't have air conditioning but
now the beach we visited at night was in Marshfield or Plymouth.
When I was in college I spent three of my summers as a camp counselor in Brewster down
on Cape Cod. I wasn't a dorm student at school, so Camp Mitton was where I did the things I wouldn't dare do at home: it was where I first drank enough beer to pass out, and where I tried smoking pot. I disappointed my fellow counselors because pot didn't really seem to have much effect on me. I twas the late 1960's-early 1970's and whenever I hear some of the songs from that era I remember those camp days.
As I grew older I did what everyone else does:I got a job and Summers were just like any
other time of the year:I worked and if I was lucky I got a vacation, depending on where I
was working and how long I was working there. Summer as an adult does not hold any
of the sort of memories I have from my younger years.
Now I'm a "senior citizen" and retired, so I'm able to enjoy the warm weather and longer
hours of sunshine again.
Who knows? Maybe now I'll make some more Summer memories,