I always thought of myself as a real summer kid. Growing up in New York I was willing to sacrifice all the other months just to get to the summer season that started with Memorial Day and ended on Labor Day. That’s when I felt the most alive, and it was almost like watching life through a black and white t.v. that just transitioned to color. While my father claimed his favorite time of year was the fall, he would often say, “If you took out January, February, and March you would have perfect weather.” With a puzzled look on my face, I would reply, “You just cut out a quarter of the year like it was nothing.” Then I thought to myself, “I was willing to give up three quarters of the year just to get to my favorite 3 months.” I had to ask myself, “Which of the two of us was really nuts?”
Don’t get me wrong, we had lots of great activities and music that occurred throughout the year, but the fun we had, and the music that played throughout the summer was something very special. I bet my “championship” music trivia teammates, Greg and Toni White would agree “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, “Summer In the City” by The Lovin Spoonful, and the Beach Boys, “California Girls” never sounded better than in the summer months. I’ll even add Sly and The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summer Time” and what kid wouldn’t feel his summer was just starting when listening to Alice Cooper’s “Schools Out?” It didn’t matter the era you grew up in, the music never sounded better than it did in the summer, especially if the windows in your car were rolled down or you were driving in a convertible on your way to the beach!
When I was young the summer seemed to last a lot longer than it does now. Maybe it was our carefree attitudes where we crammed lots of activities into one day. We swam, water skied, and had endless games of Frisbee and flashlight tag, and those beach parties were second to none. Perhaps it’s me, but did this summer seem to be missing a month? Friends of mine up north are already dreading the end of summer. Stores have already put out their fall and early winter merchandise, and soon they will be experiencing “Tumbleweed Tuesday,” which is the day after Labor Day when it seems like summer came to a sudden stop and the merchants are desperately looking for those last customers seeking to stretch their summer vacation out a few more days. While my northern friends are starting to mourn the passing of summer, those of us living here feel like our summer with its fun activities is soon to get started. Think about it.
When we were under travel restrictions from Covid, many flocked to Florida in an attempt to move to a more desirable climate and lifestyle. Instead of people returning north for the summer they remained here with us. We may have social distanced, but we got creative and put together impromptu potluck dinners on our streets, and figured out how to enjoy each other’s company….from a distance of course. It was as if summer gained a few extra months. Then as life returned to normal many of our friends and neighbors resumed their trek north for the summer where the season was just kicking off, and we settled into the more quiet days of summer, which wasn’t such a bad alternative considering all our area has to offer. With boating, beaches, golf, tennis, pickleball, entertainment venues, waterfront shops, and restaurants why would anyone want to leave? Isn’t this what people are going north to enjoy and from what I hear, it was just as hot up there this summer! With even more activities planned by our local Chambers of Commerce, Country Clubs, and Charitable Organizations in the upcoming months, it seems like our summer may just be going into its second phase as there are a host of activities and events I’m looking forward to enjoying.
As for those who are returning now that summer is in their rearview mirror, I’m sure my music trivia teammates Greg and Toni could put together a playlist for you that would include “See you in September.” The great news is our summer is not over, and as a kid at heart who loves the excitement of summer, I couldn’t be happier.