Tuesday, May 25, 2010

June 1st

One week from today is June 1st. During my childhood that was a magical date.

June 1st was nearly always the beginning of summer vacation, it meant:

-- Playing tag in the grapevines in Uncle John and Aunt Mitzi’s backyard

--Mowing the lawn and weeding the garden, which I liked to do and avoiding housework (which I hated, and still do)

-- Loading up on books at the Reynolds Corner library every Wednesday afternoon

-- Singing in the choir for countless Friday night and Saturday morning weddings at Our Lady of Lourdes church. I always looked forward to Saturday “doubleheaders” (two weddings in one day) Father Ray would give us money to run over to Jerry’s Variety Store across the street to get sodas and candy in between services.

-- The smell of citronella candles in the evenings as we sat out on the side porch visiting with neighbors and friends.

-- Standing in the damp grass at all hours of the night with the New Mexico Bean and her telescope looking at planets and constellations.

-- Playing badminton in the backyard, trying to keep the volleys going as long as possible while not hitting the bats that flew overhead as the sun set back over Uncle Walt’s yard.

-- White Hut Hamburgers, Dudley’s Hot Dogs, the Jesse James Drive-In (I remember going there to see “Help” The guys in the next car got out and sat in an empty space on a blanket next to a speaker because the girls in their car were screaming and giggling very loudly over the Beatles songs and dialogue).

-- An all day trip to the Toledo Zoo (remember the polar bears and the train?) , or to the Toledo Art Museum (“Night Smells” and the open mummy case), and sometimes to the beach at Marblehead, Ohio by my Godmother (Aunt Eleanor’s) house.

-- During the day the little red, white and blue transistor radio was always tuned to : The “Big 8” – CKLW (a clear channel station based in Windsor, Ontario but the station was really all about Detroit). Pat Holiday, Ted Richards, 20-20 News with Byron MacGregor and Jo-Jo the traffic girl (it’s amazing how much I knew about Detroit traffic problems).

The other day I was checking out the music stations on my television satellite skipping between the 60’s, 70’s and 80’channels, when I realized how many songs I associate with summer: “Indian Reservation” (Paul Revere and the Raiders). “Mama Told Me Not Come” (3 Dog Night), "Paperback Writer" (The Beatles), "The Love You Save" (Jackson 5), "American Woman" (The Guess Who) and “Rock The Boat” (Hues Corporation)

Does anyone remember the song “Troglodyte”? (“She was a big woman, her name was Bertha….”)

In fact a couple of those summer songs have wound up sharing the Arizona sun with me on my Spring Training CDs “All Right Now” (Free) and “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” (Looking Glass).

In the evening you moved the dial to 760 WJR, Tigers play by play from George Kell and Ernie Harwell.

It’s easy to look back through the softened lenses of time to remember the bliss and freedom of summer. That seemed like a good idea this morning when I opened the paper and fired up the computer only to read a perplexing maze legal speculation about a part of my life that should be just as joyous and exhilarating as those summers past.

Today, I’d rather just think about June 1st and smile. – Marla Hooch

1 comment:

Lisa Winston said...

Let's go back ... waaaaay back ... back before time ...

She was a big woman ... a biiiig woman ...

One of the Butt sisters.

Nope, never heard it.

Your memories of summer in Toledo are awesome, especially the days at the museum (am sure you saw my uncle) and weekends at Marblehead (we go to Lakeside).

Miss you.