I love summer. It has been, is now and always will be my favorite season. One reason I moved to the south is to extend my favorite season by a few months. Growing up, I have many happy memories of the summer season. If you grew up during the 70s, you might share some of these memories:
1. Kidney Shaped Gunite Pools with Diving Boards
Growing up, my family had a pool. I remember when it was installed. It was a kidney shaped gunite pool with a concrete patio. A diving board and seat were in the deep end, along with an aluminum ladder and wide steps in the shallow end. With no air conditioning in the house, I spent most of the hot suburban Philadelphia summers in the pool with my friends and brothers. I spent so much time in the pool that my fingertips and toes were usually bleeding. Going swimming after dark with the pool light illuminating the water and turning it into an other worldly green-blue, going to bed with wet hair with a fan in the window was the way we dealt with the heat.
2. Kool- Aid
We drank kool aid by the pitcher full. You determined whether a mom was nice or not based on who let the kids make Kool aid in the kitchen. It was messy business and invariably left a trail of brightly colored powder all over the formica counter. We all ordered away for the smiley faced plastic pitcher to make the drink in.
Back in the 70s, suntan lotion was to help you get a deeper tan faster. We didn't worry about skin cancer. Mostly we skipped suntan lotion and getting a burn in early June was part of the deal of summer.
But if we did get burned badly, we either applied Noxema cream on our hot painful skin or we sprayed Solarcaine. Read the ad- this says its for minor skin irritation. That looks like a third degree burn! Don't you wince just looking at her?
If you grew up in the 70s you probably remember taking your shoes off as soon as school was out for the summer and not putting them back on again until school started in the fall (except for sandals if you were going somewhere like church or out to dinner) at which point your feet had to get used to wearing shoes again. We had to wash them before getting into bed at night.
5. Drive- In Movies
Going to the drive in movies with my family was a summer ritual. I think if we got there early enough, we could play on the little playground in front of the screen in our pjs with the other kids. We brought pillows and blankets and fell asleep in the "way back" of the woody wagon before the movie was over. No, our parents didn't wake us up to put us back into the seats with seatbelt strapped on. They drove home with us sleeping in the "way back."
6. Dairy Queen
Going to the dairy queen was a big deal. We would pile into the station wagon (without wearing seatbelt), the windows rolled down (yes, really rolled down!) debating whether or not to get the Mister Misty or an ice cream cone the whole way there. A Mister Misty Float was usually a good compromise.
7. Bikes with Banana Seats and Long Handle Bars
Back in the day, this was how we got around. Sometimes we attached playing cards to the wheel spokes to make a cool sound as we rode. Our moms didn't drive us anywhere. We played with whomever we could get to by bike. We didn't make playdates. We just went over and knocked on the door and asked the parent if our friends were allowed to come out and play. We often left our bikes at each others houses because we would stay until it was too dark to ride home.
8. Fireflies in Jars
With absolutely nothing to watch on tv, no internet, no netflix, we did things like catch fireflies at night. For some reason, there were always plenty of glass jars around the house to use as firefly hotels. We'd punch holes in the top to allow air inside and put the jars on our bedside tables to use as night lights. The poor fireflies never made it until morning when we promised to set them free.
Ahhh, those were the days! Summers seemed to go on forever.