I’m on a boat: Summertime

I’m on JoCoCruiseCrazy 2, and I’m taking an Internet vacation until I get home. So every day while I’m gone, something from my archives will post here automatically, for your entertainment. I had a lot of fun picking these different things out, and I hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time.


Originally published June 2002.

Today is Ryan and Nolan's last day of school.

I can't believe that it's here. The end of elementary school for Nolan, and the end of 7th grade for Ryan.

I recall those days when time was measured in terms of school years, but when I look back at my childhood, the only times I remember with any clarity are the summer vacations.

I remember the oppressive heat and still, smoggy air in the San Fernando Valley where I grew up.

I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I forced myself to stay awake nearly all night the day I got out of school in 5th or 6th grade, watching VHS tapes of wrestling on the top-loading VCR, just because summer had started, and I could sleep in.

I remember the progression of water-themed toys: The hose, the thing with the clown hat that spun atop the stream of water that you jumped through, the slip-n-slide, and finally the swimming pool.

The Sunland of my elementary and early middle school days only exists in those summertime memories of ice cream trucks and afternoon naps underneath the wall-unit air conditioner.

Back when the livin' was easy.


6 thoughts on “I’m on a boat: Summertime”

  1. When did you and Ann get married? It hardly seems possible you have grown children already! Of course I got a later start and have a 10 year old (at more or less the same age as you are).

  2. and water balloons!
    or even the advanced water-spraying device consisting of a length of rubber surgical tubing tied at one end and with a “nozzel” at the other made from a ball-point pen (with the pen/ink piece taken out).
    good times!

  3. If you can remember, I wonder if you were as wistful as your words sound.
    I know I am a bit. And more so because those days are gone and cannot be capture again, even by my children who cannot have those days off at all. Two working parents, my wife working at a day care (she got a college degree in early childhood development for pittance an hour – grrrr!) means when there is no school, my kids go to daycare. They will never get to experience those days at home doing whatever you want (within reason) whenever you want and staying up soooo late at night to watch grade Z 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s sci-fi movies in a humid bedroom.

  4. Ahh memories. I also spent some summers in the San Fernando Valley; we lived briefly with my maternal grandparents in what was then called Pacoima. Summers were divided between splashing through the lawn sprinkler, riding bicycles and the summer program run by Liggett Elementary. My love affair with books began in that school library which was open all summer. Thanks so much for the memory Wil!

  5. Childhood summers were the best. There was a creek behind the houses across from me. I spent many an hour playing in it, catching snakes and the occasional snapping turtle – just reach in and grab it by the tail, but keep away from the mouth!
    Two of my friends lived near a public swimming pool. When I was old enough to go about unattended, I would ride my bike about 3 miles to hang out with them, play their old Atari, and go to the pool.

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