Labor Day Weekend! School’s official end to summer. When I think about it, elementary or university, the start of school really does hail the end of summer. I try as I must to extend summer as long as possible. Try as she might, Mother Nature may say otherwise. Well, I refuse to acknowledge summer’s end so quickly.
Labor Day weekend will always hold special meaning to me. Last 3 days to pack in the whole of my summer vacation memories and reflect upon the happenings that summer 1964. A couple of friends had moved away, so I think of the many good times we had. My summer was spent in the neighborhood for the most part. Our neighborhood was country almost in the city but not quite the suburbs. Daily hikes over the meadow and sort of through the woods were great adventures for us. We built forts in everyone’s back yard. Disclaimers made profusely when mother’s would inquire as to missing quilts, blankets and snacks. The community fort was our best fort ever. It was on the corner of my street and Gull Rd. An undeveloped chunk of real estate that held the best of accoutrements for establishing a fort. We all pitched in. Myself, Becky, Randy, Kelly, David and 2 sisters that were a bit older and for the life of me, I cannot remember their names. Sorry! We opened neighborhood Lemonade stands. Someone’s mom would invariably bake a few cookies to sell. Hah! Like that was going to happen. They were delicious.
We would snag a few day-trippers on their way to the park on the lake when taking our street as a short cut. Business was pretty good. All proceeds were shared and usually went directly to the soda fountain at Klein’s Drugstore. Good Times! Anyway, those cutting down our street always cranked up the radio and keep it there. BONUS for us! We were surrounded by music. No headphones. Music shared with the world. Such a simple thing, but I learned music was always better when it was shared. We were rocking and swaying to the music as a group. Sometimes totally unaware. More ways than one. Much time was spent listening to our 45’s. We carried our record collections around in a Record Case or Platter Pack just in case there would be a music emergency.
In the summer of ’64, the Beatles were occupying the charts. The British invasion was well underway. But I consider Chad and Jeremy’s “A Summer Song” to be a stand out that summer of my youth. It has those wistful, breezy, contemplative lyrics that a memorable song should have. Listen for yourself.
In 1974 I was a grown up! So no true summer off as I had a job. During the 70’s I had my first concert experience. John Denver, Kenny Rogers. I had married my sweetheart, Gary, that I met years earlier – summer at the beach of course! No ipod, no iphone or any device to play music. Just a very cool silver & black 1968 Chevell SS 427 (custom) with the windows rolled down to play the radio loud. So cool! As you might guess he is a big music fan. Such a big year in music. John Denver and his easy style of music. We needed easy for we all had experienced change in the last 10 years. Our classmates and friends, some of whom died in Vietnam and those who did return, nothing was ever the same. When I could, time was spent with my high school besty, Laurie. Seemed like everyone we knew was getting married, therefore we all spent time together in our newly formed friendships. I remember vividly plopped on the couch in Laurie’s living room, listening to 45’s and playing stacks of albums. Reminiscing of those days left behind. We seemed to do that, when we gathered. Playing oldies some new stuff. It was our generation.
Cannot recall what year it was, late 60’s perhaps, when we became acquainted with Bill Cosby. We listened to his comedy albums for hours. Laughing so hard, our sides would ache as we begged for someone to put on some music to end our misery. Forget about 8 track tapes. Nope! We being young and on a tight budget. Too prohibitive to replace all our music on an 8 Track tapes. Anyway, vinyl was just fine. When one owns vinyl records, one sort of has a relationship those records. Lots of touchy-feely moments with vinyl. I recall taking the record out of the sleeve, careful not to damage the cover. Holding up the record to inspect both sides. Had to be dust free, placing the record on the spindle, letting it drop (love that sound), waiting for the needle to catch the groove. Did it ever! Nothing quite like it. Sorry, I digress. Back to ’74. A couple choices here but I would have to choose this one.
Speeding ahead to 1984. George Orwell’s future never came to fruition. Hah! Take that George! Biggest event for me, seeing Frank Sinatra in concert. Amazing! Moving on…. The 80’s were different. So much music. We are still playing every 80’s song ever recorded. Right? The driving force behind the music was in the soundtracks of every movie that decade. Here are a few examples you may remember:
Images via IMDB
Yeah, Yeah I know AMADEUS does not have a “rockin” soundtrack. In the 1770’s Wolfgang was The Rock Genius. So let it go. Indiana Jones. Heck yeah! Could you ever forget that music? Nuff said. That summer by the pool, the kids and I were all over Phil Collins, Van Halen, the soundtrack to ‘Footloose’, Cyndi Lauper, Prince and many more. Here is a great summer song fav.
Then comes 1994. My world resembled nothing in 1994 that no one could have anticipated. The kids are out of school and I am still “recovering” from personal events. Life was a whirlwind. Back to school and began a new career. I lived in an apartment for the first time. Something I never wish to repeat. I am working so much I have no time to see anyone. The past years had been a surreal learning period. I found that friends change and not always for the better.
And, still music was always there. I had seen the Moody Blues in concert with our local orchestra and it was fantastic. So, to pick a summer song, hmm! Bryan Adams, Boyz to Men, Ace A Base, and I’m still playing Michael Bolton. Snicker all you want, but there are still a lot MB fans out there. Then, I was introduced to “New Country” by my friend Alicia. I had no idea who Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson were. Or, who they would become. I soon found out. As it turns out this little lady had a huge hit that year. I remember hearing it everywhere.
Tempus Fugit 2004. Into a new Millennium. Y2K never happened. Take that Naysayers! Our country survived 9/11. We must heed history and teach all future generations the facts about 2001. Maybe I am off a bit for time, but I do recall the radio constantly playing The Backstreet Boys and other boy bands. Not much else. No wonder we are still listening to 80s music. It was also a crappy year for Movies. Bourne Supremacy and Shrek were the only 2 I had seen. Here is my pick for a summer song.
2014 should be an interesting year. Until then, the last song of summer I wish to share at this time is one from 1964. I remember falling asleep to this song many many nights while my sisters kept playing it all night long. Hoping you had a great summer and here’s to a fantastic Fall.