Saturday, May 3, 2008

What does summer still mean to us?

When we were in school, there was something magical about first starting to feel the warm breezes of summer.

Remember those spring days when it just felt too good outside to be cooped up in a classroom? Remember all the times we asked our teachers if we could hold class outside, and how wonderful it was on those rare occasions when they said yes?

Most of all, though, remember all those countdowns toward the last day of the school year, and the marvelous feeling of waking up on a weekday morning and knowing that you didn't have to go anywhere you didn't want to go?

Summer was special then. Nearly three months of just enjoying life, or of working a little to make some extra spending money. We always felt sorry for the kids who had messed up during the year and had to go to summer school. I had that happen to me the summer after eighth grade, and I was glad it never happened again.

I remember all the great summer songs, and how summer songs were different somehow than others. I think the last one I remember came out around '73 or '74, a song called "Beach Baby." It was good, but not as good as our summer songs.

Maybe that's because summer doesn't mean what it once did. Summer isn't three months of lazy bliss anymore. It might be two or three weeks of vacation, or it might not. There's no special feeling about the beginning of summer, no melancholy feeling when a chill in the nighttime air portends the beginning of fall.

But some folks still manage to enjoy themselves, as the five pictured above did at Nags Head in 2007.

Good for them.

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