Monday, June 9, 2014

It's a "Cruel Summer."

Memories of my childhood summers play flashbacks of the movie, The Karate Kid, along with Bananarama's song, "Cruel Summer." My oldest son (the kid with the brand-spanking-new driver's license in his pocket) loves to turn up the radio when "retro lunch hour" starts playing my songs. I humor him and sing along to Bryan Adams or Tears for Fears. After he picks himself up off the floorboard of the car and stops laughing, he heads off to football weight training or wrestling open mat.

My summers in the 80's were spent without a single planned activity and with a sense of freedom. I don't remember ever seeing a parent at the park two blocks from my house. Did I mention the mandatory "no helmet law" back then? Bike helmets hadn't been invented yet. We cruised down the big hill on a bike with two occupants on the banana seat, one on the handle bars and another one attached to the back with a rope and a skateboard. If we sustained an injury, we slapped on a band aid and hobbled along to the next event. It's a wonder we survived our road trip to Florida in my family's blue station wagon. In the very back of our Plymouth was a  rear-facing seat to the world. Seat belts had been invented, but our parents thought it cruel to restrict our movements in a moving missile.

In an earlier post I mentioned my sister and I hiking in the back woods of Illinois, along the railroad tracks and through an insane asylum just to get to the municipal swimming pool. No X-box, cell phones or internet (the Dark Ages, for sure) back then. Atari arrived in the 70's and became popular in the 80's. My uncle, four hours away, owned one. I would never trade my childhood summers for today's scheduled three months off in a million years. I still swoon when I hear the music to the movie The Karate Kid, the first movie I ever watched on a VCR.
Happy "Cruel Summer" !

How will you spend your summer? What's the craziest, most daring thing you ever did during your childhood summer vacation?

17 comments:

  1. My brother and I biked all over town when we were in grade school. My mother never worried. And we played all the dangerous games (like lawn darts) and no one got hurt.

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    1. My sister and I did too. We loved our bike adventures!

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  2. My brother and I biked all over town when we were in grade school and my mother never worried. How times have changed.

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  3. You could be describing a childhood in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s as well. Except in the 80s with the VCR there were lots of video watching for kids. Now fast forward to now and it's amazing how things have changed so quickly.

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    1. We were fortunate not to own a VCR! Ha:)

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  4. When I was in New York, summer was all about the local park, sprinklers, and ice cream truck. When I moved to Florida to a quiet area, I just remember sleeping real late and watching a lot of syndicated 70's and 80's shows and B movies.

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  5. I think the first movie I saw on a VCR was The Jazz Singer. My mom was (still is) a huge Neil Diamond fan.

    I spent my summers going to the library, loading up on 30+ books, and reading through that stack. Good times.

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    1. The memory of your first movie you watch on a VCR is priceless. Books + Library = happy kid!

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  6. I still truly believe that the music was better in the 80s. Musicians were more unique, and experimental music still had a freaking melody. You should dangle Barney or Spongebob or whatever your son liked when he was little in front of him when he starts laughing.

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    1. I love 80's music. True confessions. I never let him watch Barney. The show was way too annoying! Spongebob was the best.

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  7. Apparently we had a gaming system in the 80s that I don't even remember. My sister posted about it. I was never much of a gamer myself. "Cruel Summer" always reminds me of the Karate Kid, though! That movie was HUGE that summer.

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    1. I love so many 80's movies! I think it's time for a marathon:)

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  8. It's so true. I miss those days. Craziest thing I ever did? Erm... I was pretty tame as a kid, which is why my parents trusted me and spoiled me with lessons and classes and whatever else I asked. Except for ballet. *sigh*

    You really want to know what I'll be spending my summer doing? Moving. Twice. Ug.

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    1. Moving once in a summer would be enough for me. Twice is unthinkable!

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  9. Ok, now I have 'Cruel Summer' in my head. LOL.

    I spent my summers at sleepover camp - for two month! I LOVED it. I still have two dear friends from camp - we've known each other for over twenty years!

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    1. Me too! It's been replaying in my head since I wrote this post. Summer camp was the best part of summer!

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