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?