Skoolz out

I remember waking up the first day of summer vacation, and such a peaceful comforting feeling just flooded into the room as I laid lazily in bed. I knew my Dad would be taking my brother and I down to the basement to sit us on the stool as he gave us our “butch” haircuts to last the whole summer. Dad wasn’t much of a barber. He just started at the back and in one swoop moved toward the brow. We called them “butch”, but honestly butch wax would have been so totally useless. We looked more like cue balls than kids with crew cuts.
We looked forward to swimming lessons at the lake. I never did pass back float. I was a very skinny kid, and anyone can tell you bone don’t float.
The family vacation was also a summer tradition. Every couple of years Dad would load us up in the station wagon and we would start off cross country. Mom sewed us backpacks. Each of us kids had our own unique color and design. It held our daily duds, our oral hygiene things, and bar soap and a wash cloth. Dad would put us in the car at 5 A.M. and drive for three hours, then he would pump up the Coleman white gas stove and make eggs, or french toast. Then he would drive til lunch and after lunch he drove til he found a public swimming pool. We swam like water dogs. Then before the Sun went into twilight he would find a camp ground. Once when we were going to Ohio we stopped at a camp ground in Montana or Wyoming where there was some rocky hills. We three kids stretched our mountaineering skills until we heard Dad call us down in a rather urgent tone. Guess he heard from the camp ground host that the rattlers liked to come out about this time to sun themselves. Seems like they could have posted that somewhere, but those were the days before someone sued McDonald’s because they there was no warning label on the hot coffee. Actually it was in the days before McDonald’s.
We made it to Ohio to see all of my Dad’s cousins, aunts, and uncles. That was the summer I discovered lighting bugs. What an awesome wonder that was, and still is.
I’m pretty sure that was the summer I attempted to hang my brother from my Great Aunt’s 100 year old cherry tree. Anyway the big ole branch broke, but since everyone was glad that John survived I didn’t get a switch to the backside. One of the very rare times I didn’t get what was coming to me. I wasn’t fond of getting a licking, but I especially hated getting one for something I didn’t do. I was the natural whipping boy for all occasions – reputation can be a painful thing.


About tnman

I was born, then I was born again.
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