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Summertime Back in Time

June 26, 2012

I guess it’s officially summertime.  I guess I’m officially seeing that now.

Summertime back when any water was fun, even if you were only standing near it.

I’m seeing a lot of bare skin.   I’m seeing a lot of bad scabs.

I’m seeing a lot of games, the kind that are played with sticks.  I’m seeing a lot of food, the kind that is put on sticks.

I’m seeing a lot of bad hats.  I’m seeing a lot of bad movies.  (Well, no, I’m not seeing them.  You are.  But I’m not.)

I’m seeing that my readership has “gone fishing.”

I’m seeing that I’m checked out too.  I’m seeing that I can’t form coherent sentences unless they’re relatively repetitive.

I hate summer.  I hate hot.  Put me on an iceberg in the Arctic with a grill and a beer and I’ll play my badminton there all day.  Any day!  Tomorrow?  Please.

I think it’s time for a Quantum Leap back in time, back to when the summertime was grand and the living was easy.

Join me?

1.)  Summertime was parades.  Back when they threw candy instead of pencil erasers.  Back when no one cared when kids went into the street and got run over.  Back before junior high when you pretty much threw yourself off the nearest water tower upon being seen at a parade — especially upon being seen at a parade that included your dad driving this.

2.)  Summertime was summer fashion.  Back when moms sewed homemade rompers.  Back when terry cloth fabric meant rompers could double as beach towels.

Back when sandals with socks went unnoticed.

Back when plaid pants didn’t get you beat up.

3.)  Summertime was water.  Back before inflatable water parks were erected in backyards.  Back when your mom could bastardize a Slip and Slide out of gardening tarp.  Back when you could sit your butt down in three inches of water and be happy as a clam.

Or even just your foot.

Back when you’d drink from anything that dripped water — garden hoses, sprinklers, old pioneer pumps.   And it all tasted like heaven.  Even when it tasted like rust.

4.)  Summertime was vacations.  Back when you went to see boring things like rocks.

And more rocks.

And still more.  (And back when you wore the same Boba Fett shirt every day.)

Back before digital cameras.  Back before you noticed your vacation photos looked like crap but only after the film was already developed and paid for.

(Hi, Tony.)

5.)  Summertime was family gatherings.  Back when your family looked like part of the Manson gang.  Back when parents still let relatives who looked like part of the Manson gang spend time with their young children.

6.)  Summertime was climbing things.  Didn’t matter what.  Trees.  Houses.  Fences.

This big net thing.

This big plaster dinosaur.

Whatever it takes.  If you didn’t break a bone, you weren’t having fun.

And nearly every single moment of your summer was spent outside.

Which brings me to my final thought.  Get off your screens.  Get off my blog.  Go outside.  Like back when people used to go outside.

For chrissakes, it’s summertime.

And don’t forget your sunscreen.


84 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2012 11:41 am

    How long does it take you to find and scan these photos, Angie?
    You are so kind to share these with us. I feel more normal looking at the fabulous style that made up you and your family. We rocked similar styles right down to the terry cloth romper. I still rock the socks and sandals, as do my boys.

    Here’s to old times!

    • June 26, 2012 1:43 pm

      Not much time. Only about three days, give or take a couple of hours. Why do you ask?

      Actually, I had a lot of them scanned already.

      Wearing sandals with socks feels so amazing. It feels about as close to comfort as you can get before you get Too Close for Comfort. And then you end up like Monroe. It’s a fine line to walk, Lenore, so please be careful.

  2. June 26, 2012 11:49 am

    Oh man!! I want to go back to summer 1978…

    • June 26, 2012 1:45 pm

      That was a good summer! That was the summer I discovered ABBA. Unfortunately, it would be two years later before I would learn to skate — and you must skate to ABBA. That’s the only way you learn to appreciate them.

      • June 26, 2012 3:04 pm

        Roller skating at the Rolleramma to Abba…happy days!

      • June 28, 2012 8:48 am

        Maybe that’s why I was never a good skater…

      • June 30, 2012 8:05 pm

        ABBA is more for the professional skaters — novices should always stick to Journey.

  3. June 26, 2012 11:54 am

    That pool photo…I have one of my sibs and I all crammed into one at the same age. We drug that thing all over the neighborhood. Precious memories you bring back, Angie, as always. We would take that same pool, lift-and-place the hot metal slide of any swing set into it, followed by a slip-n-slide and water sprinkler, and VOILA!! Instant water park for the whole block. No $20 passes to enter required. We were just way more industrious because our moms told us to “get out”…and they really meant it.

    And we’d better be back for dinner at 6p, or mom will come a-lookin’ for us (if we weren’t within yelling distance of the front porch). Or there’d be hell to pay.

    • June 26, 2012 1:49 pm

      I swear that somewhere I have a photo where we’re sliding down a swingset slide into a plastic kiddie pool. You probably would’ve flashbacked yourself into a coma.

      My parents actually had a huge metal bell that sat on a wooden post in our front yard. My mom always promised to ring it to call us back home for dinner. Maybe that’s why whenever I hear a bell ring my mouth salivates? Ivan Pavlov totally ripped off my mom.

      • June 26, 2012 2:39 pm

        Some of my friends put a pool at the end of their slide. If it was good enough for us, it’s good enough for our kids! Of course, the slide was plastic!

      • June 26, 2012 2:45 pm

        You had me up until you said the slide was plastic. Because in order to fully appreciate a cold dip in the water, you must first burn off your bottom on a searing hot metal slide. Just a suggestion if your friends want to kick it up a notch.

  4. June 26, 2012 11:56 am

    I too climbed things. Trees, nets, climbing frames, furniture (when my parents’ eyes were averted)…no dinosaurs though. How disappointing.

    Love this! :) I can always rely on you Angie for pure brilliance :)

    • June 26, 2012 1:50 pm

      Oh, Jess. How I love when you bring your smiley adorable mug over to my blog. It’s like tea and crumpets every day when you are here.

  5. June 26, 2012 11:58 am

    Baby oil as tanning solution…pft. If you want to smell like a baby’s butt. We used Crisco. Hard core tan lines.

    • June 26, 2012 1:52 pm

      You all were like some kind of crazy expert tanning professionals — I had no idea it could get even better than scalding your skin off with baby oil.

      • June 26, 2012 1:54 pm

        Well, I haven’t regretted it…yet. Believe me, I cringe whenever I hear another friend got hit with melanoma. We just had no clue — and our parents had no clue either. Burn and peel, burn and peel, it was the way of summer.

      • June 26, 2012 1:59 pm

        Truly awful what we endured. I have no desire to relive my childhood in the form of a sunburn every day. I am quite content with the fact that I look like a vampire.

      • June 26, 2012 4:27 pm

        C’mon – baby oil with iodine in it was what we used. No idea why. But the summer burns…every year I’d end up lying in a dark room throwing up and shivering from sun-poisoning. Our parents were clueless and so were we.

      • June 30, 2012 6:54 pm

        Because the iodine made you look yellow? I have no idea either. I’m feeling a little peely just thinking of this, Peg.

  6. June 26, 2012 12:07 pm

    Yes, it is kinda a ghost town here, isn’t it?

    My son is a true 1970s kid, I think. Today he threw rocks in the lake for a half hour. Yesterday, he was in a heightened state of excitement when he figured out how to turn on the shower.

    • June 26, 2012 12:40 pm

      Total ghost town! I’m starting to feel like everyone got invited to the Peach Pit without me.

      • June 26, 2012 2:14 pm

        Peach Pit — you are so good, Jules! I can’t tell you how happy I feel inside when someone tosses a few throwback references into their blog comments. So happy!

      • June 28, 2012 8:49 am

        Okay, I’m also way more relieved than I’d like to admit that it isn’t just me.

      • June 30, 2012 8:02 pm

        My site stats are rubbish. If only I would’ve been the first to break the TomKat story.

    • June 26, 2012 1:56 pm

      Ghost town, yes — my site stats seem to indicate that only my parents and my cats are reading my blog at this time. And my cats are super cranky about the previous post.

      Take him on a wagon ride around the neighborhood so he can get nailed in the face with a sprinkler. I bet it’d be the thrill of his life.

      • June 26, 2012 4:29 pm

        Thank the good WP Gods, it’s not just me. My stats are so stinky I thought my blog wandered into a Twilight Zone episode.

        I’ve been checking my armpits, doing that thing where you breathe hard into your hand and smell it, wondering why all the peeps went bye-bye.

      • June 30, 2012 6:57 pm

        Nope, not just you. Only, I think my blog is the stinky one, not me. I smell like Fruit Stripe gum — and who doesn’t love that smell hanging in the atmosphere?

        I think I just saw a tumbleweed blow past me.

  7. June 26, 2012 12:20 pm

    good lord, i feel like i’m reading my childhood. awesomeness, right down to the orbital socks.

    • June 26, 2012 2:00 pm

      Awesomeness is reading the words “orbital socks.” Thanks, Alisa.

  8. June 26, 2012 12:23 pm

    It’s raining. Can I stay inside today Mom?

    • June 26, 2012 2:02 pm

      Depends. Are we talking acid rain? Are you wearing a suede suit?

  9. June 26, 2012 12:41 pm

    ha ha! You’re so right – we need to get back outside! The picture of you in the terry cloth jumper is so STINKIN’ CUTE!!

    And can we PLEASE talk about your dad’s ‘stache? That is your dad and not a Manson, I assume?

    • June 26, 2012 2:04 pm

      One of the saddest days of my life was when he shaved it off. Imagine suddenly seeing Super Mario with no mustache. You’d bawl your eyes out, right?

  10. June 26, 2012 12:42 pm

    my summer memories were leaving the day after school ended to the cottage, and dad bringing friends up to be with us every other week until Labour Day wknd,,where we came home and topped of the awesome summer with a trip to the CNE!!

    • June 26, 2012 2:06 pm

      Awww, a cottage! Nikki, why’d you have to go and make me feel all jealous of you? Why? We spent part of our summers in a pop-up camper that probably contained bedbugs and weighed about 10 pounds. We cooked our food on a lightbulb.

  11. June 26, 2012 1:07 pm

    Fabulous photos, Angie! I hate the heat of summer. Mix high temps and a pinch of humidity and my normally cheerful disposition goes straight to bitchy, but I love the sunshine, flowers and hammocks that are part of summer. I’ve learned to take the good with the bad.

    • June 26, 2012 2:09 pm

      That’s so me, Paprika. I turn Joan Crawford in a heat wave. I’m looking out my back window and our hammock is looking so scrumptious right now in our shady backyard. But I know it’s a complete sham because it’s actually 102 right now.

      • June 26, 2012 3:16 pm

        I bought a cheap mister that hooks up to my garden hose. When it is blazing hot like that, but my hammock is in the shade, I put on my bathing suit, turn on the mister and I’m cool as a cucumber. Give it a try. It might change your whole perspective on summer.

      • June 30, 2012 6:53 pm

        Ooh, sounds great!

  12. June 26, 2012 1:16 pm

    I loved summer! And way back Mommy let me do anything I wanted all summer long… as long as I was out of the house.

    • June 26, 2012 2:21 pm

      I don’t even think I saw my parents for most of the summer.

      • June 26, 2012 2:23 pm

        Togetherness is overrated.

      • June 26, 2012 2:26 pm

        Especially when togetherness is crammed inside a car. (Especially for you when it’s crammed inside a car with cigar smoke!)

      • June 26, 2012 4:43 pm

        I agree- I think I was feral during the summertime between the ages of 7 and 13. When I was 7 it was determined I was old enough to “babysit myself” so I was alone all day while the ‘rents were at work. Once I learned how to cross the highway and walk uptown to the stores, movie theatre, and library, I was a wild child. Raised by wolves, I tell ya.

      • June 30, 2012 6:59 pm

        I became a latchkey kid at age 8, so I know what you’re talking about there. I made frozen chicken strips in a Fry Daddy and ate them on the roof of the house.

      • July 1, 2012 9:53 pm

        That? Is freaking EPIC!

      • July 1, 2012 9:58 pm

        Full details here, but I don’t recommend reading it if it hits too close to home for you. http://childhoodrelived.com/2011/11/04/lord-of-the-latchkey-kids/

  13. June 26, 2012 1:16 pm

    I JUST wrote about ‘signs of summer’, too!
    http://theusualbliss.com/2012/06/24/summer-on-my-plate/
    Yours were far more nostalgic and hilarious than mine, though! Nothing like old photos. Thanks for sharing them!

  14. June 26, 2012 2:13 pm

    Hi Angie,
    I also love your photos. Did you have the Tupperware molds for homemade popsicles, or did you get Freeze Pops?

    • June 26, 2012 2:18 pm

      Get out! You had those too? I totally did! They were shaped like Jell-O pudding pops, flat and sort of rounded on top. I loved those things. Sometimes we got lazy and just poured juice in them.

      Totally did the liquid Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles too. And the aforementioned pudding pops. Bomb Pops were never in our freezer — I assumed those were only purchased by extremely wealthy parents who loved their children much more than mine did.

      • June 28, 2012 12:33 pm

        Oh, who didn’t have the Tupperware molds?? Our family of 7 kids never could afford the store-bought bomb pops. Tough love, eh? We did just fine outside.

      • June 30, 2012 8:07 pm

        I think bomb pops were purchased by the same parents who bought their kids those race car beds.

  15. June 26, 2012 3:12 pm

    Great post and so true!

    • June 26, 2012 3:35 pm

      Thanks for popping by! And why after seeing your blog name am I craving lifesavers now? It’s supposed to be subliminal, right?

  16. June 26, 2012 4:48 pm

    OMG! That picture of you on the trike? I had that EXACT SAME JUMPER! The navy blue with anchors. I was a little younger (it’s in one of my pictures from when I was 3 or 4) but I loved that jumper.

    And bubblesuits. Always wore bubblesuits in the summer. I have no idea if that’s what they were actually called or if there’s another name for them. The one piece things that had elastic around the legs and ties at the shoulders? You had to take them completely off to go pee? Unless you were one of the rich kids who had the snap crotch versions. Which thinking on it now probably wasn’t the smartest idea…

    • June 30, 2012 7:02 pm

      What a beauty that jumper is, right? Sorta makes me feel like singing On The Good Ship Lollipop.

      I think they were called rompers but I like bubblesuits better. It sounds rather spaceman-like. Yes, I remember peeing on myself because I couldn’t pull them down quickly enough to go to the bathroom. I could’ve used the snapped-crotch version.

  17. June 26, 2012 6:09 pm

    For me, summer memories = camp!! The counselors were only a couple of years older than us so really, “adult supervision” was a moo point (like a cow’s opinion – just doesn’t matter).

    • June 30, 2012 7:11 pm

      That sounds fun, that sounds just like the movie Meatballs — by any chance was Bill Murray your camp counselor?

  18. June 26, 2012 11:28 pm

    dooode, the Dynomite! guy was on the Today show this morning and I totally thought of you. The end.

  19. June 27, 2012 7:59 am

    I had the SAME terrycloth romper. But mine was blue. Did you get yours at Hills? Because Hills is where the toys are!

    • June 30, 2012 7:24 pm

      My mom actually sewed mine. She also sewed me two more — one in green and one in peach. Oh, everyday was like sunshine in 1981.

  20. June 27, 2012 11:09 am

    Summer is definitely for climbing things… You in that pink terry cloth is so darn cute. Are you and your brother at the Niobrara in the first pic?

    • June 30, 2012 7:29 pm

      Maybe? I don’t know actually — have you and the hubs made it out there?

  21. June 27, 2012 1:16 pm

    I hate summer too, which is so ironic since I was born in the summertime. Well, technically, in the Philippines, August is Rainy Season, so I was actually born during a raging storm–makes A LOT more sense because I happen to adore rainy days and gloom.

    Blog reading is a lot more appealing than being outdoors in the heat when there’s air conditioning/a fan blowing in your face. :)

    Is it winter yet?????

    • June 30, 2012 7:45 pm

      You are a girl after my own heart. I love rainy days — I don’t care what Karen Carpenter says.

  22. June 27, 2012 1:52 pm

    These looks my summers growing up too! Whatever happened to those kind of wonderful summers?

  23. June 27, 2012 10:20 pm

    The kids on my block would all start “exercise clubs” during the summer months. We’d wear leotards, sweat bands, and legwarmers and then skip rope ALL DAY. No wonder we weighed about 47 pounds until we were 15. Then we grew hips and it all went to pot…

    • June 30, 2012 7:38 pm

      That sounds so completely bratass, Dana! I would’ve been all over it if we had exercise clubs in my neighborhood — especially for the excuse to wear my leotard and legwarmers outside. Double dutch jump rope?

  24. June 28, 2012 12:31 pm

    Don’t knock the plaid. Plaid is RAD!! Wow, that was very 80s!

    Love the pics. Great evoking of summer, my friend.

    • June 30, 2012 7:18 pm

      The word RAD is soooo back, MJ. Plaid pants too. Plaid coffee cups? Eh. So over.

  25. rose permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:53 pm

    Such a nice summertime blog. Brings back many memories of my own summers. I say this as I am sacked out in the A/C reading blogs. But hey, it’s 108 today with a 110 heat index. I’m staying in :)

    • June 30, 2012 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Rose! Yeah, I’m kinda burned out on the whole outside thing right now.

  26. June 29, 2012 4:10 am

    Awww… love this post! Makes me nostalgic for rainy July days, sunburn in late August and summer-long incidents with angry bees.

    • June 30, 2012 7:14 pm

      Thank you. I say we take back summer right now! Maybe we can start by poking at a wasp nest with a stick and see where that gets us.

  27. July 20, 2012 7:51 pm

    Summertime is for getting behind on your blog reading and then catching up in huge month-at-a-time (month late and a dollar short) batches.

    I had a yellow terrycloth nightgown, super helpful for those hot summer nights (sarcasm). It had the word “sweetheart” written in big letters down the side. Weird.

    I digitized all of my family photos last year and out of the goodness of my heart I offered to do my husband’s family slides too. My father-in-law is the worst photographer ever. I would say that 75% of the slides were out of focus. There is literally no good photos of my husband’s mother. I wanted to crawl back through time and grab the camera out of his hands and and take the photos myself. So that picture with your brother (right?) cut off made me laugh out loud. We put our precious childhood memories in the hands of people who clearly could not be trusted with a camera.

    • July 22, 2012 6:56 pm

      Thanks for playing catch-up on my blog — that is above and beyond! I’m not worthy!

      Yellow terrycloth nightgown with “sweetheart” written down the side — how rad is that? The best I had in nighttime apparel was a Cabbage Patch Kid nightgown with the words “Bedtime is the Pits” (no peach pictured or any type of play on the word “pits” — real opportunity lost there).

      The most grown-ups of the ’70s and ’80s could do with a camera was push a button. Change the film? Forget about it.

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