it’s finally all about SUMMER
and flyin’ kites or sailin’on bikes
the longest sissy-bar types
peddle like crazy to coast forever
‘cause it’s really wicked weather
in the blistering heat of mid-day.
We can do anything we want to, mister,
ain’t nobody to say not to
just play all day long if we want to...
we can pant like dogs in the shade
and plan espionage games
and pick killing teams, A and B.
Then mama gives a holler
to take us a dollar to Bert’s Market
on the corner
and buy an ice-cold orange Nehi
or a drumstick cone,
a pocket-full of 2 cent bubble gum
and a Captain America for my brother.
The black asphalt is tacky and hot
it’s gonna be at least a six minute walk -
that’s “boss”, man!
You better hope the lights are all green.
You gotta take a whole lotta heat
to run across the street
in Summer bare-feet.
* One of the first summer rituals after the final school bell was the abandonment of shoes and socks, cold-turkey. Our pink, tender “sissy” feet must be brutalized immediately to withstand our many anticipated outdoor exploits. Tortuous puncture weeds, slivers, fox-tails, rocks and the occasional shard of glass would be repelled by our tough, treasured “summer feet” once we got them conditioned properly. Plucking out a crippling, 3-pronged puncture weed sticker with a shrug or effortlessly scaling a 6 foot chain-link fence was only possible with truly seasoned feet and toes.
Finally, the ultimate test of nerves and crusty, blackened soles were the formidable stretches of sizzling asphalt between us and ice-cold soda pop at tiny little 3 parking space Bert’s Market. Popping the metal lids off on the bottle-opener posted on the wall outside the front door was a kid version of the old time barbershop where you could say “hey”and compare Bazooka Bubble Gum comics with guys from somewhere other than our street.
We were outside all day long. We could have been miles away by 10 AM and mama never would have been the wiser. Thankfully for her sake, kids are rather territorial, so we rarely ventured too far beyond
The whole world, it seemed, and everything we could ever want or need was right in our own back yards, the resourceful vacant lot on the corner, or good ol’ Bert’s with the green ‘Time for a Refreshing 7-Up’ sign on the wooden framed screen door. Getting there on hand-me-down bikes or leather-tough bare feet under-scored our giddy Summer freedom.
~ From 'Station Wagon Wars' ~ growing up in the 60's by cTanner