"There are places I remember all my life though some have changed, Some forever, not for better- some have gone and some remain."
I remember the joys of playing with friends and somehow gaining or losing a few as the summer breeze edged through the days.
This chair remembers the stories my Grandmother used to tell as we sat and rocked the hours away on a hot summer night.
Each week held a different imaginary friend when you couldn't own or sometimes find your own.
We went to the park once a week and listened to evening bands playing John Philip Sousa while my father sat inches away, drumming his fingers on a paint peeled bench.
Before the Internet, we built playhouses and weird things in trees from odd lumber and other things people did not want.
On Friday nights we all went to the Drive-In on a hot summer night in Richford, Vermont. My sister and I spied on teenagers kissing in cars and cried during Bambi and Old Yeller.
When I was 9 I began to create ghost stories and typed them up on my Grandfather's old typewriter. I made copies with carbon paper that left black fingerprints everywhere, and then he read them and corrected my spelling.
We used to go to the corner store to buy a cold Orange Crush and when we walked by the local haunted house we dared friends to go look inside the windows.
Some days we walked down railroad tracks and listened to our echos in the tunnel and felt the vibrations of a train coming down the tracks and then ran as fast as we could.
On very hot humid days our neighbour would come out with a huge enamel white bowl trimmed in red filled with cut cold oranges for us to eat.
After dinner we would drive down the country roads with the car windows wide open. Our ears would be glued to WABC on the radio as we could only listen to "Cousin Brucie" when the radio waves were stronger at night.
We played cowboys and indians and bought red caps for our guns to "shoot" our friends with. We never once thought it was politcally incorrect.
Some days we used to go to the river and search for polliwogs and minnows to put in empty jam or jelly jars. After we caught them we made holes in the lid so they could breathe; but they always ended up dying.
Some afternoons we would sit on the sidewalk eating popsicles or ice cream and then save the sticks to build houses for the small toys we got in the Crackerjack box.
The dark clouds of a summer storm used to roar in after a hot summer day and heat lightening would light up the sky for hours.
We played toss games and met friends at the small carnivals that came through town and wished we could join the carnies and tour the land.
The Shriner summer parades would always come through town and the oversized clowns scared you in their little cars.
My friends and I climbed trees and got fresh air instead of sitting inside and playing video games. Years ago my son asked me what we did before Nintendo and I remembered, but he just didn't seem to get it when I told him.
I used to hate that my birthday was in the summer and remember a picnic table with a huge cake under the old apple tree that is now gone. As Helen Hayes once said, "Childhood is a short season", but still now in my life I remember it all."
All photos by Linda Seccaspina
In memory of Andy Griffith who made me remember it all yesterday.
48 years ago yesterday I had Beatle tickets in my hand for their August 22 1964 appearance.