Redartz: Hello, everyone! As summer is arriving ( here in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), our thoughts may return to some of those warmly remembered summers of years past. As that mellow haze of nostalgia enfolds us, please indulge me as I take us back...back...to:
My favorite summer ; 1975. I had just finished 8th. grade, and high school awaited in the fall (which was a source of great anticipation). The next summer I would be working, but at the time, I still enjoyed that youthful freedom. And I made the most of that freedom, bicycling all over town, back and forth to my best friend's (and fellow comic book fan) house. Pedaling over to Gene's Root Beer stand (best root beer in Indiana, imho). And, of course, once a week riding to the local newsdealer to check out the new comics.
Speaking of which, some of the greats that summer included Steve Gerber's Defenders meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy. Giant Size X-Men was still on the stands, introducing the new team. Howard the Duck had a back up story in Giant-Size Man-Thing (and at the time I didn't catch the humor in that title...). Indeed, those Giant-Size books were a real treat, and sadly they would shortly fade into four-color history (to be replaced the following year by the returning Annuals, however). Loved those, and of course the Treasury Editions; which probably made for an amusing sight- this scrawny teen,riding the public bus back from downtown with a huge Spiderman book filling my lap (yes, in those days we rode the bus, and without parental accompaniment).
That summer often found me spending an afternoon reading, either comics or paperbacks (perhaps Ray Bradbury, or Harlan Ellison). Listening to Joni Mitchell's "Hissing of Summer Lawns" in the background, or maybe Wings' "Venus and Mars" ( which featured , of course, "Magneto and Titanium Man"- I really wore out the grooves on that cut).
Other highlights of that summer: going through my first crush (on a girl down the street, who would come down and play "Hide and Seek" in our neighborhood some evenings). Helping my buddy's Mom run her frequent garage sales all summer. Mowing some neighborhood lawns to get some money, some of which went to my first comic convention that July. And as I've mentioned before, at that con, my friend and I spent the weekend indulging our fandom in freewheeling fashion, just the two of us, unleashed upon Indianapolis Comicdom!
Whew; please forgive me; I'm getting all sentimental here...
I suppose, to sum it all up: the summer of '75 represented that last rush of childhood, the lack of responsibility, and the great luxury of time to simply enjoy being 15. Looking back, I realize how very fortunate I was. So how about you; was there a special summer for you? What touchstones bring that time back to you? Tell us about your 'certain summer'...
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