With a new school year starting, I was thinking about the summer vacations I had as a child. In the mid 80’s to early 90’s there were many great things happening. I have fond memories of my summer vacations when I was in elementary school. Great things happened during the summer and these are some great memories from the mid 80’s to early 90’s.

The cars:

I noticed a lot of sports cars during my summer vacation. They were all nicely polished and most had the top down or T-tops removed. I mostly remember Camaros and Mustangs. They would blaze down the street with loud exhaust and Van Halen or Def Leppard blasting from the radio. They always looked great and for some reason they always had fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror.

Ice Cream Truck:

The Ice Cream/Frozen Lemonade truck is a staple of summer vacations. My friends and I could hear the bell from a mile away. Many times while we were playing we would always stop and yell IS THAT THE LEMONADE GUY?? We were always listening for the bell no matter what we were doing. Lemon and cherry were always available but sometimes he would have blueberry or bubblegum. It only cost us twenty five cents for a cup.


Nintendo was also a major part of summer. We would rent games, have tournaments and just spend hours in front of the TV trying to defeat Mike Tyson. I remember the time Mario Bros. 3 came out. The whole town was buzzing because on Thursdays the store would receive the Nintendo shipment. I remember the day I got Mario 3, that was the most excited I had ever been in my life. I played many games during the summer and I had a lot of fun. I even beat Zelda the summer before I started fifth grade! I even remember Nintendo cereal.


We did a lot of fishing during vacation. We would go down to the river and talk about all kinds of stuff. We mostly talked about the WWF and the many urban legends that were mentioned in school. Did you know that if you take apart your NES console there is a spot to plug in Sega games and the kid in the cereal commercial died from drinking coke and pop rocks? Sometimes we caught a fish but I think the fish were too busy listening to our conversations.

Swimming pools and baseball:

We would always go over my friend’s house that had the above ground swimming pool. Someone else on our street had an in ground pool but it wasn’t the same. The above ground pool was the best. We were all on the same baseball team and we had a lot of fun at night playing games. During the games we would mostly talk about what we were going to do the next morning. Fishing, watch WWF tapes or go swimming? Hard decisions at a young age!

LJN wrestling figures:

We had all kinds of matches with those pieces of rubber. We would plan matches and tournaments and have hours of fun. The humidity seemed to knock the paint off the figures faster. Vince, Jesse and Bruno were the announcers, SD Jones was the referee and the main event was always the best. Hulk Hogan against Ric Flair. It wasn’t really Ric it was Greg Valentine but no one seemed to notice.

Shopping for sneakers and a lunch box:

Shopping for these things were great but it also meant you were closer to a new school year. What pair of high tops looked the best? I always wanted the kind that Larry Bird had, good old Converse high tops. What type of lunch box should I get? I had a Hulk Hogan lunch box last year; I think this year I will get the Super Mario Bros. lunch box.

An unofficial end to summer vacation:

Two things were a reminder that school is just around the corner. Summer Slam and the Jerry Lewis telethon. Summer Slam 88 was the first of its kind. A pay per view in August? The Mega Powers against the Mega Bucks. What a good way to bring an end to a great summer. The telethon meant that it was Labor Day and school is now hours and not days away. During my last minute school shopping the firemen would always be collecting money at the store or in the street. We always gave a few dollars. That tradition continues to this day.

Looking back there were other things that were great during the summer, going to Dairy Queen, Garbage Pail Kids and birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese. I always look back on those days and have great memories. It was a simpler time but it was always full of fun.