Remember When-Summer Vacation

Vol: 3
July 22, 2010
Volume 3:

Remember When Summer Vacation Started?

Good day everyone. Yes, after a quick start to my RJ writing career, Ive been silent lately. Work has been crazy and the time has been limited. But I am back and look forward to continuing Remember When, and publishing articles regularly again. Before I start, I would just like to say a quick thank you to all of the RJ veterans out there. You guys are well respected on this forum, and I think everyone agrees when we say Thank You. You know, Ive been coming to this place for years, but I only recently got involved with writing and contributing, but its because I love all of the articles and content that you guys put on this site. It really is a great place for all of us to come to. We can reflect, and laugh, and share our ideas and feelings. Its definitely a lot of fun, and I wanted to extend a long deserved thank you, and a few welcome backs to those who make the Retro World go round.

With that being said, I ask you:

Remember when summer vacation started?

Ah yes, summer vacation. Those illusive two and a half months each year that we all reviled in. There were so many elements that went into psyching us up for it. I figured I would share the ones that were important to me, and of course share a few stories in the process.

TV Commercials

One thing that I remember fondly was all of the TV commercials featuring kids playing outside. I can see the popsicle, ice cream, and Ball Park (its not summer until you have your Ball Park) commercials. I remember Kingsford Charcoal ads, for those of us who grilled or attended barbeques. In the beverage category, Kool Aid is the winner. I can remember the commercial when the Kool Aid Man went surfing on a wave of red Kool Aid. It would an ocean we all hoped existed. As far as the toys were concerned, there were always ads for Super Soakers and Crocodile Mile, and they would start before the summer did. It was a constant reminder to stock up on the summer pleasantries early.

Pool Parties

Soggy birthday parties on crack. These were great! Usually, we would have birthday parties at Plaster Funhouse (you painted little statues of cartoon characters/foods/sporting goods/dinosaurs/animals etc). These were ok, but usually fell by the waist side when compared to a McDonalds, movie, or Lazer Tag party. But lets be real, none of them could hold a candle to the Pool Parties. Very similarly to the TV commercials, it was a constant reminder of the summer that was yet to come. You would always get the invitations like eight months in advance (OK, maybe it was more like a month or two ahead of time, but it felt like eight months!), and it would sit on your fridge and linger like the crappy Halloween candy that you never seemed to finished, after clearing out the good stuff of course. But like I said before, it was a reminder that summer would be on its way.

The funniest thing about these pool parties, was that it involved every kids in school, but the pools were hardly ever large enough for all of us. Nothing like 75 kids in a 15 by 15 shallow pool from hell. There was no chance that you werent getting jumped on. Thankfully, most of the moms were cool and usually supplied us with Super Soakers and water balloons. My friend Jeff had a pool party once, and his mom actually bought the newest Super Soaker and had a water balloon contest for it. Whoever could toss their balloon farthest, and land it in a bucket would win. Sadly, I didnt, but I DID get a sweet goody bag.

Field Day
This was one of my favorite days of the year. For those of you who never had them, a Field Day is a day when you go to school but you dont go to class. Instead, you head outside and play games all day for prizes. In our school, each class would play against the other classes in their grade level. Then the best participants in each grade level would go against the other grade levels. It was a blast! Our parents would come out for it and everything. It was like the Fisher Price Olympics! We would have relay races, discus/Frisbee throwing, and races around our make shift track. The best part of the day was that our principal, Mr. K, would put on a Hawaiian Shirt and bust out a huge barbeque for us. He blasted his boom box and cooked burgers and hot dogs for us. There was always a DJ with music, and we would all spend the day outside having fun. The best part was that it never rained on Field Day. I dont know how we got so lucky, but we did. I still have my medals! This usually happened during the second week of June and was a lead up to . . .

The Fun Fair

My favorite day of the school year. Hands down! Another outdoor event where my school got a bunch of junky carnival games and set them up outside. In fact, I think our custodians built the games. But whatever, it was fun, and you could play all of the games you wanted for 5 dollars. You get little prizes for playing the games, which was basically a collection of every goody bag toy from the Oriental Trading magazines. There were pony rides and food and a DJ. It was a blast. The day culminated with the raffle, which was a HUGE event for us. We would buy raffle tickets during our lunch period, and before we went to recess, we would find the prizes we wanted. Then we would put our raffle tickets in a bowl in front of said prize(s). I will never forget one year we had Tickle Me Elmo. The bowl had to be emptied about 5 times, literally. The Fun Fair and Field Day were basically a last hoorah for us before our final tests began. Then it came . . .


OK, so I lied, this was my favorite day of the year. Honestly though, there was no reason for us to be there. In my school, the last day was always a half day, and the day was spent having class parties with food and movies. Despite the fact that we were having fun, you still couldnt wait to get out of there. I think every clock in America runs in reverse on the last day of school. That day cannot move slow enough. Then the bell goes off and everyone starts to cheer! We all run out of the building as fast as possible, hop on our bikes, and go straight to the beach or pool. Up until my last day in college, summer vacation was always something I got giddy about. It never really got old. I hated school, although I was a good student. I always looked forward to staying up late and sleeping in, going in the pool, playing outside, going Upstate for the weekend (Upstate New York to be exact). The last day of school kick started all of this.

Man, what a build up. This one month span of time seemed like half a year didnt it? Summers were always fun for me. The camping, the barbeques, the Yankee games (yes, I am from New York, and I know they are hated), the pool parties, the carnivals and fireworks. All of it was a blast. There wasnt a glimmer of school in site. The only commitment close to being school was swimming lessons, which was a dreadful experience. While it helped in the long run, the instructor were all horny 20 somethings who couldnt wait to get out of there. Lets be real, the last they wanted to do was chase a bunch of hot, cranky kids around the pool. They were never nice to us, ever. But hey, that was ok, because you came home to Stick Stickly, and he made it all better.

Well thats all from me today. Seeing as the summer just started, I figured this was an appropriate article. So I ask you, Remember When Summer Vacation Began? Do you remember your Fun Fairs or Field Days? What stories do you have? How were your pool parties? As always, I look forward to reading about your stories/feeling in the comments section.

Later Retro Junkies!

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