A Summer Place
In a distant time far removed from the harsh realities of today for me there was that summer place. A place where we all felt safe and warm especially on those cool summer nights. This is the period in my life where the youthful adolescence morphed into a new awakening. No longer holding on to the childish adventures of youth. Now, the realization of where boy meets girl took on a whole different meaning.
That summer place, the shores of Lake Geneva, where the summers of my teenage years embodied what I was latter to become. Endless summer days were filled with a glorious mix of puppy love romances, baseball, swimming, and water skiing. There was this one particular summer though where that summer place shielded us all from the world shaping events that literally were to us a world away. We didn't even realize what was happening during that Freedom Summer. This Freedom Summer symbolized the racial turmoil that was dividing a nation. Indifference and intolerance had manifested into a movement to eradicate the racial inequality that existed then and to a certain extent it still exists today.
Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, Elvis, along with the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons still toped the pop charts. But, their reign on top of the billboard charts was being challenged by the British invasion, most notably the Beatles. It was the club pier where we all gathered to listen to WLS radio out of Chicago listening to the silver dollar survey. Like all teenagers of that time especially at that summer place friendships were forged and memories were made that have standed the test of time. Now a half century later those memories still come back like a kaleidoscope in my minds eye.
There was one group I remember though, the Kingston Trio whose melodies and songs keep resonating through my conscious thoughts even today. Poor old Charley on the MTA is the man who never returned. Then there was "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" A most sobering rendition of how the circle of life continues only to repeat mistakes made along the way. In many respects humanity keeps repeating events that cause great suffering and anguish. When will we ever learn?
Back then on the shores of Lake Geneva those endless carefree days at that summer place passed ever so slowly by compared to the realization that today time marches at a much faster pace. Now, as I quietly slip into old age memories become more precious. Those fleeting moments of past athletic triumphs or romantic conquests all rekindle what that summer place has done for me. Fortunate I was to have had the availability through my parents to have experienced life at it's best at that summer place. If others could be so fortunate to be able to experience a childhood and a transition through those teenage years at a summer place similar, just maybe that circle of life, the road we all travel, would be paved without all the pot holes and dangerous curves we have today. What a glorious world we would now have.