Waking up and having absolutely nothing to do all summer.
Old-fashioned drugstores with ice cream soda bars.
Asking if I could go to the bathroom at a restaurant just so I could crawl under the table to get out.
The Lost 45’s radio program on Sunday nights.
The ‘popcorn man’ on the Salem Common.
The tilt-a-whirl at the Salem Willows.
Wearing old sneakers with my bathing suit so I wouldn’t cut my feet on clam shells.
The dill pickle jar on the counter at Lena’s sub shop on Bridge Street.
The Spiegel catalog arriving in the mail.
“Sobi’s” meat market on Webb Street in Salem.
Weylus’ in Salem- free bowl of soup with your lunch plate.
The “V-bar” for awesome grilled burgers.
My white pleather kid’s bible and glow-in-the-dark rosary beads.
The creature-double feature.
A brand-new Colorforms set.
The sandy, salty feeling of a day at the beach.
Showering with a hose.
Buying a whole new back to school wardrobe, from the shoes up.
The lunch-counter at Almy’s and their super-salty string French fries.
The “Salem station” on the radio.
My grandmother’s polish cooking- everything started with a chunk of pork fat.
Using a clothes pin and a card to create annoying sounds with my bicycle.
Eating pretty much anything and not knowing or caring about the calories.
The Salem News, when it really was just Salem.
Playing my new 45 record over and over and over until it was memorized.
A bottle of coke-syrup in the frig.
Fishing for flounder in Salem Harbor.
Digging for clams at low tide at Collins Cove Beach.
Russell’s Ice Cream’s ‘sweet cream’ hot fudge sundae with real whipped cream.
Hobby shops full of jigsaw puzzles, paint sets and models (not the fashion kind).
Making stuff out of gimp with the Salem Common park instructor.
Watching ZOOM and talking in ubbi-dubbi.
Checking out stacks of hard cover books from the Salem Library.
Watching Disney’s Wonderful World on Sunday nights.
My body dotted with calamine lotion, zinc and mercurochrome from too-much summer fun.
Back when being a kid and ‘having fun’ was our job.
The best job I ever had.