A long, hot summer
The long, hot summer started early this year. My favorite times of the year are fall and spring. Winters and summers were just there to live through. When I think about it, I enjoyed summer much more when I was a kid than I do today.
Summers before the age of television were spent swimming or playing baseball. At night there would be the drive-in movies. At home late on a hot June or August night, I slept on the porch and hoped there would be a breeze. As I laid there sweating, I would have the radio on listing to all of the detective stories such as Mike Hammer or Boston Blackie.
In 1958 there was a drive-in movie on Indian Head Highway. It was one of about five drive-ins in the area. The Indian Highway was a road that ran from Washington, D.C., to Indian Head, Md.
During the summer in 1958 we went to a drive-in movie almost every night. Each drive-in had a different movie and would change movies a least once a week. My favorite drive-in was the Indian Chief. It was the biggest one in the area and had a lawn that you could sit on while you watched the movies.
In 1958 a movie came out called “The Long, Hot Summer” with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The song sung by Jimmie Rodgers with the same name as the movie was a hit in the summer of 1958. It was the first summer that I started to be interested in girls, and it became a long, hot summer.
That was the year that I spent with a friend who had his first car. We drove everywhere together. Every now and then on some lonely back road, he would let me take the wheel. Driving for the first time was like experiencing a rush of freedom that I had never felt before. I could not wait to get my own wheels and speed on down the highway.
One of the places we drove to was the beach. We went to what then was known as the poor man’s beaches along the southern shore of Maryland – places such as North Beach, Breezy Point and Solomons Island.
The first beach I went to without my parents was North Beach. A bunch of us drove down one Saturday morning. The car was full of young adults or, as some have put it, horny teenagers. At the beach we wanted to put our blankets close to the prettiest girls on the beach. The problem was that most all of them were with their folks. The girls that were not with their parents were with their boyfriends. Needless to say we did more watching than meeting any of those beautiful girls.
One of the best places to meet girls was on the float which was about 200-feet from the shore. I’d lie on the float hoping to meet a girl. Try as I might, I could not meet one girl. Oh, they were there. I would sit on the float and a girl would hop on the float then for about five minutes we would just stare at each other.
Then I would dive back into the water or watch speechless as she went back into the water. That’s the way it went on all day. I got a few smiles and a shy hello here and there. I went home dreaming of all those beautiful girls at the beach.
It truly turned into a long, hot summer.