“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” Those are lyrics of a Nat King Cole song titled “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer,” released in 1963.
My dad used to sing that song in August, not June or July, but August. When I was young, I never knew why he sang it in August, but I think I know why now.
Just this past week, I took my childhood friend Rob Seeley to breakfast to celebrate his birthday of the week before. It seems that’s what we do over the last few years. It’s always great catching up and reminiscing about our childhood.
Rob hasn’t lived in West Pittston for several decades but still lives in Wyoming Valley. With both of his parents deceased, there isn’t much of a reason for him to visit the Garden Village. We were Delaware Avenue boys, a great street to grow up.
I know I’ve alluded to and even dedicated a column or two about my old block, but it’s so true when I tell you I knew every family on both sides of the street.
When Rob and I get together, it’s always, “What happen to who?” and “Where did they go?” Unfortunately, so many of our old neighbors have passed away but there are plenty of stories to keep so many memories alive.
We both grew up on opposite ends of the spectrum. He had a Welsh background, was raised Protestant, went to a private school and his parents were Republicans. I grew up in a Catholic, Italian household and my parents voted Democratic.
Since childhood, Rob and I never got into any debates about religion, ethnicity, or politics. We respected each other to the point that none of those issues interfered in our friendship.
Ipbringing was a strong influence in my life. I learned about Welsh culture, including food and desserts. Mrs. Seeley made a mean shortbread cookie, among other tasty delights.
Getting back to our breakfast; it went by fast, as many of our meals together do. There’s just so much to talk about from our children to our current lives to the good old days.
After we eat, Rob enjoys driving through the streets of the borough used to troll by foot as teenagers. We drive up and down streets to the point where I often think someone on the Crime Watch will call the police about a suspicious vehicle on their block.
I rarely drive through my town and it’s pretty cool to revisit our old stomping grounds. We even drive through the cemetery and read off names from our yesteryear. I’m starting to think I know more people deceased than alive.
Names and faces may have changed over the years since my teen years, but the houses remain the same. With two major floods since 1972, the houses may have been updated, but the foundations remain.
When driving on a street, we point out the families we knew way back when and wonder where they are. It’s sort of a continuation of our breakfast talk. It’s nice to take a stroll, or in our case, a ride down memory lane.
It was a hot, hazy day when we took our drive this year. It reminded me when Wyoming Area had a summer program where all the schools were open, including the stadium, where we made potholders, key chains, played kick ball or softball when we were not at the West Pittston Pool.
Yep, it was a lazy, hazy, and not so crazy day of summer that day.
August is like a long Sunday where you don’t want the summer to end just like you don’t want the weekend to end.
“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. You’ll wish that summer could always be here.”
Don’t forget the Dr. Jen’s Hope Memorial Ride and Block Party today on the grounds of Cooper’s Catering & Banquet Facility from 11:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Registration is at 10:30 a.m.
Sweet Pepper & The Long Hots will entertain from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 per person and $10 for riders. For more information, go to www.drjenshope.com.
It’s a big week of activities, beginning with Dr. Jen’s Hope and ending with annual Pittston Tomato Festival.
It’s a great week to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Dr. Jennifer Sidari and to celebrate Greater Pittston at the Tomato Festival.
Quote of the week
“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” – Richard Wright
Thought of the week
“We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.” – Bernard Meltzer
“There is no forgiveness in nature.” – Ugo Betti