School’s Out For Summer

Free At Last

Ah, yes. You can almost hear fellow Detroiter, Alice Cooper, belting out that iconic summer anthem. When I did my time in the Detroit public school system, thermostats had just one setting, Volcano. Yes kids, no Air Conditioning! If summer arrived early, you spent the last days of your educational incarceration sweating your little butts off. In the days leading up to summer vacation, teachers would sense the growing unrest among their savages, so they scheduled as many Field Days and Field Trips as possible. It was an attempt to keep their little monsters under control until that final bell rang. I swear, on the last day of school it seemed like the clock was actually running backwards.

As the peals of that bell faded away, all of us monsters would race into the streets. We all had an ever-expanding itinerary of activities, which would surely keep us busy until Labor Day. The first couple of weeks of summer vacation were always a blur. We tried to check off as many items as possible from our summer to-do list before we ran out of gas. By Independence Day, we usually had settled into our daily routine. Baseball in the morning, followed by a quick lunch, then more baseball, or parks and rec in the afternoon. Followed by a refreshing dip in the pool. We were one of the few families in the neighborhood lucky enough to have a pool. However, you had to be careful you didn’t accumulate a bunch “Pool Pals”, who only showed up on particularly scorching afternoons.

Here in Detroit, last summer was the fifth hottest on record. So, it really wasn’t any surprise that our suburban streets weren’t overflowing with fun-loving kids. However, even during a mild summer, most of the kids in our neighborhood aren’t seen outside during the daylight hours. It’s like they’re all a bunch of pint-sized vampires. Maybe their moms are threatening to slather them up with SPF 5000 if they even think about venturing into the sunshine. Who knows? Get outside kids! Play some baseball, or God-forbid, some life-threatening games like dodgeball or red rover (gasp). Ride your bikes, scrape your knees, get dirty, then eat some ice cream. Summer is finally here! It won’t be long before you might be seeing this classic Staples commercial, featuring Alice Cooper.

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