12 Defining Signs of Summer (50 Years Ago)

The Hamptons? Nantucket? The South of France? Nah, we stuck closer to home for our summer vacations. And we loved every minute (well, most of them, anyway)!

1. Swimming caps

2. Endless barbecues

3. Drinking from the garden hose

4. Tanning with baby oil and iodine

5. Worshipping your family’s
only air conditioner

6. Driving to the park to make out

7. Playland

8. Insufferable road trips with
your family

9. Girl scout camp

10. Catching bees and fireflies in a jar

11. Being shipped off to your
grandparents’ house

12. Waiting for the Good Humor Man

Tell us one of your
summer memories

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  • Nicole Hampton

    My favorite memory of summer was waking up to the sound of the rotisserie on a Sat. or Sunday morning. My dad (who passed in ’68) loved putting chickens on the rotisserie and grilling and I can STILL hear it..

  • This post brought back a lot of fond memories especially seeing the fire flies in a jar. I love going to stay with my Grandma and Grandpa and catching hundreds of fire flies. Later we would play a game or to of marbles. You might know it as a game called Sorry. We would also get a glass of Coke and thought this was a huge treat. Ah, the simple things. 🙂

  • Susan

    My brothers and I were four miles from town..that meant we stayed home. We spent the summer playing ball on ‘the hill’ behind Leddon’s house, or lying on the hard wood floor to cool off during the afternoons. No A/C in our house, no pool, town was toooo far …we did get the icecream truck once a week! That was a treat.

  • Pamm

    5 cent ice cream scoops at Highs. My mother letting 3 young kids alone at the pool to fend for ourselves while she played mah Jong upstairs in the dining room with the ladies. I asked her about it later why did you leave us by ourselves. Her response you all had so much to do at the club. My sister was 5 my brother 8 and me 10. No adult supervision at a swimming pool. Back in the day kids literally ran wild all day no cell phones no idea where we were a bike ride away. Crazy and we all survived

  • Barbara M.

    My childhood wasn’t quite that fun as far as family activities. We did do some road trips before my parents split up. I mostly remember riding my bike around the neighborhood and going to the pool.

  • Beatrice Boyle

    Since I’m 86 yrs old…my memories go farther back to the 30’s and 40’s! Here are some of my favorites.

    Saturday matinee’s with Flash Gordon flying through space. How ridiculous…as if anyone would EVER land on the moon!lol

    Roller skating with my friends…the heavy steel skates had to be locked on with a key!

    Raising vegetables in our Victory Garden during WW2

    Food rationing during the war…Cake was a rare treat as sugar and butter were only available in small amounts…to provide for our troops!

    Playing stickkball in the streets…(traffic was nothing like it is today) Red Light, tag etc.

    And most importantly…our schools were safe places of learning…not a shooting gallery every week!

    In other words…Life was a safe, lovely time for children to grow up in…and CIVILITY & PATRIOTISM was our way of life! But those of us who remember these times as known as Dinosaures! lol

    • Hi Beatrice,

      Love love love your list, especially your man on the moon comment.

      Geri, FOF

  • Rita Bevan

    How about outside Park or pool dances….they were the best! It was the place to go on summer nights back in the day. Dancing to the music, hanging out with the girls looking for that special guy! So much fun….so many memories! Long time ago……

    Rita Bevan
    Wilmington, Delaware
    grew up in Lancaster County, PA

  • Renee

    5 cent ice cream cones, playing in the water as the fire dept. cleaned the hydrants, playing kickball on the road using the drains as bases and since we were the only ones in the neighborhood with a pool all the kids came to our house to swim.

  • Amy

    Barefoot. All summer long…..

  • Vacation Bible School and block parties in Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle, NY

  • Marlene

    Loading up in the station wagon with food and sodas to go to the Drive In movies!

  • Christine Norman

    Playing outside sunup to sundown and not a worry from our parents.

  • ali moss

    Sundresses, bermuda shorts and boat neck tops, new pair of tennies (sneakers), frozen custard, A&W root beer stands, corn on the cob, croquet, berry picking, entertainment in the band shell, 4th of July parade, state fair, rock and roll, convertibles with the tops down, my birthday!

    • What great images you evoke, Ali.

  • Nancy

    Summer was riding my bike the 2 miles to the store to buy a popsicle that somehow was bester than anything is today!