One of the hardest things for adults to adjust to is that there are no longer any “last days of school.”

Even those who have gone back to school to pursue an advanced degree miss out on the last day of school phenomenon. There is absolutely nothing better than the last day of school. The Peter Pan in all of us, longs for that feeling of freedom and late morning sleep-ins.

I can remember sitting in a classroom in Blessed Sacrament as we approached Memorial Day. Remember, back then Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th. It didn’t matter if it created a long weekend for us. So, Memorial Day ushered in summer because it ushered in June. June was just around the corner and that extra day of May was more like Summer’s Eve despite the fact that the official start of summer was three weeks away.

When June 1st arrived, I was in Summer Heaven.

You could see it in the faces of the teachers and Nuns. They had that thousand-yard stare indicating they were as done as we were. They wanted summer to begin just as much as we did.

My most vivid memory of school in June was thirst. There was no bottled water back then. In fact, the only mobile water containers we had were our trusty water guns, but you didn’t dare bring those to school. I can still see myself sitting in the row next to the window and a bookcase with a vase full of water perched on its top shelf.

I would hallucinate just thinking of that water and how good that flower must feel. You know you are having a bad day when you are jealous of a flower. Every now and then we would be allowed to get a drink from the water fountain, but most times we just sat and suffered.

But it was June, and I knew I wouldn’t be stuck inside a classroom for long.

Eventually,  the school day ended, and we all went home and quickly changed into our play clothes and set out to play baseball, softball, curb ball, or triangle. It didn’t matter what kind of ball we played, we just played ball.  We may have interrupted our game for dinner but, because the days were longer, we were allowed to continue until it got dark. But then we went home and attempted a little homework and got ready for a new day of school.

But, it was June, and school’s days were numbered.

Finally, the big day arrived. It was always a half day because, why not? We hadn’t done any real work for a week now, why don’t we just all acknowledge that we are done and set off on our summer vacation?

The kids who went to public school had another tradition to mark the beginning of summer. They threw their sneakers over the telephone and electric wires that crisscrossed our streets. I never understood this. After all, it would be a long time before I would ever wear shoes again and I needed my sneakers. It takes all kinds, I used to think.

In addition to being thirsty, another strong memory of mine is the music that was played on the radio. I can still get happy just hearing some of these summer songs. This appreciation of summer music would continue even into my college years and beyond. Well, I am really in the beyond category as I approach my next birthday, but I still love my summer music. I love it so much I have created a Summer Playlist on my iPhone, and I will share it with you now. They are listed in no particular order, and I usually listen to it in the shuffle mode. Here they are:

Summertime Summertime                            The Jamies

All I Really Want To Do                               The Byrds

The Bells of Rhymney

Chimes of Freedom

My Back Pages

Draft Morning

Goin Back

It Won’t Be Wrong

She Don’t Care About Time

Wasn’t Born To Follow

You Won’t Have To Cry                        As you can see I like the Byrds

Badlands                                                 The Boss

Bus Stop                                                 The Hollies

The Girl From Ipanema                          Getz/Gilberto

Had To Cry Today                                 Blind Faith

HOT HOT HOT                                    Buster Poindexter

I’d Love To Change The World             Ten Years After

In The Summertime                                Mungo Jerry

In The Year 2525                                    Zager and Evans  (Oh, that takes you back, doesn’t               it?)

It’s My Life                                             The Animals

San Franciscan Nights

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Jamming                                                    Bob Marley and The Wailers

No Woman No Cry

Positive Vibration

Waiting In Vain

Kokomo                                                   The Beach Boys

The Rain In The Park                               The Cowsills

Saturday In The Park                                Chicago   (also appears on my Yankee Stadium list)

Sing This All Together                              The Stones

Summer In The City                                  The Lovin’ Spoonful

Younger Girl

Summer                                                      WAR   (You may have missed this, but it is a great song.)

A Whiter Shade of Pale                              Procol Harem

What A Little Bit of Love Can Do             Jeff Bridges      (Yes, that Jeff Bridges)

Waiting In Vain                                          Jimmy Buffet

King of Somewhere Hot

Weather With You

Good Morning Starshine                                  Oliver

Hot Fun In The Summertime

American Woman                                   The Guess Who

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?     Chicago

Everybody’s Talking                                Nilsson

My Cherie Amour                                    Stevie

Summer Wind                                          Frank

The Boys of Summer                               Don Henley

A Whiter Shade of Pale                           Procol Harem

A Salty Dog

1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade)           Third World

I am sure I will be adding to this list.

Ndakuvara                                        Oliver (Tuku) Miyukudzi    Seriously, check iTunes


Let me know some of your suggestions.

Happy June everybody!

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