Summer Popsicles

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As a 13-year-old boy summers were my favorite time of year, no school. I lived in a typical middle-class white bread neighborhood 100 miles north of San Francisco in the 1960’s. From my house, I could look down the street and see a small corner store. The old man that owned the store seemed ancient and to my regret now we gave old George a hard time. We were not malicious, In short, we were stupid. In those days we could get a can of Shasta soda and a Hostess Cupcake for 25 cents. The summers in the wine country of Mendocino County where hot enough to melt a popsicle before we could get from the corner store to the shade of a tree in the front yard of our homes. We spent as much time in water whenever we had the opportunity. The Rose Motel about a half-mile away would let us swim for 50 cents. When we couldn’t scrounge up a couple of quarters, we would head to a pond in the mountains behind our homes.
Randy, Marc, Charlie and I were the best of friends, and we did everything together. We rode our bikes everywhere; we played tackle football in the street. We hunted for quail in the mountains. As I look back at those turbulent times of the 1960’s it reminds me a lot of what our Country is going through today. Now as a grandpa having raised my sons, stayed married to my high school sweetheart and buried my parents I sit here and listen to the song, “American Pie” by Don McLean, and I pine for those days. I do not fear for our future as a Country and with what we face today take heart, take the time to eat a “Big Stick Popsicle” in the shade of a tree on a hot summer day.