“Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”
Sure there was. When our gang of Brook Glenn Gardens hoodlums (junior-level hoodlums, to be clear. There were far more sinister senior-level hoodlums than us in the neighborhood) was bored during the summer, our next adventure often came down to a few key decisions.
If adding to our card or magazine collections didn’t satisfy the question, the decision might come down to which sugary goodness sounded better – maybe ‘Slush Puppie on a hot day’ versus a ‘Swizzels-Matlow double lollie and a fistful of Super Bubble Bubble Gum.’
If a consensus couldn’t be found on those first two subjects, the decision might come down to close versus far or, honestly, ambitious versus lazy.
See, our gang had two to go-to spots for our treks for treats. The default, and, closer, locale, was Lee Road Cash Grocery, owned by a lady named Lib. So we called it Lib’s. We could climb over the chain-linked fence in my backyard, gaining access to the yard of a house on Lee Road and be at Lib’s in less than five minutes. Lib’s was the favorite spot to buy baseball cards and individual pieces of candy.
The other favorite destination was Ike’s on Wade Hampton Boulevard, a small convenience store with no gas pumps and housed in a strip shopping center. Ike’s was way farther – a whopping mile away. For those of you familiar with this section of Taylors, South Carolina where West Main Street intersects with Wade Hampton, Rick Bank’s State Farm now occupies the old Ike’s location. I don’t recall if Ike was a real guy or if the store had a more formal name as Lee Road Cash Grocery was to Lib’s. To us, it was just Ike’s.
To reach Ike’s, we headed the opposite way from Lib’s, hiking across the entire neighborhood and carefully avoiding the senior hoodlums. Ike’s was the go-to spot for the latest issue of Mad Magazine or an ice-cold Slush Puppie. The added bonus of crossing two sets of railroad tracks and a field of scrub growth made it seem like a much bigger adventure.
However, even if the group could reach a consensus on which trek to take, there was one last hurdle to overcome: was Mom in a good mood or was Mom in a bad mood? (Editor’s note: If I remember correctly, Mom’s bad moods were likely caused by my younger brother. Sometimes my memory is fuzzy, though.)
We must have been successful with that final hurdle a good bit because I still have boxes full of baseball cards and a few Mad Magazines. Likely, though, it could have been that by the end of summer Mom was so frustrated with the gang, she was ready for us to take a hike. She may have wished Ike’s was even farther.
These days, there’s nothing within walking distance of my house for a summertime treat trek. Fortunately, I have a daughter who can easily be bribed to drive up the road to make a goodie run. Now, our choice for a summertime adventure is usually Starbucks versus Sonic, but the end result is similar to days gone by: way too much sugar.
Thanks for reading,
PS – As promised last week, here are the week’s writing stats:
Current writing streak: 17 days
Fiction words this week: ~5,300