Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Hot Summer Nights

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Street scene near Ohio State on a hot summer night (c) 2016 Robert C Trube

Hot summer nights. The air is slightly hazy and humid. Break out a sweat just walking down the street.

Firefly nights. Catching as many as you can in a jar. Make sure you poke holes in the lid. And watch the jar glow while you try to get the smell of “lightning bugs” off your hands.

Ice cream nights. Walk up the street to the Dairy Queen for a nickel cone. Check out the scene. Any of your friends there? When we have cars, go to Handel’s, sit on the hood enjoying the best ice cream anywhere.

Front porch nights. Indians game on the transistor radio. Parents on the porch chairs. My friend Jimmy and I sitting on the front steps talking sports and girls. Waiting to see how long it will be before our parents call us in.

Ice tea and lemonade nights. A pitcher and some glasses. Mom and dad enjoying a cold beer.

Idora Park nights. French fries. Getting soaked on the Rapids ride. Oh so good. The Wildcat even wilder after dark. Riding the Merry-Go-Round with the breeze in your face.

Drive-in nights. Watching the thrillers as kids. Watching the couples making out. Wishing it was you.

Open air concert nights. Blankets and lawn chairs. Sousa and jazz and show tunes.

Sleepless nights. Take a bath only to be sweaty within minutes. Lie in bed. No sheets and not much else on. Waiting for the fan to finally cool the house down. Or sleeping on the porch. Sleeping in enjoying the cool of the morning.

Stormy nights. Heat lightning in the distance. Distant rumbles of thunder. A breeze picks up. The smell of rain in the air. Lightning in the night and the simultaneous crash that makes you jump out of your skin. The downpour and rush to shut the windows. And the clean coolness after the rain.

Hot summer nights in Youngstown. The valley aglow with the blast furnaces while the rest of us try to cool off. Hot summer nights…

5 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Hot Summer Nights

  1. Pingback: Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Top Ten of 2016 | Bob on Books

  2. How fun was catching fire flys? Visited Ohio afew years ago and did this w/my granddaughter. She loved everything about it just like we did. Great memories

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