Walking to the office from the parking lot this morning, I thought about what a beautiful day it is…the sky is such a pretty blue, the temps are very pleasant, the birds are chirping and the Cicadas are gone! It’s hard to believe that the 4th of July is just around the corner and summer is almost half over. I don’t want it to end. Summer is my favorite!
As a kid, many of my summer memories were made at Benwood pool. How I loved to swim! Most days were spent there. I also frequented the Benwood-McMechen Library. They always had a summer reading program of which I enjoyed being a part. I think I read every Judy Blume book I could get my hands on. The evenings were full of riding bicycles with friends and catching lightening bugs in the back yard after dark. And then there were the carnivals. My dad took me to every carnival in the area – the one at John Marshall in Glen Dale still comes to town every year. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Marshall County Fair. We NEVER missed a fair. July 4 was always spent in the parking lot at Hills Department Store waiting to see fireworks. I loved the popcorn and the Icees they used to sell in the lobby of the store.
When I became a teenager, I still spent a lot of time at the pool, but the things my friends and I looked forward to the most were the “Park Dances” and fair and festival season. We were such social butterflies. The St. Jude Festival, the McMechen Fireman’s Festival and the Italian Festival when it was still on Market Street were the favorites. All we did was stand around, watch people and talk…nothing that couldn’t have been done anywhere, but there was just something about being at those places that made it more fun. Once we had driver’s licenses, we added cruising to the mix. I didn’t have a car, but I have very vivid memories of riding around in Carla’s red Chevette and Kim’s brown Escort. What fun we had!
Now that I’m an adult, summer remains my favorite time of year. I love the heat and I am still spending as much time as I can by the pool, only it’s my own. There’s usually a vacation or two in there along with a free concert in one of the various venues throughout Wheeling. I love walking on Wheeling’s trails, lounging outside with a good book, taking in a motorcycle ride or a cruise in the Corvette with the roof off. It seems like life slows down just a bit so we have an extra minute or two to take it all in because it really seems like it doesn’t last long. Before you know it, we will be swapping out the shorts and flip flops for jeans and sweatshirts and thinking about making a Christmas shopping list. Until then, I am going to enjoy every minute of my favorite season. Now, pass me the suntan lotion, please.