Summer has always been my favorite time of year. During childhood we were off school for three months - ''No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks.''
I say that even though almost all my teachers were caring and good instructors. Regardless, the sun was shining, we had numerous friends to play with, ball games, swimming, camping, fairs, family reunions and so many fun things to do that when late August came and school was soon to start again we always wished summer could last a little longer. ''We haven't done everything yet!''
Occasionally, though, Mom would find us milling about the house, complaining that there's nothing to do. Her response was to boot us outside, telling us to get in the fresh air to ''get the stink blowed off ya.''
That seems funny now, but the best part was by the time we quit complaining and really got involved in something we were being called in for supper and didn't want to go back inside.
I'm reminded of those days when I read through the entertainment section in the Thursday Tribune. How ironic that even after our area has lost so many residents, the variety and quality of entertainment and cultural events locally has increased. Space does not allow me to list everything worthwhile that local residents and their guests could have enjoyed this summer, but suffice it to say we can't complain there's nothing to do.
One example is the series of free concerts given by the Packard Band on the lawn at Packard Music Hall. This venue and the Packard Band itself have been a local treasure for many years.
I took my daughter Danielle to the June 24 concert. What a pleasure it was to sit in our lawn chairs on a beautiful summer evening and listen to some excellent musicians perform with the director giving background information before each piece. A surprise bonus for Danielle was seeing her beloved Niles High School Band Director Carla Dean playing in the Packard Band.
As an aside, it was disappointing to see so few young people there. Too many parents today allow their kids to sit in front of TVs or other screens 24/7 instead of expanding their frames of reference.
Believing as I do that Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are still the greatest rock bands ever, I was eager to see Zoso, the Led Zeppelin tribute band, at the Warren Community Amphitheatre last month. What an experience! Aside from reveling in the sounds of these great musicians we were entertained by: the tall guy, stage right, in the cowboy hat who periodically went nuts to the music; the young lady, stage left, who often shook her Janis Joplin-look a-like hair head banger style; and the lady, also stage left, who expertly twirled a hula-hoop around her body from head to toe throughout the concert.
But the best part was that Zoso gave their all on stage for 21/2 hours, which is rare even for high-priced concerts.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the Pink Floyd tribute band at the Amp next month.
So summer is still my favorite time of the year because there's so much to do outside!
Dunlap is a Weathersfield resident. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org