Another Summer Comes to an End

Happy New Year. It’s the most wonderful time of the year again for many parents after what always seemed like an endless summer of having their children around 24/7. As a kid, it was never long enough.

In anticipation of the big first day, we would be taken shopping for our new outfits, which was an expense that Grandma could not avoid, particularly for Uncle Mart and me. As the oldest girl and oldest boy in our family, there were not hand-me-downs to wear. So off we would go a store on Main Street called “The Laurie Shop” or a warehouse-type store in Rockaway known as “Robert Hall.”

Robert Hall was a small national chain, with catchy commercials that I still could hum along when I found them on YouTube.  All you old timers should check this out if you want to skip down memory land: Dad tells me he got his first suit at Robert Hall.

When the values go up, up, up

And the prices go down, down, down

Robert Hall this season

Will show you the reason:

Low overhead, high quality

Back in my day, we did not have backpacks like all of you had. In fact, I don’t recall having any sort of contraption in which to carry my books. I only remember balancing my books in my arms, all of which were covered with the same brown paper bags from the supermarket like yours so many years later. Some things did not change between my generation and yours.

So although we did not like seeing our carefree summer days coming to an end because it meant our evenings would soon be filled with homework, there was a silver lining preceding the start of the school year. Our small little town transitioned us into the new school season with the big Labor Day Firemen’s Parade and Fair.

It was sheer genius, because now we always looked forward to this time of year. I was always excited about the rides, games, fireworks, and meeting up with some of the friends I had not seen since June. When we were young, we would be taken by our parents, but eventually, we were allowed to go by ourselves—a sign of no longer being a little kid.

Now as Labor Day approaches again, I think back on those end-of-summer evenings of pitching nickels, trying to win a goldfish that Grandma would not want, and waiting for the fireworks to begin. Maybe Jamie will go to the fair and meet up with some of the cousins who have not left town.


2 thoughts on “Another Summer Comes to an End

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