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BRIDGES: Here’s to summer fun and childhood memories
Chris Bridges
Chris Bridges

Summer doesn’t arrive officially until June 21.

Yet it really feels like it’s already here. The warmer temperatures, the longer days and being able to enjoy being outside without fear of a biting cold or freezing wind make it so I now declare it summer. Most school systems are out for another year and I think most of us have always used that as the start of the summer season.

Personally, I’m glad it’s back, officially or unofficially. 

My enjoyment of summer obviously goes back to my childhood. I suppose it’s that way for most. When you are young, summer means a lengthy break from school and until you are old enough for that first summer job it means the ultimate in being lazy, watching television, going swimming or doing just about anything you want (or that your parents will allow).

Summer, to me, has always meant something of a replenishing of the soul. Old Man Winter has completely lost his grasp by mid-May and it’s as if everything has a new, bright light shining on it.

I still long for those summers from my youth when I didn’t have a care in the world. I can remember counting down the days until the school year was over up to three months in advance. I suppose that’s no different for many students today although their summers are certainly shorter.

For me summer is a little different these days, of course. As adults, we often don’t notice summer except for the fact there is less traffic on the roads in the morning. No longer do we have to worry about getting caught behind school buses on the commute to and from work.

Work, of course, rolls on, even in summer. Through the years when I was in the newspaper business, we usually had summer interns, whether they were college or high school students. It was always interesting to see how they enjoyed the break from school, even if it meant working.

It’s hard not to think back to younger days when trips to 4-H camp were common. The days of playing recreation baseball and the fun I would have hanging out at the complex with friends are also fondly recalled. The hours upon hours at the local swimming pool where time was no factor at all are still fresh in my mind. “A different world,” I often think to myself when I recall those days. Yet, I still think of them often.

I only wish there was some way to bottle up that feeling of enjoying summer as a child. If we could go back, even if only for a week or a day, and experience it once again it would be worth it.

Summer will always be a great time. Even as I am now in my 50th year (yikes!), I will always look forward to the arrival of the summer months and welcome it with open arms. Another good thing about summer is that another new football season is now within view. However, even as great as football season is let’s not rush away summer.

Summer will always be reserved for the young. Kids, or the kid still in us, are truly able to be carefree and enjoy the overall beauty that is summer.

For now, I will enjoy it the best way I can. I will enjoy having daylight when I get home from work and watching the final rays of the summer sky begin to fade. And I will think somewhere of a younger version of myself running wild and free and enjoying all the glory that summer has to offer.

Welcome back, summer. It’s great to have you back. I know the calendar doesn’t say you are officially here but it’s close enough.

Chris Bridges is a former sports editor for The Covington News. Reach him at