Two Summers (1978)

I Know What We Did

What I Did This Summer
Roy’s brother — 6th grade

I had a great summer!

I was supposed to go with my brother and dad to a summer camp in Colorado. Dad took a job as camp director since he was done teaching for the year. The more I started to learn about camp, the more I didn’t like it.

I’d have to sleep in a log cabin with a bunch of other kids in the middle of the woods. Buses would keep bringing in new kids that I’d have to get to know. I’d also be sharing the bathroom with them. There also wasn’t going to be any television.

I really didn’t like the whole idea.

Mom was going to stay home with our little sister. I told her I was having a real problem with summer camp. A big problem.

Mom asked what I wanted to do instead and I told her I wanted to go see Nana in Tampa. She spoke with Dad and they bought an airplane ticket for me.

Tampa was the best! Nana and I watched game shows during the day and detective shows at night. We also went to the movies a lot. Here are some of the movies I saw.

Heaven Can Wait
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Omen II
The Swarm
The Eyes of Laura Mars
Jaws 2

Nana took us to restaurants every day. She really likes the Pancake House for breakfast. Sometimes we’d go there for lunch too! We had pizza and Greek salad from ABC. I even tried herring at a buffet place that had everything you could imagine. The best thing I had was a huge brownie sundae at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. Actually, I had more than one.

When Nana would take her nap, I’d read one of the books she got me from the mall. I read The Shining and The Stand, both by Stephen King. Nana thinks it’s strange that I like horror books so much.

Oh, we also spent a lot of time at the beach!

What I Did This Summer
Roy — 5th grade

I spent my summer at a summer camp in Colorado with my dad who kind of ran the place. My brother was going to go too but went to Tampa instead to take care of our grandmother.

Camp was quite an adventure. I was assigned to a cabin along with all the other kids. They would stay for a week, then new kids would come in. We’d go swimming, do archery, ride horses and other stuff.

There were lots of days when no kids were around besides me. Dad was always busy hiring or firing counselors, so I’d find something to do.

When camp was empty and quiet, I sometimes hung out with Angela who was a cook. She’d drive her pickup into town for supplies and I’d go with her. We saw Which Way is Up? with Richard Pryor at the small theater. It was the only movie playing so we saw it three times. Angela and I laughed hard every time!

Angela gave me a copy of the book Coma. It had the cover torn off, but it was a very good thriller. (It did have some nudity in it.) I would read the book while Angela played her Commodores album and got the kitchen ready for the next batch of kids.

I ate a lot of chili and bread pudding. Angela said there was a surplus of chili and bread pudding so I could eat all I wanted. Even if I wanted something else, I had chili and bread pudding.

I learned how to ride a ten-speed bicycle one day when I had to get to the latrine across the grounds real quick. I had just finished some bread pudding and didn’t feel right. I found a counselor’s bike right outside the mess hall, so I jumped on and made it just in time. When I finished, I walked the bike all the way back.

I could ride horses if I helped clean the stables, but the only horse I was allowed to ride was Jughead. He had a green visor with white polka dots attached to his bridle. Jughead bucked me off from time to time.

Dad didn’t like me swimming in the lake by myself, so I’d go swimming with Mr. Hall who fixed things and had a fake leg.

Before he’d get in the water, Mr. Hall would take off his left leg from the knee down and placed it on the pier. It stood there by itself because it had a big black shoe on the foot. It had a long black sock too. It looked a little strange.

Mr. Hall let me look closely at the part of his leg where there used to be more leg. I never asked what happened to it, but I do remember Mr. Hall was half Cheyenne and liked talking about his family while we swam.

I’ll always remember this summer as the time I first rode an adult bicycle.