Blog 2150 – 08.15.2021
Remembering The Long Hot Summer
On this the fifteenth day of August and my two thousand fiftieth blog, by my count, I should like to pay tribute to a movie that was first released on April third, 1958. The title of the movie is The Long Hot Summer and at the top of a long cast list of great actors are Joanne Woodward and her husband Paul Newman. It is a love story that takes place in the sweltering Mississippi delta. I was a boy of seven, going on eight, when the movie came out and I have no recollection of seeing it in a movie theater so my first viewing was probably a few years later when it was aired on TV. I have watched it many times, but not so many that I would not care to see it again and again.
I do so enjoy a good love story and it is well written, well acted, and well shot. It is a familiar tale: Boy meets girl, boy infuriates girl, boy sets his cap for girl then in this case utters the line:
Near the movie’s dramatic conclusion Clara uses almost those exact words to Ben Quick. But, do yourself a favor, watch the movie for yourself. It is a perfect treat for a long hot summer day.
I recall and fondly the long hot summers of my youth. As a city boy, I had no crops to tend nor animals to take care of besides a series of faithful pet dogs, nor any burdensome chores to do, but was free to roam the neighborhood where we lived and invent adventures to keep myself occupied till school began again in September. So from Memorial Day in late May, or a week or so later depending on how many “snow days we had to make up” till the day after Labor Day, that was the length of my boyhood long hot summers.
I had fifteen long hot summers, not including the eleven months that I spent in the Republic of South Vietnam in 1970, the year I turned twenty.
The summer of nineteen sixty five was my last one. I had and lost my first serious girlfriend then, had my tonsils out, and started high school that fall at Chattanooga Central High. The next summer I was fifteen and old enough to get a health card so I could get a job and I have worked every summer since except 2020 due to the Covid-19 virus shutting down most of the work in my field.
This especially long hot summer in Nebraska will be my last working as I plan to retire, from full-time work at least, when this assignment ends, probably by Christmas and hopefully before my seventy-first birthday, in late November.
Just how many long hot summers this story will contain I do not yet know. But this I do know, I won the girl, she did not take the bus to escape me, nor did I to run from her, and we will hopefully have many long hot summers yet together and many those of other three wonderful seasons together too.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
If Ever I Would Leave You