Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Most Incredible Summer of 1981

Me in my 1970 Pontiac LeMans Sport Car

I've been thinking about summertime lately especially since it's the middle of June and it's starting to get really hot outside.

Gordon, Dicky Dees and Me at the beach

I am 54 years-old now and mind always goes back 35 years ago to the summer of 1981 when I was 19 years-old. I had the most incredible carefree summer that I ever experienced in my lifetime when I look back. I suppose that we have all had one of those summer in our lives I suspect when we reflect on our lives. It was the summer before my senior year of high school at Hernando High School in Hernando, Miss. I am going to give you rundown on what I did that summer by bullet points. At the time, I was living at my father's lake house in Eudora, Miss., 15 miles west of Hernando. My older brother, Gordon, who was an electrical contractor who lived in Memphis. However, we were best friends then and we did a lot of things together in those days. He had money and I didn't have much. He was really good to me. So here it is:

*Drove to Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., with Gordon and two of our friends. We stayed in the Beachcomber Motel in Jacksonville Beach and the Betty Boop Inn in Myrtle Beach. I'm sure neither motel exist anymore. We swam in the pools, the ocean and hung out at the beach bars for about a week.

Me, Dicky and Gordon at the beach

*Rode to Knoxville, Tenn., with Gordon and two other friends . We stayed at their apartment and went to the Smokey Mountains and climbed the Chimney Tops, swam in spring water holes and walked the mountain trails. It was the first time that Gordon and I had ever been to Smokey Mountains or Knoxville. We were gone for about a week. Then Gordon and I flew back to Memphis via Delta airlines and we had a layover in Atlanta. I was the first time that we had ever flown too.

The Beachcomber Motel

*Gordon and I went to Paris, Tenn., with a friend from Horn Lake, Miss., and stayed at his dad's cabin by the Tennessee River where his dad grew up in the old family home. We stayed there for about a week. We grilled out, fished and drank a lot of beer.

"Leroy," my car at the beach

*Gordon and I went to Greer's Ferry Lake in Arkansas with two other friends from Memphis and stayed at one of the friend's lake house for a weekend. We went water skiing, fishing and grilled out steaks and drank lots of beer.

Me and "Dutchenss" at the lake house

*Gordon and I went to Heber Springs, Ark., with two friends from Memphis, stayed in a cabin, rode mopeds and jumped off the rock cliffs at Greer's Ferry Lake. We also went to Blanchard Springs Caverns on the way home.

*During the second half of the summer, I went to Shreveport, La., to stay with my sister and brother-in-law where I worked at a Burger King for about month or so for some extra money.

The lake house in Eudora, Miss.

*In addition to traveling and going places, I went to concerts, movies, grilled out, smoked BBQ, swam and fished at my dad's lake house and played with my brother's German Shepherd dogs whenever I had a chance.

Graduating Class of 1982 at HHS

So when August of 1981 arrived, I was ready for the new school year. I was fit, tan and I had new school clothes. I was very well relaxed and focused. With the help of a lot of friends at school, I was elected Senior Class-Co President that fall and had one of the greatest school year's of my life before heading off to college at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., in the fall.. How could I ever forget all those once in a lifetime experiences thanks to my brother, Gordon, and good friends at Hernando High School? I still thank my brother and all in my high school friends in my heart when I look back on that time in 1981, the most incredible summer of my whole life!

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