The Last Word
Suddenly it’s summer and recollections of those seasons past come rushing back — reminders of how so many of us created our own fun and entertainment long before Hot Springs offered such a full menu of things to see and do.
“School’s out — give a shout,” could have been the mantra in those less hectic days when time was ours to spend as we wished and the best adventures were not planned down to the last detail and months in advance.
For instance, our sports activities were not always so organized. A telephone chat or a chance meeting with high school classmates could quickly turn into an afternoon tennis game on the courts near the old Boys Club. Heat and humidity never deterred us from giving our all in a competitive match. And when the opportunity arose, we gathered for an impromptu softball game in the lower yard of Carol Wright’s home on Circle Drive. I was never a great batter — despite father-daughter practice sessions at my Prospect Avenue residence — but just “getting in the game” and having fun were what mattered most.
After my best gal pal, Mollie Muldoon, nee Lollis, and her parents, moved to their Pecan Street home, we found it very easy to while away the hours without inconveniencing our parents or becoming bored with having nothing spectacular to occupy our active minds. On occasion, Mollie and I would take a leisurely walk down to Hobson Avenue to a shop that sold old jukebox records for bargain prices. She and I would go through the latest selections and then “ooh and aah” when we lucked on a real keeper that featured a particularly popular song and artist.
When need be, I found ways to amuse myself by reading books or my mother’s magazines within the comfortable confines of our screened-in front porch. And then there was always the attic with its treasure trove of old photo albums and keepsakes that prompted me to ask a myriad of questions such as “Who was this?” “When did this happen?” “Is that your first love?” Perhaps those simplistic but direct queries fostered my innate curiosity about people, places and things and the inevitability of a journalism career.
As the only granddaughter in our small
“The heat and humidity never deterred us from giving our all in a competitive match. And when the opportunity arose, we gathered for an impromptu softball game in the lower yard of Carol Wright’s home on Circle Drive. I was never a great batter — despite father-daughter practice sessions at my Prospect Avenue residence — but just “getting in the game” and having fun were what mattered most.”
clan, I was treated to a few road trips out of town, one of the most memorable being the time I was introduced to some relatives in Louisiana and afterwards discovered the wondrous white sands and Gulf Coast waters of Biloxi, Miss. Imagine my wide-eyed reaction to staying a few nights at the grand Edgewater Gulf Hotel, which, to my childish delight, featured a movie theater. Ironically — and sadly — that historic hotel with its glorious ambience was later imploded and became the site for a shopping mall.
But, life moves on, and my later respites from routine included learning to drive, bridge classes at the old YWCA, a copyediting course at the University of Missouri. I suppose summers have always been about what we make them. In any case, they’re gone in the blink of an eye and only fond memories remain.