The Boys of Summer...Southern Style

  The hot, sticky days of a Deep South Summer sweep my heart back to the late 70s and early 80s.  Warm wet stagnant air drips across my skin and I can hear The Eagles singing "The Boys of Summer"....come on...sing it with me...."I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun, you got your hair combed back, sunglasses on, Baby...." My own browned skin glistening with half a bottle of pure baby oil, laying out in the blistering heat all day...the only cares in my head...where to go out tonight.   Movies?, The Sidetrack?...our reddish brown skin hot to the touch, tingling with the day's rays....strawberry lip gloss just begging to be tasted by our boys of summer.

The barefoot summer days of my teenaged years in the Deep South were the best of the best...swimming in Lake Lurleen,  skiing  on the Warrior River, and the road trips to Panama City Beach, Florida...stopping at every roadside stand along the highway for fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes and juicy watermelon... salt shakers in hand!  We were crammed in the back seat of someone's old car, all the windows down, blowing our hair into each other's faces, The smells of Coppertone whirling around, it was slathered all over us...sweaty thighs pushed up against each other so we could all fit into the back seat....The Commodores blaring from the radio.  White shoe polish scrawled across the back window, "PANAMA CITY OR BUST"  It was Summertime in Dixie!  Let's find the boys!  Do I sound like I was boy crazy??  Weren't we all?

The food, the humidity, the beach trips all set the stage, but my boys of summer spice up the memories!  Making out in the extreme wet heat of the Deep South Summer is one sticky, hair-frizzing mess.  Cure for that?  A cool pool!

While there were many summers spent with several different young men, I recall one in particular I'll call the Summer of the "Swimming Lessons"

To say I could be sort of a Miss Priss is like telling the Pope he is "sorta" catholic!  I was full of myself.  There was one young man I had an -on-again-off-again love affair with since I was a babe of 14.  One summer I thought it would be a delicious idea if I convinced the cute Southern gent to come over to my parents pool for some kissing lessons....yep...I said kissing lessons!  I just KNEW he needed my expertise in this fragile, intimate area!  I remember being so excited to be the teacher....uh huh....really, I was just looking for an excuse to get him in my arms and lip-locked.  Can you believe he arrived ready for lessons...playing right along with me, never letting on that  he knew exactly just what I was up to...let me tell you....THAT BOY SURE DIDN'T NEED ANY TEACHING FROM ME!

I remember vividly what it felt like to kiss him under water...warm lips pressed against mine in the cool pool water, sun dapples, sparkling on the surface above.  My only thought...how long could I keep him there for "school"....only so much a girl can "teach" about kissin'...but I knew I sure didn't want him to leave!  I still am reminded about those "swimming lessons" that summer....his body covered in a million freckles, his dark brown eyes looking at me like he could devour me in one bite...knowing full well my ploy...kissing lessons????...really???  In the years that followed, I often thought of sending him an invitation for "Continuing Education"....

A Deep South Summer is brimming, over-flowing, with the richest, most textured memories...long sensual stories shared on a front porch, lightening bugs twinkling in the twilight of sunset... crickets murmuring and frogs croaking creating an orchestra of Summer ....ghost stories told in the back of a pick-up truck under a canopy of a gillion stars....holding hands for the first time with my heart racing in the moonlight....mid-night walks on the white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast... all with my boys of summer.
The sweet sticky drips of orange pineapple ice cream from Pure Process, running down my wrist before it was even half eaten while sitting on the mosquito bitten banks of the river.....Summer was when we did our growing up....learning about life as we learned about love and boys and each other....

 The Boys of Summer....ahhhhh I hear the song, I smell Coppertone........and I am gone......