The Last Free Summer

Summer is a wonderful time when you are young, but like many things in life the FREE part of summer eventually ends and my Grandson Ben has hit that spot. He has finished grade 9 and hopefully is enjoying what is his Last Free Summer before the awful time hits when his parents make him get a part-time job to help pay for the goodies that he wants, because I speak from experience  that once he hits grade 10 everything changes.   My last free summer was 1972 and for me was a summer that shaped the many years I had ahead.  There was a lot of music released that summer, Albums like Ziggy Stardust by Bowie, Living in the Past By Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper’s Schools Out and Leon Russell’s Carney kept me close to the record player. But there were a few good books as well that summer to read such as Watership Down, The Odessa File, The Stepford Wifes and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas among others. There were Movies to see like The Godfather, Deliverance, and Fritz the cat just to name a few.  And the summer of 72 had other events to keep track of, like,In June The Watergate scandal broke wide open, In July Jane Fonda toured North Vietnam causing all types of havoc in the states and In August The Summer Olympics were held in West Berlin which led to the Munich Massacre. And In Canada we were all gearing up for the great hockey Showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union, which made for a very interesting summer.  In 1972  I saw a movie that led me to discover an Actor that had died many years before and to this day I am still a fan of his work. That movie was by Woody Allen and was called Play It Again Sam, it was about A neurotic film critic trying  to get over his wife leaving him by dating again, with the help of a married couple and his alter ego, Humphrey Bogart. It starred Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts with Jerry Lacy playing Bogie and as was the case with most of Woody’s early films a laugh out riot. But after watching the film I wound up going to the Library and taking out a book written by his ex-wife Lauren Bacall and became fascinated by his story, unfortunately at the time there was no VHS or DVD’s so I had to stay up late some nights to catch the few flicks that were on TV then. But as technology developed so did the back catalog of his films and I have seen almost all of them now, but in the summer of ’72 even I could imagine what I wanted to and Bogie was my sidekick, even if no one else could see him.  So to Ben and all the others enjoy your summer and discover new things, make the Summer Count.

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