Make this summer memorable

Published 3:51 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
It was a hot July afternoon, nearly 95 degrees. As a preteen the only relief from the scorching summer heat was a trip to the country club for a dip in the pool.
It was the first time in our young lives my friends and I were able to cut loose from our parents and join our friends for some summer activities. With summer officially beginning tomorrow, it sparks memories of my childhood.
Summers for me were full of belly-busters off the high-dive, long bike rides into town for a burger at a fast food restaurant and, if it was too hot outside, some friendly video game competition. I must say it was some of the most memorable times of my life.
A lot of friendships were developed during those summers just prior to high school and many of those friendships continue to be strong to this day. Without the experiences I had each summer; those long games of Marco Polo or hours sitting in front of the television sipping Kool-Aid(r) and eating potato chips, I would have never bonded with my friends, learned their likes and dislikes and ultimately become what they and I consider as best friends even today.
Vacations with friends were also enjoyable times. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on the water at the river with friends, enjoying rides on ski boats, both skiing and knee boarding, and learning tricks on Jet Skis and Sea-Doos. Growing up, my family did not have a house at the river or lake, a boat or even take trips to freshwater venues. I was privileged to have friends whose parents were river rats that allowed me to tag along on weekend excursions to enjoy the murky water.
In my younger years, my family did take trips to Panama City and other beachside destinations. Coming from a large family, those trips ended as I got older and the cost of living increased and my older siblings moved on to college and began families of their own. Those same friends that invited me to the river also invited me to the beach for some fun in the sand. There is nothing more fun than hanging out at the Miracle Strip, which closed down a couple of years ago, with friends from school and simply being kids. You know, goofing off and dressing your best to impress the girls.
Summer in Atmore is no different. There are pools, full of cool refreshing water awaiting a child to yell "Cannonball!" and splash in, sidewalks throughout town that offer bikers safe routes to cruise on and activities at the library to help you maintain the knowledge needed to enter the next school year. And parents, if you have the opportunity to take a friend of your child's on vacation to beach with you, or your child is invited to go with another family, let them. They will not only love you for allowing them the opportunity, but also remember it for years to come.
Writing has always been a passion for me and, believe it or not, I spent some long summer days writing short stories and writing logs for events such as thunderstorms and meteor showers. Not a lot of people know that about me, but I continue to do the same to this day. So if you have a passion; writing, drawing, singing, playing music or one of a million other hobbies, express yourself and display that talent. Summer is not all about vegging out in front of the television or sleeping until noon.
It is important for children to get out of the house this summer. Soak of the rays of the sun and enjoy what the town has to offer to you. Visit the city pools at Tom Byrne Park and Houston Avery Park; get involved in the programs offered at the Atmore Public Library and bond with your friends and family whether on vacations to the beach or from the piers at the river.
So enjoy your summer and do something constructive. You'll feel much better come the first day of school when everyone stands up and tells what they did during their summer vacation.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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