The Norman Transcript

Features

July 14, 2013

Summer barbecues, sunburns and trips to the library

NORMAN — Maybe it’s because of the heat. Maybe it’s because time seems to take a little slower approach during the summer. But for whatever reason, I always find myself reminiscing during the hottest months of the year.

July is usually about the time that I start to look back at family vacations of yesteryear. I start to think of summer barbecues that have come and gone. I always seem to think of that summer outdoor concert I went to with my brother. It was the first adult thing we ever did together.

Although I got the worst sunburn of my life, we managed to not fight in the car on the way to the venue. I never was on his side of the car and he never pushed me into a trash can or a light pole. It was a good day, and I think our parents would have been proud.

As I was sitting on my patio last weekend reading a book, it hit me that another fond summer memory was going to the library. Now, we went to the library during the other three seasons, too, but something about going in the summer was so much more exciting.

Summers around a small town usually were pretty quiet. We didn’t have a lot going on except the occasional mail call that included that month’s issue of Highlights magazine. So when mom loaded us up for a trip to the library, we usually didn’t have to be asked twice.

The public library in my hometown was modest. In days past, it housed the town’s post office. As a child, I thought it was the biggest building in town because it had not one, but two levels. The place had a smell that wasn’t offensive but very distinctive. I can only describe it as a combination of old books and knowledge.

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