All summer long, you’ve been with me,
I can’t see enough of you;
All summer long, we’ve both been free,
Won’t be long ’til summer time is through.
— The Beach Boys, 1964
I am lying, poolside, in a plastic chaise lounge, listening to pop music and watching water droplets dry on my skin. The year is 2011, but my thoughts keep returning to the mid-1960s, when I spent the summers doing exactly the same thing in precisely the same spot.
The name of the complex has changed, the bathhouse and concession stand have been reconfigured, and a children’s slide has replaced one of the diving boards. But the L-shaped pool is still big, blue and cool, the concrete deck still burns the soles of bare feet, and a Popsicle still delivers a sweet, welcome numbness to the tongue.
There are places for each of us that possess special powers, no matter how far removed we become by miles or years. This swimming pool, planted above the banks of the Wabash River, has been one of those places for me for nearly half a century. I have longed for it from big cities on either coast and gravitated toward it on visits home in the dead of winter — just to stand near its memories.
Largely, I suspect this is because of the time in which I frequented the pool. It was brief and rarefied. The rumblings of a U.S. cultural and sexual revolution had begun, but the vibrations had not quite reached this patch of the Midwest. For most Americans, it still seemed a relatively innocent time — and I was a genuinely innocent adolescent, hovering between girl and woman.
The reality of my own revolutions lay hidden, years away in an impenetrable future.
Life was in near-equipoise during those summer days, structured but unfettered, rhythmic but filled with surprise. School was out — for months, not weeks — and my hardworking, middle-class parents had sacrificed to make my sister’s and my existence as trouble-free and enjoyable as possible. The pool, then private, cost my folks a bundle. My sister and I repaid them by virtually living there, happy, safe and accounted for, all day long behind a chain-link fence.
The fence was like a two-way magnet in those days. Mostly, it drew boys in their cars or on bikes to one side and girls like me to the other. Less often, the genders were reversed; girls cruised into the glimmering asphalt parking lot in cars, pulling males or females, dripping, from the pool. The body language always spoke volumes: fingers entwined in the metal links, faces close enough for quiet conversation, or one party standing several feet away, hands tucked behind the back, neutral, non-threatening or not interested.
Dates were made at the fence, gossip delivered, promises broken, hopes buoyed and dashed. Sometimes, hours of watching for the mere sight of an object of pure bliss ended in existential blackness. Other times, an entire day was rescued by the subtle but unmistakable raising of a hand from the driver’s window of a slowly moving car. He’s going to call!
All summer long, you’ve been with me,
Readers’ Forum: July 28, 2014
• Tea party folks misunderstood
• We have only us to blame
MARK BENNETT: Hall of Memories: Names, images of baseball greats trigger connections to our own past
Baseball Hall of Famers are just people. Totally human. Still, for Americans who follow the national pastime, those players represent a nostalgic connection to summers gone by.
Editorial: Community support crucial for workers facing layoffs
The loss of 150 jobs impacts people — the employees themselves, their families and the community. They need the support of loved ones, friends, neighbors, churches, schools, clubs and local service groups in the search for new work and clarity amid the uncertainty.
- Readers' Forum: July 27, 2014
Flashpoint: Why incumbents keep getting re-elected
Nearly three-quarters of Americans want to throw out most members of Congress, including their own representative, yet the vast majority of incumbents will be returning to Capitol Hill in January.
Flashpoint: Spreading the good word about marriage equality
If you blinked over the past month, you probably missed some news about marriage equality in Indiana.
Ronn Mott: Gaza 2014 — hatred lives on
The rockets’ red glares have turned Gaza, part of the Palestinian authority, into a battleground with Hamas, a legislative terrorist organization that has been stockpiling armaments to use against Israel for years.
- Readers’ Forum: July 25, 2014
RONN MOTT: The Czar of Russia
If you are expecting Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Republic, to react to the crisis in the Ukraine as an ordinary elected official, think again. Even though Putin is the President of the Russian Republic, this is not the job he wants. Putin also doesn’t want to be the chairman of a newly resurrected Communist Party in Russia. No, what he wants is to be the czar of a greater Russia.
Readers’ Forum: July 24, 2014
• Clinic will expand basic health access
• Misunderstanding truth about Islam
EDITORIAL: Work program needs industry buy-in
Good help is hard to find. That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers. Businesses say too few applicants possess the “soft skills,” such as showing up for work on time or being able to effectively communicate with co-workers.
- Readers’ Forum: July 23, 2014
RONN MOTT: Dragonfly
The other morning I was moving the canister that holds our recycling material out to the curb when I saw a strange sight. What I saw was a dragonfly fighting with a bee.
FLASHPOINT: News about reality, not affirmation
The public’s trust in the news media keeps dwindling. At the same time, Americans’ political polarization keeps increasing.
LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way
I suppose many of us who grew up on farms or in small towns adopted unusual pets. I had a fondness for chickens. My folks always kept a few chickens, not only to fry or roast, but also for the eggs.
Readers’ forum: July 22, 2014
• Supt. Ritz has right to govern
• A tribute to a teacher
• Rep. Pelosi shows ‘bungling idiocy’
Readers’ forum: July 21, 2014
• Theater brings the joy of music
• Drawing closer to the spirit
• Give some space to heterosexuals
MARK BENNETT: Former Terre Hautean Jim Lovell stood ready as Neil Armstrong’s backup on Apollo 11
The words “Apollo 11” stir optimism in me.
I was an elementary school kid growing up in Vigo County when Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon on July 20, 1969. So much seemed possible
EDITORIAL: Vigo Jail study essential to determine strategy
It comes as encouraging news that the Vigo County Council might include in its 2015 budget significant funding for an expert and neutral study of what can be done to replace or enhance the existing county jail.
Readers’ forum: July 20, 2014
• ‘Hotel Indiana’ has a sour tune
• Kind words about the newspaper
• Some questions about RTL video
• No mercy for cop killers
• Crack down on gun violence
• Anti-Dem tirades mask GOP failures
• Important day for participants
• Appreciation for support
FLASHPOINT: Solve our border crisis
More than 60,000 unaccompanied alien children — mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been apprehended on America’s southern border during this fiscal year.
RONN MOTT: World Cup over, but it was fun
After many weeks and many games, the World Cup is over. While the world calls it “futbol,” only we in North America play another brand of football. It is very simple to understand why this is the world’s favorite game … all it takes is an empty lot, a round soccer ball, and you can get a futbol game together.
FLASHPOINT: Living in peaceful communities requires collaboration
Hoosiers have the right to live in peace. Yet, too many of our friends and neighbors are currently living in fear.
Flashpoint: Will Gov. Pence be true to his word?
This is written in response to recent remarks made by State Board of Education members.
- Readers’ Forum: July 18, 2014
RONN MOTT: Presidential Ambush
No wild-west ambush, either real or fiction, has been as successful as the ambush on President Barack Obama.
READERS’ FORUM: July 17, 2014
• Civil rights and burning cities
• Quality service from Baesler’s
FLAHSPOINT: Supt. Glenda Ritz ‘creating conflict’
It has been my pleasure for the past year to serve as the newest member of the Indiana State Board of Education. I bring a fresh perspective to the board as an attorney and business executive who served as Director of Economic Development under former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and President of the Indy Partnership, a regional economic development organization charged with recruiting new companies to our state.
Editorial: Continuing the standard
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has raised the profile of his federally appointed position more than any individual to hold the job in decades. From the start, he was a man on a mission, and often that mission was focused on rooting out corruption, maintaining integrity in government and pursuing those who violated the public trust.
Readers’ Forum: July 16, 2014
• The truth about property taxes
- More Opinion Headlines
- Readers’ Forum: July 28, 2014