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May 21, 2009 - Bill Speer
With temperatures yesterday (May 20) flirting with 90 degrees it seems safe to say summer offically began this week.
That's appropriate as the first holiday weekend of the summer draws near this weekend. As a youth growing up Memorial Day always held a soft spot in my heart.
I worked every summer since I was a junior in high school at a campground in northwest Pennsylvania. Located in a lake region much like this area, it was a popular destination for Pittsburgh residents to escape to on summer weekends.
Every year on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, about 4 p.m. the first wave of trailers and tents would begin pulling into the campground. By 8 p.m. their would be a line of a dozen vehicles or better waiting to register and at midnight, there still would some campers pulling in.
Come Saturday morning however the campground was filled with campers. You could hear the "pop" of a campfire's wood at every corner of the campground you visited or smell the aroma of a fresh brewed pot of coffee. I loved seeing the campground come alive.
What I liked most, naturally, was the social aspects of campground life. At a campground there never are strangers - just lots of people who ultimately will become your friends. It was a place where you leave the cares of the world behind and the toughest decision you'll face in any given day is what lure to pull from your tackle box to cast out into the water.
Those summers I lived in the campground were the best summers of my life. I worked hard every day and by day's end more often than not I was drenched in dirt and sweat, but each night I knew I always had friends to hang with.
Every Memorial Day weekend I reminisce about those days. For me, summer always officially begins Memorial Day weekend. Thus, I was glad to bask in the warm weather of this week.
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