Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sounds of Summer

As opposed to the Simon & Garfunkel hit "The Sound of Silence", from late 1965.

We are winding down the last days of a long, hot summer in our area. The children have been back in school for a few weeks, older students have gone back to college, and I am still retired. Thankfully.

When I was a child, school did not begin until after Labor Day, which seemed to make summer last a very long time. What I associate most with my childhood summers are the sounds:

- untold numbers of crickets and other insects making their lovely cacophony of chirping and other noises, especially if you were fortunate to be out at night away from the city

- a baseball bat being dragged across concrete, barrel side down, as I walked to another game of pickup baseball

- tennis shoes (pronounced "tenna shoes") being scuffed across walkways of large gravel, making it sound somewhat like metal baseball cleats crunching on that gravel

- the wind in my ears as I rode my bike everywhere at a fast pace

- a warm, soft rain, gentle and peaceful, with a calming effect best noticed if you were in a glider on the front porch

- a loud thunderstorm that shook the house

- the "thwack" of a wiffle ball against a wiffle bat

- the "thonk" of a rubber ball slamming off the front steps, the steps of the church next door, or the side wall of the apartment building behind us as I played countless games of baseball in my head

- the solid crack of a bat smashing into a hard-thrown baseball

- the trumpet sounding "Charge!" to spur on the Columbus Jets against their foes. I recall Richmond, Rochester (thought it was "ROD-chester"), Syracuse, Buffalo the most

- kids "popping" an empty, upside down plastic-coated paper Coke cup on concrete at the ballpark

- fireworks on Independence Day

- Sainted Mother ringing the dinner bell to call us home

These are the sounds that first spring to mind when I recall my childhood summers. I know there are hundreds more "sound memories" just waiting to bubble up to my conscious thoughts. I wish I could recapture them all.


  1. You certainly have a lot of bat sounds in there. What, no crashing of bikes or basketballs through chain hoops? How about 'gutterball'?

  2. Most of the sounds were from the "500" years, but perhaps your discerning eye missed my last paragraph.