Sweet July memories from a senior

By Bruce Hartley
Life Columnist

This month, I am reflecting on July memories. I hope this trip down memory lane encourages you to reminisce on your positive summer memories from days gone down.

As a child I remember saving money and begging my parents for money, so I could shop for 4th of July fireworks. As I grew older, I was focused on fireworks that made loud noises. Now as a senior adult, my taste in fireworks has become tamer and I enjoy sparkling colorful fountains. It’s interesting to think back on how my taste in fireworks has changed over the years.

Another good July memory is Vacation Bible School (VBS). My dad drove the church bus and my mom was often the VBS director at our little Baptist church. VBS was fun and my favorite part was craft and snack time. I remember looking forward to a cup of red or purple sugary drink and strawberry wafer cookies.

In sixth grade, my favorite VBS craft was puppets. We made awesome puppets, rivaling the puppets on Sesame Street. On the final night of VBS, we wrote the script for a puppet show. We presented it to the whole church.

Church played a large role in my life as child and teenager and we often had a July revival. During July of 1976, we had a Bicentennial tent revival. The best memory was the contest held to create a theme for the revival. I was a creative writer even back in 1976 and my theme won the top prize.

I have fond memories of spending time at my local playground. My hometown, Springfield, Missouri, had an active park board who coordinated competition between all our city parks. The competitions included weekly contests. My park was top park for many years.

The competitions ended toward the end of July with a citywide track meet. Each playground selected a mascot, created a big banner, recruited cheerleaders and a team of kids to compete in normal track and field events. When I turned 14 I became a part time playground director. This was my first real job.

The final memory which stands out to me is my birthday in July. I hated having a summer birthday because I was jealous of kids who had school-year birthdays. By the time my birthday rolled around all my friends were on family vacations. I don’t remember any birthday parties until I was 16 when I could drive and connect with my friends easier. Birthdays are much more fun now as a senior adult.

My July birthday makes me a Leo and even though my church always told me horoscopes and being gay was bad, I am happy to both a Leo and a gay Christian senior adult.

I hope this walk down memory lane has made you think back to good July memories from your child and teenage years. July is a hot month and a great time to make memories with family and friends.

Take some time to read, have a picnic, go swimming, have a garage sale, go fishing, take a country drive, watch the sunrise and sunset or just hang out with people who make you smile.

Have a fun, safe and exciting July.

Copyright The Gayly – July 24, 2018 @ 7:40 a.m. CDT.