I always get a bit melancholy this time of year. Not too overly bad, as its still sunny, its summer, I am cycling, I have trips planned with my lovely wife, so life is good. However, this is also the time of year I start hearing people talking about their kids starting at Washington State University (WSU).
This always reminds me of my days back in college. Every August, my dad and I would have “The Talk!” This talk revolved around when I was going to quit my summer job and go back to school. He wanted me to work up and until the day classes started, maximizing the money I made over the summer. I voted to go back 2 weeks early, so I got a vacation during summer vacation. I usually won!
My last year in college (OK which was my 5th year) I got there early! As soon as our apartment was open, I moved in. I left at 3 AM and was at the window getting the keys at 9! I was unpacked and moved in by 11! Next steps, I got the phone and cable hooked up! Yes, this was 1987. No cell phone, no internet. If I wanted outside interaction, and be able to call home for money, I needed this done. Getting there early meant it was done the next morning. Later there could be WEEKS before it was done with all the kids coming back.
Then I was done! I had two weeks of summer, sun and nothing to do!! After working as a janitor all summer, this was amazing. This was NOT the case for my roommates Dave and Scott also came back. But for them it was NOT free time.
Dave was president of the Cougar Marching Band. This was hell week. Practicing all day long, getting ready for the first game!
Scott was working at KUGR radio. So those two would wake up and head out to their respective responsibilities. I on the other hand, had a different schedule.
I would wake up, have breakfast, grab a book and go out to the hammocks we had rigged on the deck (blankets and ropes, McGyver style), turn on boom box (yep again, pre iPod) KUGR radio and start relaxing. Long about noon (ok Maybe 10 (it’s 5 oclock somewhere?) , I’d call Scott at the station, request a song as I popped a Strohs. He’d cuss at me, then play my song while I made and ate lunch. Eating and drinking in hammock is incredibly relaxing!
Dave would come home to eat lunch, see me there, call me an “Asshole!” and go back to practice. He’d come home for dinner, STILL see me there, with another Strohs, Ask me if I had moved at all during the day (nope) call me an “asshole” again, and went back again. I loved it!
Then as the week progressed, people started coming by. As they would drive to their apartments, they would see me swinging, and come on in. Many times with more Strohs! While my buddies busted their butts, I had one of the most relaxing 2 weeks of my life. This was Pre adrenaline junky Tony. I read 4 books, and probably gained 5 lbs, but back then I needed it!
The hammocks stayed up until the winter turned. Given the chance, that’s where we spent the majority of our time those first weeks in school. It never fails, when Dave and I are together, we mention the hammocks. It started the last semester in college perfectly. When stress, work, kids, and life in general has gotten rough over the years, remembering the hammock weeks always put a smile on our faces. And for years we wanted to develop time travel just to relive that semester (minus the studying of course!)
Because as you see, we had a LOT of fun that year!
- When I became a Coug! (mountainstroh.com)