Every season has its good and bad … but summer time is definitely special to me. I know summer brings out the mosquitoes, snakes, and temperatures in the 90’s, but I decided to think about all the good things about summer. As a kid, my most favorite thing about summer was no school which allowed me to do the other great things that summer provided. Like most kids growing up in rural Tyrrell County, NC … one of my first loves was swimming, especially in Albemarle Sound. My folks would take us to Legion Beach, Dewey’s Pier, or Colonial Beach for a cool dip in the sound.
Sometimes while swimming, we would have another summer favorite which is hot dogs speared on a coat hanger and cooked over a driftwood fire. Other childhood summer favorites were playing tag after dark, catching lightning bugs, chasing the mosquito spray truck, dip netting terrapins, riding bikes, picking up soda bottles for the deposit money, snatching watermelons, and making homemade ice cream . In my teen years I began another summer favorite which is fishing … catching bream, bass, catfish, or perch in the canals, river, or sound. It was also a great time to go to teen hangouts such as The Casino, Albemarle Beach, Sentell’s, or just hang out at the local Drugstore for milkshakes and such. As I grew into an adult, summer favorites are of a different sort. Things ripe from the garden such as the first ripe tomato for a perfect tomato sandwich, the first mess of fried okra or squash, or just about any veggie fresh from a home garden. And I can’t forget catching a mess of hard crabs with lines baited with chicken necks for a great crab boil. It was just as much fun catching those blue crabs as it was eating them. Summertime in Tyrrell County also meant tater
digging time. As a young boy potato season meant a summer job working at the grader or driving field trucks. After I got married, my wife and I enjoyed scrapping in the potato fields after they were dug to get free potatoes to last us throughout the year. Summertime was also a time to set mullet nets and cook out fresh caught mullets on the shore of Albemarle Sound, Scuppernong River, or Alligator Creek. I could go on and on but these are some of the highlights of what summertime in eastern North Carolina means to me. I hope I have stirred some summer memories in you and if  not you need to get out there and make some summer memories of your own.
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SWEET SUMMERTIME by Jimmy Fleming SWEET SUMMERTIME  by Jimmy Fleming Reviewed by kensunm on 7:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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