Oh how I remember those fun times so fondly, where teenage hanging out reigned supreme!
Summer was always so short (i.e. having fun), so gather your friends and get it together! Parties, bonfires in the woods and of course beach party flings were filling the calendar quickly and soon I’d be a senior in high school. There wasn’t a minute to waste, no not thinking about even making future plans like college or classes to take, but I mean getting to the mall (yes even back then there was one)! There were new bikinis to buy and lip gloss and records (yes I’m that old, also shut up!) and possible concert tickets! Oh those were the days when the minimum wage was low and stuff cost less and I was skinny enough to make a halter out of knotted together bandanas and shoes were always optional!
Within two days of the last day of school car loads of teens made mass exoduses out of their respective subdivisions and out into the wanderlust of their souls. The forest preserves back then were filled with excellent music blasting and super championships of Frisbee, and if one wanted to, there was a guy in a van that would give you an excellent tattoo! How innocent were those that actually did that kind of stuff (no, I didn’t) but actually one never heard of blood borne diseases just yet. Nor did anyone actually die of such an adventure, that we were aware.
So the Frisbees flew and the days were long and the music was as hot as the pavement and it was all good. Especially if one could pack in at least six friends at one time into your car or jeep or special guy’s muscle car and cruise anywhere! There were nice beaches along Chicago’s lakefront, but the older one got the further from home we wanted to go.
So, the Dunes of Indiana or Michigan called our names. Plans were made, cars were loaded with Styrofoam coolers of Pepsi and bags of Lays chips and with Coppertone oil and chewing gum, sunglasses, cigarettes, transistor radio and towels were filled. As our parents waved a quick goodbye, a virtual parade of cars gather at the station to fill the tanks with gas and on the road we went! Our heads and arms hanging out open windows, bare feet on dashboards and smiles from ear to ear. The parade proceeded following the one and only guy who knew how to get there! (No google maps people…just handwritten directions or yes an atlas/map was used). The car I was in had one because my dad threw it at me before I left; dad telling me to “give it to the guy driving” because you will get lost!
We arrive! Fabulous expanse of beach lay before us, the weather was hot, we scoped our spots and laid down our blankets as far from people as we could. We nicknamed our spot Camp Beach! We had the best time, all of use sunburnt tan lines and happiness tired; the girls decide to go to find the beach house to use the washroom. When we came out with freshly rinsed feet (shower was free) we headed back to our blanket camp. Dunes contain ups and downs and they sometimes go for miles and miles but your feet were baby smooth (no pedicures needed the sand provided them) we four were nearly back when we realized we were being followed by four guys we did not know! When we approached our blankets, the followers tried to talk to us and we expressed that we were taken by these guys here, they said oh ok. But they proceeded to park themselves right next to us! Well yes, you guessed it a horrible fight ensued and punches in our honor were thrown. A melee of sand was tossed and naturally a park ranger happened by, all was ended and everyone went their separate ways. We had enough of sun and fun and packed up Camp Beach. As we did this the boys were getting in their respective cars to drive and asked me for their wallets (the boys put their wallets into my beach bag for safe keeping so they didn’t lose them or get them wet)!! But when I reached into the bag, they were all gone! Every single wallet was stolen by those creepy guys! It was the worst ending a beautiful day could have. Not one of us ever recovered any of our wallet contents and lessons were learned that day!
We all could not wait to get home, and now with sunburn all I wanted was my mommy! So much for growing up!