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Summer Loves 

Some of my fondest memories take place in the hot Cleveland summers of the 1950s. Summers were magical times. In those simpler times, mom would get us up early, give us some simple breakfast, and push us out the door.

We had dear friends as adolescents – the best friends we would ever have the rest of our life. Our gang of 4-5 hormone-driven young boys would meet up almost by gravity and spend the day in mindless pursuits of excitement.

We were a self-contained unit. No Internet. No smart phones. No video games. Just us looking for adventure in the streets of west Cleveland.

My family operated a corner grocery store in our neighborhood, so I was a popular kid by default. It was expected that I would provide my comrades with free goodies from our family store. And I did.

One balmy summer night, we decided to have a dance (ala Andy Hardy) in a neighbor’s garage. My crush that summer was Nancy Mikulka. She was very blonde and very petite.

Best of all, she seemed to like me. That night changed my life forever. I slow danced for the first time. It was almost a mystical experience. Nancy was gracious in showing me how to hold my hands and how to move my feet.

I became a fan of young women that night. After our dance, Nancy gave me a kiss on the cheek, said good night and went home.

She moved away later that summer. Never saw her again. Never reconnected in any way, although I am tempted to try to find her on Social Media.

Nancy was my first love. My summer love in the summer of 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio.

As I grow older, I find great comfort in getting lost in memories of summer loves. How about you?