Summer Romances

My first summer romance, at age fifteen, was more of a crush. I went to a camp for the arts on Cape Cod and adored the drawing teacher. I thought he was very old. He went to the Chicago Art Institute which meant he was at least twenty! He handled it very well. We talked and he teased me like an older brother. But Ron gave me confidence that I could relate to the opposite sex. He drew a sexy sketch of me which I have hanging in my bedroom in Scottsdale.

The summer after that my parents rented a house on the beach after camp ended. The teenagers would go down to the beach at night and make bonfires. I met a fellow from Connecticut (I lived in New Jersey) and had my first mutual romance. I was a naïve kid so it only entailed kissing, but it sure made me feel good. We wrote and saw each other during the fall but it fizzled with the winter snow.

In the summer of my sophomore year of college, I worked in the Hamptons as a waitress in a twenty-four hour diner. Some of my college friends were there, and all the out-of-town waitresses lived in a mansion, which had seen finer days, across the street from the diner. We were paid $1.25 an hour and pooled our tips which usually gave us another dollar per hour. But we got free room and board so I was able to save quite a bit of money.

This was in the late sixties so there were plenty of bars and music. (The drinking age was eighteen then.) The first half of the summer I fell for a guy named Gordon who was in the Coast Guard. He looked like Troy Donahue and I called G. G. of the C. G. (Gorgeous Gordon of the Coast Guard.) He left midway through the summer for another assignment.

My heart was broken until I met Max one night. He was a Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune, 665 miles from the Hamptons on Long Island. But he would “swoop” down for long weekends to see me. Oh my, how romantic. Sometimes I would get off at midnight and we would sleep on the beach.

I went back to the Hamptons the following summer with my boyfriend Rob, who had just graduated from The University of Rochester, where I was going to be a senior. Although I liked him a lot, the romance didn’t bloom until that summer. The ocean, the sand, the sun, the passion. He proposed towards the end of the summer and I married him the next year.

I was done with summer romances, for a while. When I was in my late thirties, and divorced for five years, I went over to a friend’s house for dinner. Afterwards, she and her husband convinced me to go to a bar where they played Classic Rock. It was a boiling hot summer in Phoenix and didn’t seem like the time for a romance. But as soon as I saw Dan, I fell in love. That had never happened before. He proposed a month later and we married the following spring.

Fast forward to being a single senior. It’s different now. I’m more a “seize the moment” person, make the most of today because maybe I’ll be eating dirt tomorrow. In this column I’ve chronicled my summer flings with Mr. Spiritual Journey and the Train Man. Neither led to anything serious, but they were great summer flings.

It’s been a few years since I’ve felt that passion. But now I’ve met Mr. Hotstuff in Munds Park. Maybe it will only last a week or two, maybe the summer, maybe more. I’ll enjoy it as it is.

P.S. He told me I should change my photo for the paper because it didn’t do me justice. Way to stroke my ego!



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