Tub O’ Soda, 10″ x 10″ Oil on gessobord
Original page from Michne Camping Log, 1971
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
Cherry Kool-Aid, 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!
Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?
Frozen Pink Lemonade
After ripping the plastic strip off the can, removing the aluminum disk from the end, I would hold that can for a few seconds then wait for the “scccuuuupppppp” sound as the plop of pink creamy ice fell into the pitcher. I remember being in such a hurry to make it that filling 3 whole cans of water seemed like an eternity. The sticky, gooey mess would be left on the counter, along with whatever utensil could find to make it. Then, after selecting a glass as impressive as this pink drink, I would find the perfect spot to enjoy it. The ritual involved with pink lemonade hasn’t changed much and while buying a carton may seem easier, there is something about the canned frozen pink lemonade that remains my prefered method of classic, summer-must enjoyment.
Coke and a Smile. 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
Detail: Coke and a Smile.
I feel for this generation that didn’t get to experience the Real Thing. The commercial- apple trees, honey bees and snow white turtle doves. Everyone knows things go better with Coke. Especially the mountains! Taking a freezing cold Coke out of a galvanized bucket of ice- there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day. It adds life! It’s a natural! This video clip says it all! Classic Coke Commercial- Thank you Don Draper!
Hot Mess: 6″ x 6″ oil on gessobord
Cherry pie from fresh cherries? Nonsense! Who needs fresh when the can are so tasty! Nothing is more American than a slice of pie on the 4th of July! Hope you had yours! Happy 4th! And yes, this painting and the pie were a hot mess, but oh so delicious!
Twinkies, Of Course, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
Every kid at some point needs to eat a Twinkie. I know, I know….they are terrible for you! But, have you ever had a Twinkie with an iced-cold glass of milk? Yeah, they are still terrible. Twinkies were part of “normal” childhood-or what I thought all the normal, cool kids had! I had to include Twinkies, Of Course in the Summer As It Was. And now, I think I’ll pour a nice glass of milk!
Creamsicle, 6″ x 6″” Oil on gesso board
The only bad thing about an orange Creamsicle is how fast it disappears! It’s cousin the popsicle, can last for what seems like a half an hour but probably is only ten minutes (I’ve never timed it!). While the popsicle may seem a bit more versatile (you can break it to share with someone), a Creamsicle can give you two satisfying flavors in one bite! If I had my choice, I would always pick a Creamsicle…but an orange popsicle is a close second!
Friiied Dough, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
If there was one Fair Food I could choose to eat endlessly without any repercussions it would be fried dough, or as I like to call it Friiied Dough. Ironically, I can walk right by the donut or pizza booth. County fairs haven’t really changed much from when I was a kid. There is still the Mid-way with “carnies” barking to try their game, there is still 4-H exhibits with some homegrown tomatoes and of course, the county’s most “tasty pie”. You can still get sausage and peppers, cotton candy and popcorn. I suppose each County Fair has a different “flavor” to it, but wherever you are in this great nation, I’m so glad the food police hasn’t discovered just how void of nutrition fair food is! No lie- yesterday, I saw a line of people waiting for their deep-fried Oreo! Got to love America!
A Perfect Peach, 6″ x 6″ Oil on gesso board
That first bite of a peach can either be heavenly or so, so disappointing. Knowing when to take that first bite is the trick! So, you buy them at the farm stand and wait. Wait some more. You pick it up. Nope. Still slightly firm. Maybe now…skin seems to depress ever so slightly when you press down. Ehhh…wait one more day. Finally. Time to take the first bite. Napkin in hand….and….it’s….just perfect. Soft, juicy, sweet, the perfect peach. A definite summer must, enjoying a perfect peach.