Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

In 1963, Nat King Cole released a song that perfectly described how one should enjoy the summer. I can still remember my mom and dad listening to the radio on summer nights while the sat with their neighbors on our back patio. They’d either be listening the Bob Prince covering the Pirate’s game or perhaps listening to the music on KDKA. Each evening, everyone would end up on some’s porch to just relax and talk away the evening.

I happened to hear Nat King Cole’s song on the radio today and realized how much it reminded me of summertime in Duquesne. As a kid, our goal was to soak as much as we could out of each and every day. Rarely did we “plan” our day. Things just sort of happened as we went along just taking out time, enjoying life and growing up in Duquesne. The purpose of this post is just to capture a “feeling,” a sense of just belonging to a fmily, a neighborhood, a community. Just sit back and relax, think about the words of Nat King Cole’s song, recall what it was like before the stresses of adult life and relive those very special, hot summer days.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies
Then lock the house up, now you’re set
And on the beach you’ll see the girls in their bikinis
As cute as ever but they never get ’em wet

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You’ll wish that summer could always be here

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Don’t hafta tell a girl and fella about a drive-in
Or some romantic movie seen
Right from the moment that those lovers start arrivin’
You’ll see more kissin’ <wolf whistle> in the cars than on the screen

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You’ll wish that summer could always be here

You’ll wish that summer could always be here
You’ll wish that summer could always be here

Now here’s a bit summer nostalga. I have gather a few random newspaper clippings from the Duquesne Times that appeared during some of the summers of our youth. Enjoy!


Auqust 4, 1960


August – 1952

This entry was posted in Kennywood, Life in General, Playing and Games, Sports, Summertime. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

  1. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Jim, two things strike me here. First the radio. What a wonderful thing to listen to and relax. It could be the object of attention or the ideal background for a summer event. You could actually interact with friends and family while it was on, unlike TV today (and even then). And by the tone of Bob Prince’s voice you knew when to pay attention or just half listen. And a singer like Nat King Cole made everything soooooooo mellow.
    The second thing that strikes me here is the lack of noise from power tools. Back then there were no gas powered lawnmowers or grass trimmers. No gas powered leaf blowers or gas powered chain saws. Almost all of the lawn work was by man power. Reel type push mowers and hand operated hedge and edge trimmers. No background noise to cause you to turn up the radio or to yell a little louder. It’s no wonder we could hear noise from the mills or the rumble and whistle of the trains hard at work. But by the very late 60’s it all started to change. Today on a Sunday morning I can hardly read the paper out on my deck for all the power equipment noise here in suburbia. 😦

  2. Barry Long says:

    Called Rodger Ruby this morn to tell him there was a 1956 article on DUQ.HUNK.lauding the fact that he won a checker contest when he was 11. Jerry Skweres had talked of Rodger & his Grandma lived between Audrey Rosenbush’s house & Danny Janasek’s house when I lived on Grant Ave till 1946, & I remembered the Blond kid playing in the backyard. We finally met last season at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki & talked of our Duquesne days over a beer. I sent him the Blog so he could print the article of his checker prowess & give it to his grandkids to take to Show & Tell. (hey, thats better than being known as the kid that bit a giant chunk out of Mr.Clipfel’s apple) Haven’t heard if Rodger got the BLOG or not.

  3. Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

    Hey Jim, What a nice surprise I got from this page. First I saw that a few of my classmates kept very busy @ the playgrounds & then when I got to the picture of the 2 BS’s with the woman I thought, hey that looks like my brother Terry. So I quickly scrolled down for a caption & never even noticed the 2nd picture. Indeed it was my brother Terry, but I think the paper had him as Jerry. Then I saw where it said in the 2nd photo was Carl Negley Scout Comm. Wow, a picture of my daddy when he was younger than I am now. So thanks for the great family memories!

    • Jim says:

      I was surprised about the article, not only for your discovery, but for so many others who commented so far. Thanks to Jim Hartman at the Mifflin Township Historical Society, I have a supply to keep posting and perhaps reminding others of the special time and place we grew up in! Keep reading! – Jim

  4. Lou Andriko says:

    Jim, do you remember WJET in Erie? Every 9 transistor AM radio on the beach was tuned in; they played this at least once every hour:

    Lou A.

  5. Joyann Barker Drumm says:

    I absolutely loved the article on the playground winners…especially since I found my mother’s name ( Joyce Blotzer) among the 2nd Street winners. Funny to think of my mother as a little girl playing on playgrounds that I frequented as a little girl. When I told her she said those were some of her best memories…playing all day at the playground with her best friend Jeannie! Great stuff!

  6. Barry Long says:

    Lucien Clipfel was my 8th grade home room teacher in1949. He was a Navy Hero from the South Pacific during WWll. He still suffered from malaria & sometimes we could see his color getting more pale, then he would be absent for several days. He & Mr;Flister were our Idols. He had us boys bring our Dad’s tie to school & showed us how to tie them in several types of knots.( The news article was probably about his summer job.) Anyway this is about a dirty trick I hope I corrected to a great teacher. One lunch I came to home-room & not wanting the apple I had, I took a big bite out of it & put it on his desk with the BITE facing the windows where he couldn’t see it. He came in when the bell rang & noticing the apple on his desk he smiled & thanked us, he went on how many years he taught & this was the one & only apple he had ever gotten from a student, then picked up the apple to see the Gigantic Bite from it. You could have heard a Pin drop & he turned RED. He then began the class. After class I was mortified,I told everyone please bring an apple tomorrow. The next morning there were 2 more apples than there were students on his desk so someone else felt as bad as I did. I salute you Mr. Clipfel & if we asked 10 teachers today to show us a Windsor, a double Windsor or an Overhand Knot they would just stare or say it’s not curriculum!!!

    • Jim says:

      What an awesome story Barry! He sounded like he was the type of educator teachers should strive to be today. My wife has been teaching for over 20 years and she really appreciated the story!

    • Jack schalk says:

      I remember that Mr. Clipfel was not always a healthy looking man but I never knew why.
      You showed compassion in a large way with your handling of the “apple caper”.
      Thanks for filling in another blank. If my mother were still alive I’d invite you over for more rabbit and dumplings.

  7. tom lane says:

    Amazing how many names I recognized in those articles. Still can’t remember the name of the guy I met last week, though….

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