Days Gone By - stories from the past

Top 20 summertime memories in the south – Can you add to the list?

I grew up in Alabama and on hot summer days we had to find ways to entertain ourselves and endure the heat without air-conditioning. These are my top 20 summer-time memories.  How did you stay entertain yourself and stay cool during the hot southern days before air-conditioning?

  1. Spent evenings outdoors catching fireflies (we called them lightening bugs) with my brothers and sisters.lightening bugs in a jar
  2. Loaded up in the family station wagon on a hot summer afternoon to get to“The Spinning Wheel” in Birmingham, Alabama for those big frosty milkshakes served in huge ribbed glasses.
  3. Walked barefoot on freshly mowed grass and enjoy the fresh smells.
  4. Visited my grandparents and relatives who lived down dirt one-lane roads through thick woods and narrow one-lane bridges.wooden bridge
  5. Tied a string to a June bug’s leg and hang on to it while it flew around in circles.
  6. Dressed up in ‘Sunday best’ and shopped in downtown Birmingham, Alabama at Loveman’s or Pizitz and enjoyed air-conditioning in the large department stores.lovemans dept
  7. Had a party at Lowe’s Skating Rink in Birmingham, Alabama.
  8. Left windows open for a cooling breeze and doors unlocked at night while we slept with no worries.

  1. Spent a summer afternoon lying on the grass and made images in my mind from clouds overhead.
  2. Made chain necklaces from daisies to wear and searched for four leaf clovers in the grass.daisy chain
  3. Cooled off by playing with your brothers and sisters in the sprinkler.
  4. Went to Kiddieland at Fair Park in Birmingham and rode all the rides.
  5. Spent a Friday or Saturday night cruisin down third avenue in front of the theaters in Birmingham with all the windows rolled down.
  6. Watched a movie in the cool air-conditioned and beautiful theaters.alabama theater
  7. Enjoyed the beautiful music from the massive organ at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham, Alabama.
  8. Chased after the ice cream truck with my dime or quarter to get a frosty treat.
  9. Waded in a spring cooled creek.
  10. Watched a movie at an outdoor movie theaters.
  11. Went to mall to enjoy the air-conditioning.
  12. Skated down the street with my old time skates that attached to my shoes and I tightened with a key.


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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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