When I was a very little kid, up until the time my grandfather died, summertime meant one thing – going out on the boat. My grandfather’s pride and joy was this Glasper Cabin Cruiser.

After work on Fridays he’d make sure it was ready to go, loaded up on the trailer and in the driveway facing the street so that bright and early Saturday morning we could head out to Antioch to launch for a day of fishing and playing around the water. Once we were in the boat we always stopped by his duck blinds so he could get out and rake the clam bed so we would have a bucket of bait. Once the bucket was full we were off and racing through the sloughs. I remember thinking that all the sloughs looked alike to me but Papa, he always knew right where he was going.

He would get us set up at one of our favorite beaches and then he would go back out on the boat, drifting a bit further from where were were making so much noise on the beach so he could fish. I remember that sometimes my aunt and uncle would come out and meet us at the beach so that I could play with my cousin Diane. (I’m on the right.)

When I look at this picture I can remember that ice chest that said Hires root bear on it. It had a green padded seat and my Nana always sat on it. Sometimes my mom and my grandmother would go off to collect wild berries. Me, I liked to collect rocks and clam shells and driftwood. I would make tunnels and rivers and bring the water up to watch it race around the courses I made. I wasn’t much for building sand castles but I did like to dig holes. We would roast hot dogs on the beach and drink Coca Cola and stay out until the sun was going down then race back through the sloughs to hit the dock before dark.

Papa almost always caught a bucket of catfish to bring home so once we were all back at our house he would gut and clean them and my grandmother would pack them in milk cartons that she would fill with water to freeze so that we could have mostly fresh catifsh to eat the rest of the summer. Nana’s fried catfish was one of my favorite meals of all times. Summers on the beach in the Antioch sloughs are some of my most favorite summer time memories.

Your turn. What is one of your favorite summer memories?