I grew up in the Detroit area, so it’s only fitting that cars and cruising first come to mind. Convertibles. Gratiot Avenue. Woodward Avenue. Chinese fire drills. And a drive-through cemetery. Yes, cemetery. Very disrespectful, I know, but we were young, bored, and (quite frankly) clueless.
Metropolitan Beach on Lake St. Clair was always a hit. As well as Stony Creek for picnics. And we used to hang out at the various ethnic festivals. My friend Kathy even married a guy we met at the German Festival (or was it Greek?) on her 16th birthday.
You can’t grow up in Michigan and not love lakes. I will always associate summer with swimming and boating on beautiful lakes. I was lucky enough to have cousins who lived on the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair and a friend whose family had a cottage (again on the Canadian side) of Lake Huron.
Trumping all of the above for teen fun were concerts at Pine Knob (which via a little internet sleuthing I see is now named DTE Energy Music Theatre). Back then, what were ski slopes in the winter became an outdoor amphitheater for music in the summer. The cheap seats were on the hill, which was fine with us. I was a regular back in the late 70s and early 80s when acts such as The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Chicago, and Neil Young and Crazy Horse were headliners. We were always a group of a dozen or so, and the concerts went on rain or shine. And mudslides down the hillside were part of the show on those few rainy occasions. Crazily enough, purchasing tickets was half the fun. We’d line up overnight, camping on the pavement. And, yes, as a mother of two teens, I marvel at my own mother’s lenience. Different times…
To pay for my social life, there was the odd summer job. Or two. I stocked shelves at a drugstore and waited tables at Buddy’s Pizza. And, for the record, Buddy’s Pizza is still my favorite pizza even though I haven’t lived in Michigan for almost thirty years.
Happy summer, everyone. Hope you’re making your own memories.