Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bikes and Banana Splits! Summer Memories with Jason Ancona

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Booyah baby! It's time for guest post number two!

If you missed it, earlier this week Sandra Brannan was here and she shared some summer memories, as well as brought a giveaway! No one has entered that yet (sniffs sadly) so get to to it will you?

Today the super fantastic and AWESOME Jason Ancona is here!

I LOVE his guest post. If this isn't quintessential summer, I honestly don't know what is. Take a look!


Summer Love: Bike Rides, Banana Splits & Books

By Jason Ancona

As a kid growing up in the Chicago burbs, I always loved summer. No more piling on winter clothes like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. No more shoveling the driveway. And no school--except for the time my dad made me take typing one summer. Ah, the IBM Selectric. Back then I was only typing 40 WPM. Twenty-five years later, I've nearly doubled my speed. Maybe it's my aerodynamic keyboard: HP Wireless Elite.

Cruising the hood. I remember winding through my old neighborhood to my sidekick's house on my low-riding purple bike. His place was on the way to the creek, where we would try to catch bluegills and crayfish. Biking over summer break, I felt free. Free from needing mom or dad to give me a ride to a friend's house. Or to the park. Or to Pin Pan Alley--a local arcade jam-packed with the classics: Gallaga, Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Gorf.

Bananas for chocolate. Back when calories didn't seem to matter, this was how I ordered my banana split: scoop of mint-chocolate chip, scoop of regular chocolate chip, and a scoop of chocolate. No nuts. No whip cream. Strawberries and chocolate sauce on top--please. On those rare occasions when I ordered just a cone, I went with the double scoop, ditching plain chocolate for the two chip flavors. And if I walked outside with it, the race was on: eating the ice cream before it melted down my hand. My big mouth usually won. Unfortunately, my game isn't what it used to be. This summer I lost handily in an ice cream eating contest. And froze my tongue--it went numb for the day.

Hot reads. It was usually too hot and humid to read outside. But a summer free of schoolwork meant more time for leisure reading. I devoured The Black Stallion series, The Lord of the Rings series, and everything by Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. One book I constantly reread was Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. His humorous poems and drawings always made me smile. My favorite poem was "Hungry Mungry," which is about a kid who ate everything, including the universe.

These days, books are going digital, bikes are cooler, and ice cream--well, it's pretty much the same--delicious. When you need a break from reading the latest novel on your e-device or a classic tale on paper, take a spin on your bike over to the closest ice cream spot and indulge in a banana split. On the ride over, you will have earned those three scoops. Go ahead. Go whip cream and nuts.


And now....I want a gosh darn banana split. Thanks Jason!

Isn't he the best? Quintessential summer, I tell you. Tomorrow Jason will be back with a game and giveaway just for you! Make sure to check back!


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