Summers of Old
  • Oct 13, 2020
  • 56:50 mins

Summer is officially over, but the sting that comes with the change of seasons remains. It’s kind of funny how fall comes every year, and yet it always seems to catch us off guard. You still yearn for the long, sunny days, planned vacations, and melting ice cream, even as the weather gets cold and the sun sets sooner. Maybe the reason we’re so nostalgic for summer is because it prolongs the inevitable: a new school, a new job, a new home. No matter how you swing it, the end of summer is a magnet for life changes, and since we’re naturally averse to change, the end of summer seems to suck all around.  But all that said, even though change will always sting a little, and even though we may never be truly ready for the change in seasons, there’s something comforting in the fact that summer comes and goes every year. It ends, but it ends with a promise: to begin again next year. The cycle of the seasons means there’s a bit of hope baked into every season’s end. So today, we figured we’d revel in that hope a bit. Today we’ve got stories about summers of old and songs about summers yet to come. Join us as we listen to Tim Lowry, Adam Booth, and Priscilla Howe explore what it means for summer to be over and why summer experiences can stay in our hearts for years and years to come. On today’s episode, enjoy the following: “Summer” by Tim Lowry (17:14) On a collection called My Favorite Time of Year, Tim recalls his favorite summer pastime: baseball. He reminisces on his favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, his favorite player, Johnny Bench, and of course, his family tradition of watching the local Baptist church’s softball league. Throughout this tribute to summer, you’ll hear a reading of “Casey at the Bat,” the famous baseball poem penned by the American writer Earnest Lawrence Thayer in 1888, as well as an original tale from Tim Lowry about a young boy waiting to be informed if his new baby sibling is a boy or a girl. “The Ice Cream Truck” by Adam Booth (13:55) During the summer in Adam’s neighborhood, the only thing with the power to control the flock of wild, tag-playing, bicycle-riding children was the ice cream truck. So, when Adam realizes that the piece of music he’s learning on the piano is the same piece of music the ice cream truck plays, he begins to trick his friends into thinking the truck is arriving. Will the power of the ice cream truck tune go to Adam’s head? “The Summer and You” by Mustard’s Retreat (4:08) A reviewer in the 1970s once called Mustard’s Retreat “music to cure what ails you.” Since then, the band has traveled more than a million miles and performed more than 6,000 shows, but their music still seems to cure those ails. This song compares the changing of seasons to a relationship. Expecting and embracing change can be difficult, and in this case, the relationship ended as the season and lovers changed. Perhaps we can find a lesson in this song to sooth our end-of-summer heartbreak: change, while often uncomfortable, can be a catalyst. It can get us to make resolutions and finalize hard decisions. The summer may be over, but we can use the shift in seasons to start anew and make the most of what’s coming. From their 2003 Album, A Resolution of Something. “The Third Step” by Priscilla Howe (3:49) Priscilla brings us back to her childhood high dive, where there was only one rule: three steps out, and you can’t turn back. Will she overcome her fears and take the plunge? And what can we learn from the three-step rule to help us take the plunge in other areas of our lives? From her collection of youth tales called 5 Stories. “Summer Ranges” by Michael Martin Murphey (3:33) This song comes from a collection of cowboy and country music across multiple artists called Another Jubilee: Old Time Country Cowboy Singing. Michael Martin Murphey is both a renowned American singer-songwriter as well as a devout environmentalist and conservationist—he founded WestFest, an annual festival that seeks to preserve open range culture and traditions. The ballad celebrates the cyclical nature of the seasons, but also laments the fact that “snow must fall on summer ranges.” It’s sad to see summer come to a close. But even as we usher in the sometimes long and cold winter, Murphey gives us hope: “Someday when the season changes, on summer ranges, we’ll ride again.”