When I was in elementary school, summers were the best. We played outside from about mid morning until after dark. Anything from "Foxes and Hounds" on bicycles to catching fireflies just after dark. Playing "Hide and Seek" after dark was always a real adventure. It's tough to find the other guys anyway and then when it's dark, it really becomes a test.
My friend and I would catch crickets in the evening to use for bait when we wanted to go fishing the next day. Going fishing at the local lake or river was always fun. Like I said, we would catch crickets, but also grasshoppers. And, if we were too lazy to catch these insects, then we would use bread or maybe corn, like Niblets. The pond or lake was about a mile away, but the river was further and the only time we got to to the river is if one of our parents drove us there and stayed with us. Once when we were fishing in the river, my buddy caught a 17 pound carp. They are not good for eating, but he was really proud of that fish. It ended up being fertilizer in the tomato patch him and I raised to sell the tomatoes for a nickel each.
On hot afternoons, we would go down to the local grocery store (Mom & Pop type) and put our money together to buy a Coke and a pack of cheese crackers, then we would split it. After that, behind the store was a large empty lot full of Honeysuckle. We would lay in the Honeysuckle and eat the treat that was inside each little flower after pulling it out by pinching the end off. (We had to snip off the bottom and grab the little piece sticking out.) Good, but not very big. We also liked to watch the clouds go by and tell each other what we thought they looked like.
Sometimes, we would all go skinny dipping at a place we all called the dam. It was a fast moving wide stream that ran in back of an old deserted furniture factory and we boys decided to dam it up just so we could swim in it. That's where I learned how to swim after almost drowning a few times. I remember being in the water and one of the older boys named Bobby, took just my pants and said that he was going to go home with them. Normally, I was a pretty docile type kid and never caused anyone any problems, but on that day, I don't know what happened to me, but I got out of the water as fast as I could and told him to put my clothes back or he would be sorry. He thought about it for maybe 10 or 15 seconds and then dropped my clothes on the ground and told me not to cry as he walked away. All the while, it was real quiet up til then. I picked up my pants and laid them back down with my shirt and got back in the water like nothing ever happened and no one ever spoke about it again.
The next day, my dad caught me playing the pinball machine at the little restaurant up the street and I was grounded for a day. I prayed for rain, but it didn't and I had to sit inside while I watched the other guys ride by my house on their bikes. I also saw some of them carrying bats and balls heading for the ball field. I was in agony that day. The worse was when my buddy came over and my mom answered the door and told him that I wasn't allowed out that day.