Saturday, May 31, 2008

Watervale - All Summer Long

As I was driving home late last night, I heard a new song that immediately sent me back to the summers of youth at Watervale. In less than 4 minutes, the song perfectly captured every moment from my early teen years through my college summers and I was convinced that it must be written or sung by a new artist that coincidentally I'd grown up with at Watervale.

I also knew immediately I had to share the song with Dave because he lived it too. Hell, he's STILL living it and I'm just a wee bit jealous!

As a guest, Watervale has been part of my life since 1977 (and we still migrate there every August - just 69 days from today!!!!!), but I spent the summer of 1990 there on staff and it took on a whole new meaning for me. That summer can best be summed up with the slogan from the back of our staff t-shirts: "We died every morning, survived every afternoon, and lived every night!"

My cumulative years at Watervale are filled with many firsts:
  • My first kiss
  • My first alcoholic drink
  • I first went to a beach fire at Watervale
  • The first time I went skinny dipping
  • I learned how to drive a stick-shift car at Watervale
  • The first time I was offered pot (I just said no)
  • I first saw the Northern Lights at late one night on the beach at Watervale
  • I learned how to sail at Watervale
  • The Bulls started their six-peat as NBA champs during my summer on staff at Watervale
  • My first weekend road trip alone was to Watervale
  • I really learned to cook at Watervale - I baked bread daily and creme brulee weekly, in addition to my regular salad making responsibilities
  • My first and best drive-in experiences happened at Watervale
  • And so many more . . .
Watervale is about the simple things in life. The rooms don't have phones or tv's. In fact, there is 1 public phone in the whole resort and there are no televisions! My cell phone barely gets reception. There are no street lights polluting the beauty of the night sky. Meals are simple and amazing with everything being homemade from scratch with many ingredients coming from the herb garden and many more locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Watervale has been part of my family's summer for probably close to 60 years and loved by 4 generations of Gardner's.

So at long last, here is the song that started this wonderful trip down memory lane . . . Oh, and it turns out that it's not by a friend from Watervale. It's "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock.

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