Summer Memories

Another summer has passed us by, leaving behind a trail of fading memories. This got us thinking about some of our favorite memories of summertime in The Region. What are yours? Send your memories to

One of my favorite summer memories in The Region is of a dear friendship that spanned just one season during my childhood years. The story goes something like this … One afternoon I was in the yard playing with some neighborhood kids when one little brat started swinging his bat at a red admiral butterfly. I ran at him and demanded that he stop. Unimpressed by my lack of authority, it took the threat “I’m going to tell on you” to make him quit. For the remainder of the summer I could always count on my new friend Butter to be outside on one of her favorite patches of sidewalk, seemingly waiting for me there. Once I found her I would offer her my hand and she would crawl aboard and contentedly ride on either my hand or my shoulder.

—Jolene Hanchar

Garage saling. That’s my favorite summer memory. Strange. When I was a kid, my mom took my sisters and me all over Lake County during the summer for garage sales. I hated them. I really did. Now, though, I remember the stuffy car and the trek from house to house with a longing. It was peaceful. And the treasures I found. A Star Wars figurine! A Pez dispenser. Books! Roughhousing with my sisters.

—Moxie Madchen

Summertime in the region meant long hot days climbing trees, building forts, running through the farmer’s fields and late night bon fires. Occasionally my sister and I would have a Kool-Aid stand in our front yard. My neighborhood friends and I would have Big Wheel races that typically ended up into Big Wheel demolition derbies. It was all in good fun until someone started to cry.

—Paul Benninghoff

In 2002, a buddy and I went to Miller Beach to shoot a student film. We dragged the production equipment along the beach and this little kid seemed to follow us so we just kept walking away. I'm not a fan of the summer heat but looking out towards the distance of Lake Michigan it along seemed like it was the perfect place to set the finale of the movie. And the shoot turned out exactly how it was supposed to.

—Rod J. Eckrich

I have so many wonderful memories of summer growing up in the Region. Some of my favorites involved going to the Douglas Park pool on those hot summer days. It cost 50 cents to go in and we would swim for hours and hours. Diving off the diving boards and playing Marco Polo.


The days would usually end with us going to the Dairy Topper across the street for something to eat. Usually a cone dipped in chocolate or cherry, but sometimes, only sometimes if we felt quite rich, we'd get a bag of french fries. And if we felt very rich, some mozzarella sticks, however that was rare. The older kids usually had enough money to get those, but wouldn't share, so we would have to team up between 2 or 3 of us and share a bag of fries. They were soooo good and no one ever objected to loading the top right away with packets of ketchup. Wonderful times.