Ahh gentle reader – that is my mantra and summer tune during the summer time! The Kinks got it dead straight on with that tune lol. (dont ask me about Give the people what they want…).

But what i really love about that is that it takes me back in time to my misspent youth and all the fun i had at valley forge park. There was a whole crowd of us that hung at the park during the summertime – playing frisbee in the lot all day, drinking beer all day – so.much.fun!!!

But jen – isnt drinking in a national park against the law you ask? But of course – if it was legal – do you think i would do it?? We’d get our cases of beer and drink all the way to the park – and upon entrance to said park, there is a sign (still there despite our best efforts) that states rather clearly, alcoholic beverages prohibited. We used that sign as target practice for our empties as we drove in… 😉

The lot was always filled to capacity – but not just by us, but by locals and tourists out to enjoy a bbq or some such crap at the park. We’d have the tunes cranked in all our cars, jammin to whatever anyone was playing. But what made this lot so perfect for a bunch of teenaged lunatics to hang at? It probably, ok, it was, the fact that the road to hippie hill is a one way road… we could see the park rangers a mile away and the call RANGER was the signal to hide the beer and assorted goodies lol.

We’d chill on our frisbee playing (think of it like this 10+ people per side – and a good 10 frisbees thrown at any time lol), and just lounge against our cars till 50 went past. When we got the all clear sign, out came the beer and goodies, the stereos would be at full blast again and the frisbee’s would be flying. Nothing was sacred then – we would use someones car to jump up and catch the friz!

It took a year i think for 50 to catch on. We then had to watch for the rangers on horseback! But felicia and i never got caught lol. Our backpacks would be full of vodka, oj and ice – drinks at the ready. One ranger came up to us and started the lecture (she also told us to empty our drinks lol). Felicia took the horse by the bridle and started talking to the ranger, all the while, slowly leading the horse around and away, thereby saving not only our booze lol but an underage drinking fine! WOOT WOOT WOOT lol.

We also had Ranger Dave. He was the coolest dude/ranger we were fortunate to have, on our side lol. He would cruise into the lot (after of course the warning cry RANGER) and hang – but also to tell us to be on the look out for horseback and other rangers! We LIKED Dave lol. He kept us outta a whole lotta trouble *seg*. Probably because we were nice to him, he treated us like people – not like the other rangers who only saw potential fines. *rolling eyes*. When the complaints came rolling in from the tourists/citizens (a$$holes – we only wanted to have fun…) the park decided that they needed to plant a permanent ranger there – and dave must have volunteered for it, because he was there, every weekend lol. We were discrete in our alcoholic tendencies in front of Dave, because thats what you do when you’re given a pass. I personally wouldnt imbibe infront of him out of courtesy and respect so he told me to go over the hill where he couldnt see. So we did lol. And came back 20 min later, stumbling up the hill. Dave was watching us try to make it back and looked at me – I saluted him.

He fell over laughing!

Perhaps gentle reader, i should have titled this entry Glory Days – as that is what those years (my teenage years) were. But as its summertime – and back then, the Kinks tune was on heavy rotation during the summer, it suits, for this post.

I remember me, pally and he who will remain unnamed (the only person in the world i hate, and hate with the violence of a thousand exploding suns) were walking across the parking lot when our buddy dave (not ranger dave lol) decided to move his car. As he’s backing out and turning, he clipped the back of my legs and up and over the hood i went lol. BEER ME NOW!!!

Our beer of choice – miller pony bottles. You could drink them empty before they got warm. They fit perfectly in your hand and it was just a beautiful thing. Pally wrote an Ode to the Pony Bottle, but cant find/remember it. And everyone says I”m the one with memory issues… lol.

Then there were the bikers. We would Harley spot all day long (grumps and i probably saw each other back then lol because i found out he cruised thru hippie hill during my youth lol) and loved it when the bikers would show up and hang… they had the best goodies, which of course were shared with and bartered for lol. Holy crap, we had a buddy who rode, i wish to god i could remember his name, we would take bets on just how far into the turn in the lot he’d make it before dropping his bike! He did it Every Time! and all we could do was just sit there making shrieking a$$es of ourselves lol.

At dusk, when the park closed, we’d go to an acquaintences house (NO FINKLES ALLOWED – will explain later lol) and continue the party there until we were out of consumables or just tired and wanted to go home lol. This went on every weekend, from spring till fall, for several years – and those were some of the best times in my life. Looking back, and as a mom of teenagers, i can see now why it made my mom cringe when i said i was going to the park 😉 .

I miss those days and i miss those friends. Felicia, Steve and Darlene, Bruce (who is no longer with us ), Jon, Pally, Dave, Kimmy (who will be the subject of another post someday), Last and least little lonely Lee, Stubborna$$ (who is no longer with us ) and a whole slew of others. We had the fun that only those who are, at that time in their lives, 10 foot tall and bullet proof, can have. We had great big brass balls and no problems using them lol. We.Were.Invincible!

Fastforward 20+ years. I’m an *cough*adult*cough now. I’ve gained some control over my life. Grumpy and i will ride to the park and chill at hippie hill – and i see the ghosts of my youth playing frisbuzz, drinking ponies and listening to great tunes. I close my eyes, spark a spliff, step into the wayback machine, and smile.

Growing old happens. Growing up is optional. Having fun is still a requirement.