Drawing courtesy of Tatyana and Mrs. Terry's First Grade.
Text courtesy of Homer Hickam Reprinted with permission.

Everybody who knows me knows I'm a summer person.  I love summer!  Even in Alabama where the weather is hot and muggy (mugg-eye as some say in these parts), I crave the summer.  Maybe it goes back to my boyhood in Coalwood when the winters were so harsh and long.  Once it snowed so much I built ice tunnels all over the yard.  I had secret trapdoors, and escape portals.  I started battles with kids walking past and then would dive inside my snow fort.  Oh, that was the life, all right, but I was happy when it melted and then came the beautiful West Virginia springs and marvelous summers.  O'Dell Carroll, Roy Lee Cooke, and other Coalwood boys would head for the creek where we'd seine for fish, hunt crawdads (we let everything go), and built rafts (they always sank).  We climbed the mountains and the cliffs (we were into rock climbing before it became a sport and we did it barehanded), swung on grape vines (see my memoir Sky of Stone), or simply sprawled in the backyard on the soft, green grass and looked up at the sky and made up stories based on the creatures, ships, and buildings we saw in the clouds.  Oh, those were the days, all right!

Homer Hickam

Writers have a wonderful vocabulary and their creative use of words can paint a picture, so vivid, that the rest of us can imagine a place as if we were there.  It's also fun to discover words you don't know and look them up in a dictionary.  Do you know what it means when Homer writes: "we'd seine for fish"? Read more about Homer in his interview at Imagiverse!  You can find the complete Summer 2006 newsletter, that the above excerpt came from, at Homer's website.

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