On the beat

What makes summer great in Dayton?

By Jim Bucher

Well now, that was some winter, wasn’t it?

I know, I know, it’s been over for quite some time, but now summer has officially begun.

In the past, NCR’s Old River Park on Patterson Boulevard was the place for me to begin and end the season. Cooling off in the pool, playing miniature golf, horseshoes, giant checkers and finishing the day with a family cook-out at the many outdoor grills or a wonderful dinner at The Grove – a cafeteria-style facility – was a good way to spend the day.

And you could wrap it all up with a blanket on the grass in front of the outdoor movie screen to view a comedy or horror flick.

*sigh*

Alas, those days are long gone, but the things that make summer fun in the valley are numerous.

Here are some of my favorites:

Nights right before the heat and humidity overtake your entire being and you can leave the windows open at night. One dollar ice cream cones at McDonald’s. The sounds of kids playing in the neighborhood. Convertible tops down. Birds chirping in the morning. (Unless it was a late night, then SHUT UP!)

Planting new flowers and shrubs. The sounds of lawnmowers. Paying a visit to one of the many splash parks and pools in the area. The smell of tanning lotion. The sight of people fishing in the river or Eastwood Metropark. The lights on at night at Fifth Third Field and a Dayton Dragon’s game. A really cold iced tea or beer. Outdoor patios at various restaurants with sounds of music and laughter. The smell of an outdoor grill throughout the neighborhood. Putting in the attic exhaust fan for the summer to keep said attic a cool 90 degrees. An evening at a drive-in movie.

Another favorite, the Cool Films Series at the Victoria Theatre will feature classics this year like “Rebel Without A Cause,” “M*A*S*H,” “It Happened One Night,” “The Goonies” and “Pillow Talk” – just to name a few.

Continuing the list: Moving my house plants to our screened-in front porch for the summer. Hanging up the snow shovels and “summerizing” the snow blower. (Good riddance.)

An overnight stay at one of my most favorite getaways, Hueston Woods Resort and Conference Center in Oxford, Ohio, with a lodge room overlooking Acton Lake or a cabin in the woods. Ahhh, pure heaven – and close to home, too.

Breaking out the summer wardrobe which includes shorts and t-shirts. A nice bike ride on the many trails around the valley. A trip to Young’s Dairy for – of course! what else? – ice cream or a shake. 

A nice, big summer salad.

All the wonderful neighborhood home and garden tours around the city. Fairs and festivals of all sorts of, course. The smell of freshly-cut grass. A long walk with my French Bulldog Ella.

The sounds of people working on their homes from a new roof to painting. (Well, duh, you can’t hear painting, but you get the idea.)

Walking through the Oregon District. (You can do this in the winter, but it’s not as fun running from your car to a place of business and trying not to freeze.) Baby robins in a nest chirping for mom to “feed me!”

Entertainment at noon on Courthouse Square for the Square is Where with music, fun and games. (Oh, and did I mention that’s emceed by yours truly?)

Walking into the main branch of Dayton Metro Library downtown on a hot night, to cool off and peruse the books. Reading The Dayton City Paper in my backyard – with sunscreen, of course, and iced tea.

The Second Street Market walk-thru Thursday, Friday and Saturday. New tastes to try and plenty of friends to see. 

A trip to Kings Island. (OK, this one is for the kids. Drop them off for all day fun and peace and quiet for me back at home. Have fun kids!)

A summer show at LaComedia. The Paris Flea Market every Sunday morning at the Dixie Drive-In. Spending the day at Carillon Park to see and experience our rich history, discover what’s new and, of course, make a stop at Culp’s Café for a hotdog or malt.

Ceiling fans.

Putting the window air conditioners in. (OK, this isn’t much fun, but the result is awesome.)

So, now let me hear from you. After all, this is an interactive column. 

Just send your thoughts on what makes summer great in Dayton to the comment section below.

And by all means, have a super summer!

Cheers and happy cooling,

Buch

A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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