Happy Dog Days of Summer! Miss Hannah Hart’s Fave Summer Flicks

For some folks, summer can mean little more than warmer days, shorter nights and a de rigueur vacation: a pleasant yet slight change-up in the regular routine. This is particularly true for those of us inhabiting tropical climes. Born in Miami and raised in SoCal, where summer is not drastically different from the rest of the year, childhood summers notably signified no school, extra Disneyland and family holidays in Hawai’i, which in turn meant a month of guava juice, beachdays and new friends on Waikiki, dinners at Chuck’s Steakhouse and shopping for bark-cloth dresses and Hawaiian dolls at Liberty House and the Polynesian Cultural Center. (Mom was bonkers for all things Hawai’ian, including Daddy, born in Honolulu.) Summers as a child were glorious, but not all that varied from the rest of the year, south of L.A..

A wee Miss Hannah Hart, a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore: quality father-daughter time, Hawaii c. 1975. Photo: JSDevore
A wee Hannah Hart, a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore: quality father-daughter time, Hawaii c. 1975. Photo: JSDevore

Still, when everyday is postcard-perfect, it’s easy to grow blasé. So, fast-forward quite a few years, when we couldn’t take one more minute of our damned beautiful, sunshiny beaches, my husband and I picked up our three pets and moved to the East Coast for a very agreeable, wildly divergent change of pace. Both Californians, we never realized what we’d been missing! We spent a fabulous, expeditious six years living on the mid-Atlantic: Cape Charles and Williamsburg, VA. When I wasn’t researching, writing and marketing my Savannah of Williamsburg books, we were driving up and down the East Coast exploring every wee waterway, historic burgh and major metropolis.

Both Cape Charles and Williamsburg are popular destinations for Easterners and Southrons; nothing says summer like seeing license plates from every state up and down the 95 in Colonial Williamsburg parking lots! Add in the heavy, humid, sweet air of summer and Virginia may be simultaneously one of the most uncomfortable and beautiful summertime stations of all. Speaking strictly with regards to American summers, there is nothing so festive and rewarding as an East Coast summer. (Summers abroad? That’s another post. Ahhh, Nice is very nice indeed and the Alps are absolutely alluring.)

Summer actually means something back East: more than just School’s out!, higher electricity bills and frizzy, beach hair. Months of truly stifling winter can breed severe and depressing cabin fever which, thankfully, will always give way to a semi-satisfactory spring thaw. Tulips and daffodils popping through the snow are indeed a lovely egress from Mr. Frosty’s glassy grip; but it can still be damned cold, and oft snowy, through springtime. By the time summer rolls up the shore, folks are champing at the bit for warm days of comforting sunshine and carefree nights of fireflies and crickets. Fourth of July fireworks may traditionally celebrate our American Independence, but they also commemorate a new, deep breath of sweet and salty air. Devouring salt water taffy and sickly sweet pink lemonade, riding your bike on the boardwalk until ten at night, sleeping in until ten with nothing to do but put your bathing suit back on and find your friends down on the sand? This is summer, our American summer. San Diego and Huntington Beach this time of year are absolute barrels of sunny monkeys; but summers in Southampton, NY and Hilton Head, SC are treats you owe yourself, at least once.

Sure, summer’s not my fave season, with the exception of San Diego Comic-Con, of course! Anyone who’s been reading me for a while or knows me socially can verify that autumn is my real gig. Still, I like a good time, no matter what time of year. In fact, this year’s Summer Solstice found me in 100-degree weather, under a blazing sun (sunscreen ga-lore!) far from my beloved beach. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the clear, crisp chlorine of a fabulous family pool (a nice change from the salty surf hiding who-knows-what under the waves) and the cool, watermelon-and-mango, adult beverages which floated my way. Sure, it may not be Hallowe’en, but I can still have a blast! See, because I’m a Jazz-age designed, good time gal, I can do summer better than anyone, in my own, geeky way of course. Most likely, you’re having fun wrong. Of course, one fabulous thing about summer? Autumn is right around the corner … and then Christmas!

For once, frizzy beach hair helped me! My Bellatrix Lestrange at SDCC 2014 was easy-peasy! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography
For once, my eternally frizzy beach hair did me a favour! Bellatrix Lestrange for SDCC 2014 was easy-peasy! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Still, as long as the Dog Days summer are now here (generally early-July through mid-August when the star Sirius rises and sets with the sun, at least according to ancient civilizations), let’s stay in the spirit and, more importantly, stay cool! In addition to languid beachdays, Charlie Brown-styled summer camp, vacations abroad, Hawaiian getaways, cross-country road trips, midnight-sun Alaskan cruises and lighter wine choices, please accept my humble suggestions for fun summer flicks to help fill those long, lazy, air-conditioned, Dog Days of summer.

As a fave musician of mine, Jannie Funster of Texas sings, “Where are the girls on banana seat bicycles, the ones with no shoes on their feet?” Why, Miss Jannie, they’re in Laguna and Ocean City and Sandbridge and Bar Harbor! Happy Dog Days of Summer, everyone!

Oft posted on our beach. Best to stay inside and just watch "Jaws"! Photo: JSDevore
Oft posted on our beach. Best to stay inside and just watch “Jaws”! Photo: JSDevore

JennyPop’s Fave Summer Flicks

 

What About Bob?

Lilo and Stitch

Jaws

Muppet Treasure Island

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Dogtown and Z-Boys

Lords of Dogtown

Poirot: Evil Under the Sun

Poirot: Murder in Mesopotamia

Poirot: Death on the Nile

National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

A Year in Provence: Summer

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown!

Addams Family Values

Little Darlings

The Parent Trap (original)

 

What are your fave summer flicks? LMK @JennyPopNet

#summer #movies #favesummerflicks #summertime

JennyPop’s other Fave TV and Film Lists: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore