Planks on the Dock: The End is Here?

Just as we said, the end of the dock was nearer than we thought. Where did the time go? If your kids are not back to school already, they will be soon, and it feels as though summer is coming to a close. But is it really?

As a summer person, I remind myself that my season doesn’t actually come to an end until the sun crosses the celestial equator moving southward, a day known as the Autumnal Equinox. And Dear Patch Friends, it's not here yet!

This year, that day is on Sept. 22. By my count, that give us 32 more days of summer! This is good news for parents like me who traditionally miss their kids when school starts, and still long for summer family fun.

Play those 32 days for all they’re worth!

Take a hike, go for a boat ride, stop and get some ice cream! It's not too late!

Sure, there are team practices, dance lessons and school work to juggle. But perhaps now more than ever it’s important to find fun things to do for at least a few hours a week.

There were planks on the dock I didn’t get to this summer. Some of those included: The Canton Classic Car Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Stan Hewett Hall, Rock Hall of Fame and the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland/Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Perhaps we will take them in before summer disappears, but if not, these destinations are open year round!  

One plank I hope to touch foot on before the season ends is a drive-in movie theater.

In the 1960s, Ohio had 189 drive-in theaters. Most of those now exist only in the memories of those who frequented them, but a few still remain. Did your parents take you to the movies in your jammies, then hope you fell asleep for the late show? When you grew out of going to movies with your parents, did you take a date there and hope to snuggle close for the duration of the movie? Or sweetly hold hands? Or make out and completely miss the movie? (Did our parents know where we were? What did we tell them the show was about if they asked? Maybe we shouldn't talk about that ...)

If you’re like me, and you dig nostalgia, the end of summer is a perfect time to head to a vintage theater.

Check out a complete listing of Northeast Ohio’s remaining beloved drive-in theaters, including the Mayfield Drive-in of Chardon, the Auto-Rama of North Ridgeville, Magic City Drive-in of Barberton, the Sunset Drive-In of Mansfield, the Star-View Drive-in of Norwalk, the Midway Drive-In of Ravenna, the Sandusky Drive-in Theatre of Sandusky, and the Blue Sky
Drive-in of Wadsworth, and the Memphis Drive-in of Cleveland. (Drive-in movie prices range from $4 per person to $13 per car.)

When the weather turns cold, I’ve vowed to take in some movies
and live shows at some of Ohio’s finest vintage theaters. Some favorites
include the Canton Palace Theatre (remember the Kilgen Pipe Organ?),
the Akron Civic Theatre, the Linda in Akron, the Lincoln in Massillon, the Sandusky State Theatre in Sandusky, the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland and the Cedar Lee in Cleveland Heights.

I know as much as anyone the value and importance of great experiences
with growing kids. No matter how little or big your kids are, I hope that your summer has been (and will continue to be — it’s not over yet!) full of
meaningful, memorable “planks!"

Morgan Day August 21, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I've also vowed to see a drive-in movie again this summer. I've seen one in Ravenna already and want to hit the Lynn Drive-In in Strasburg (my favorite) next. And thanks for the great column, Donna!


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