Fyzical Therapy July 2018

That Summertime Vibe Looking Back on the Summers of My Youth


n the middle of July, when that heavy Texas heat reaches its apex, I always find myself looking back on those days when the summer sun meant no school, endless possibilities, and no responsibilities — well, no responsibilities until I got into high school and picked up a summer job the instant I could (I took to it wholeheartedly). But whether I was goofing off or working with my nose to the grindstone, it’s always been one of my favorite seasons here in El Paso. When I was little, summer vacation was almost busier in some ways than the days we spent in school. My friends and I would pack the days from dawn till dusk with activities. Every morning, I’d scarf down my breakfast, climb aboard my bike, and pedal my way to the houses of the rest of the crew to pick them up. We’d start by discussing what new trouble we’d get into that day. Would we head to the local pool and get in an overly heated splashing war? Would we pack up our tennis rackets and meander over to the high school to play a few sets? Or would we just wander all over town on our bicycles, using our imaginations to find adventures around El Paso? Whether we were organizing pickup basketball games or just sitting around laughing together, we always kept busy. It was certainly a simpler time for kids back then. The only thing we had to worry about was getting back home in time for dinner. As I got a little older, I was eager to try my hand in the working world. My parents never had to convince me to go out and spread my resume around; I just did it of my own volition, probably following the lessons of my hardworking mother and father. Right after I turned 16, I took a job running athletic leagues for young kids for the Parks and Recreation Department. That was an incredible first gig for a young kid. In the evenings, I would run a baseball league over in Phoenix Park, right near where the HealthMasters clinic stands today. We’d hire underprivileged kids from around the area to be my helpers, running the snack shack, chalking up the baseball diamond, and just generally

doing whatever needed to be done. And somehow, at age 16, I was the administrator of the whole thing. I’d keep score during the games and do my best announcer voice over the loudspeaker. And on the weekends, I’d run basketball leagues in the gyms. It’s funny; I’ve had a job every summer since the moment I turned 16, but that first job probably stuck with me the most. To this day, I still have people who played in the baseball league or the competitive girls’ softball league recognize me, or coaches will stop me in the street to say hello. After a lifetime spent in the wonderful city of El Paso, I still never tire of the summer when it rolls around. This month, for the Fourth, I’ll probably have a few friends over for a cookout, grill up some fajitas, and just relax and hang out. It’s hard to beat the vibe that comes as the kids get out of school and everybody relaxes a little.

–Louis Zuniga

NORTHEAST 4758 Loma Del Sur El Paso, TX 79934

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