The Summer of ‘19

An astronaut taking one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. On July 20th, 1969, the Apollo 11 spaceflight was the first to land humans on the moon.

Image used under fair use. No attribution was required for this image.

An astronaut taking one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. On July 20th, 1969, the Apollo 11 spaceflight was the first to land humans on the moon. Image used under fair use. No attribution was required for this image.

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School is back in session as the summer of 2019 comes to an end, as all great things must do. Summer rises and sets each year not just in a scientific sense, but in an emotional sense as well. Summer is adorned with concerts, vacations, college visits, and my personal favorite pastime: the movies. This year there was one motion picture that stood out to me like no movie ever has, a Tarantino film by the name of Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. Don’t mistake this article for a film review, or even a recommendation (the film’s vulgarity would prevent me from doing so on this platform), I would instead like to use this film as a focal point from which to recap this past summer, perhaps the greatest of my lifetime.

2019 marks fifty years since 1969, another particularly memorable year. So many historic events saw their golden anniversaries this year, including Woodstock, the Moon Landing, Chappaquiddick, Abbey Road, and the Manson Killings, the latter being the subject of the film I mentioned earlier. I first saw Once Upon a Time with some extended family just outside our nation’s capital, where I had been conducting some college tours. A longtime fan of the film’s director, Quentin Tarantino, I eagerly anticipated the movie in a way I never had before. By the time the credits rolled, I was awestruck. The film captured the aura of 1969 so well that I felt as if I lived through it, in Los Angeles, right next door to Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie. And while it is mostly founded on nostalgia, it made me wonder: what will I tell my children about the summer of ‘19? Will I look back at my Union County the way Tarantino recalls his Hollywood? Have I lived through a period worth etching in film?

Let’s take a look back at what the summer brought us. Old Town Road certainly made waves. It seems that every child, adolescent, and adult on the planet saw Avengers: Endgame at least once. We witnessed the Mueller Hearing, USA won the FIFA World Cup,  Jake Paul “married” Tana Mongeau. Union County is no Hollywood, but the summer had no shortage of local surprises. Our seat on the House of Representatives sat unfilled as voters await the September 10th special election. The famous sunflowers on New Town road bloomed once again. Thankfully we have no Charles Manson.

What defined our summer most was how we experienced it. Our college trips were special because of our hope for the future (along with a little anxiety). Our vacations were special because of the family we shared them with. The concerts, the meet-ups, and yes, the movies, were special because of the friends we enjoyed them with. This summer was truly a great one, but not because of the stuff we did. This summer wasn’t great because of Endgame or Old Town Road, it was great because of the memories they helped create and the bonds they helped form. I hope I remember the Summer of ‘19 for the rest of my days.