Tuesday, April 27, 2010

June Bugs: Sioux Falls 1960

In my mind, this was at home in Sioux Falls in the summer, but really it could have been at my cousin's house outside of Arlington, or in the Black Hills or at a cabin along Lake Ponsett. Not sure, really. But, it was in South Dakota.
Anyway, it was long into the summer, a prairie/plains summer--which means hot and humid, up in the 100's late July/early August summer. Hot. Sunny. Burnt. And it was night time. And we had no air-conditioning. No A/C. I never, never used it until Iowa City in the late 70's, really. Twenty years with no A/C. (Okay, enough about A/C.) Another anyway: It was early evening/night and we had all the windows open, the kitchen door open so that there were only screens. Maybe we were cooking something--Mother cooking something--and we hung out in the kitchen with all the bright sharp lights blaring, the back porch light beaming, we kids--five of us, ten if my cousins were there--were running in and out, playing, no shirts or shoes, kids, and at the screen door, at the kitchen screen window tons of June Bugs flew in.
I'm talking the screens almost covered with big fat hard-shelled insects, buzzing buzzing flitting and sticking to the screen. Man, there were a lot of June Bugs. It was repulsive and fascinating at the same time. It was memorable but normal at the same time. This was how South Dakota was. All these June Bugs covering the screens at night in a hot dog-day South Dakota summer and we were all just little kids, yelling and laughing and doing good dumb kid things, our parents still young but no one knowing that, many years to come but no one knew that, and those insects zizzing and zagging and blanketing the screens of our house.
I still remember that.

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