There’s something about the end of the school year and the start of June that gets the memories flowing.

Scraps of memory like:

•How slowly time moved that last week when you were in elementary school. Each tick of the classroom clock — which never seemed to keep the correct time — took an eternity.

•That rush of freedom when the final bell had rung and all obligations seemed to be behind you — at least for an hour or so. The late Frank Kenyon captured that moment in some memorable photos for The Graphic, which showed kids almost exploding through the school door to get their first real taste of summer. (I tried to re-create one of those last year and found that student dismissal — even on the last day of the school year — is a very different thing today. There’s much more supervision and much more emphasis on security.)

•How much I hated our old reel-type, push lawnmower in those days. Most mowers today are rotary in design, and virtually all of them are power mowers. I’m considered old school in our neighborhood simply because our power mower isn’t self-propelled. But my father was a true believer in the virtues of the reel-type mower and apparently thought that if God had intended a lawnmower to have a gasoline engine attached, He would have designed it that way in the first place. Perhaps I could have reconciled myself with the old mower if it at least had been sharpened now and then. One memorably wet June — not unlike this one — the first time I attempted to mow the lawn I folded more blades of grass than I actually managed to cut.

The next morning they sprang right back into place.

•Elementary school field day. Was that the last day of school? Or was it simply sometime in the last week or so? My recollection is students from several elementary schools gathered at the old Portland high football field for races and other sorts of competition. In sixth grade, several of us slipped away for an unauthorized and potentially hazardous impromptu hike along the Salamonie River. We managed to get back before the buses left.

•The old Portland Pool. Not the one that was just replaced by the spiffy water park. I mean the old, old pool. It was more than a little scary the first few times, and there always seemed to be older kids on hand ready and willing to dunk the newcomers.

•Saturday matinees. I suspect the Main in Dunkirk and the Key in Redkey had theirs, but the one I recall vividly was at the Hines. The house would be packed, and cardboard popcorn boxes would soon be flying out of the balcony. (If it happened to be open. The balcony at the Hines was always rumored to have been condemned, though that was probably just a way to keep kids from making more of a mess than usual.) The Hines fare on Saturdays in the summer usually included a moth-eaten movie serial and an unhealthy dose of The Three Stooges.

•Going barefoot. Shoes disappeared as quickly as schoolbooks. The alleys were paved with cinders, in plentiful supply because the city power plant burned coal. It was virtually guaranteed that at least one kid in the neighborhood would step on a nail before the summer was out. And with all those stray dogs, we all stepped in their stinky deposits now and then.

•Sixty. That was the name my neighborhood gave for group tag. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Your neighborhood probably had a different name for it, but the rules were pretty much the same. One person was “it.” Everyone else hid, and as kids were found and tagged, they joined the “it” crowd.

That went on until only one person was hiding and everyone else was scouring the neighborhood. Last person caught had the dubious honor of being “it” for the next round.

•Red Rover. Now that was a kind of dumb game. As I recall the “rules,” two lines of kids faced each other, with each kid holding the hand of the kid next to him. Then someone would start the chant: “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Billy (or whoever) right over.” Billy would then leave his spot and run like crazy toward the other line, attempting to break the grip between two people. If he failed, he joined that team.

What happened if he won? I have absolutely no idea. Those summers were a long, long time ago, and I have absolutely no interest in playing a few rounds of Red Rover.

Enjoy the summer.