Guest Blogger: Olivia Yadav, Lakesider

In my life, there are school friends, and then there are Lakeside friends. They each serve their own purpose, and are often very different. My Lakeside friends are my family. I’ve grown up with them since I first came here many years ago.

Some of the best memories we share are the ones where we didn’t have a plan and simply set out to see what the day would bring us. My summers were always filled with Patio donuts, Sloopy’s pizza and exclusively blue candy from Marilyn’s. Why only blue candy? No idea. But to this day, we still carry out the tradition.

We all met in the summer of seventh grade; however for some of us it was the summer of sixth. We are a collection of many different types of people, but with one common trait; all of us are musicians. This random alignment brought us closer together very quickly, and we talked our days away about composers, techniques and music theory.

A couple of us even joined Lakeside’s Ring & Sing, a program for young children that exposes them to the joys of music through singing and large hand-held bells. This became a yearly tradition, as well as a highlight on my calendar. Through Ring & Sing we made more friends, which only made our yearly musical tradition even more fun.

Another favorite memory of mine is when my crazy group and I foraged our way down to the rock beach next to the mini-golf course. We felt like pioneers, blazing the path for future adventurers who were also brave enough to climb down to the yet uncharted beach below. In reality, this meant we climbed down only a few slick boulders. Nevertheless, we proudly named the shore ‘Secret Bay Beach’ and returned to our newest and coolest hangout place every day.

Now, there is a clear path down to the bay and is visited by many people throughout the course of the summer, but we still traipse down to the rocks like it’s an old home of ours. We would sit on the boulders and eat our blue candy, talking for hours about everything, or sometimes nothing. I grew up on that beach.

Our group continued to grow throughout the years, and along with new people came new memories; each its own exciting story. Now I am graduating high school in a couple of weeks and plan to attend college in North Carolina, but Lakeside will always be one of my favorite places to return to.

I can’t imagine my summers without Lakeside. Almost all of the best summer memories are from right here, along Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile. I will always adore this place and cherish all the memories that I have with it.