By Harrison Poe
Hot, dry, and sunny – the seasons in Los Angeles have little difference, but the summer in my hometown of Houston, Texas is its own unique spectacle. Summer storms create steamy days with both the temperature and humidity cranked up to one hundred percent. The climate serves as a perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes who come out to feed during the cool evenings. However, despite the oppressive climate and having to bring two shirts with me everywhere I go, the heat allowed me to forge great memories during my summers in Houston.
I can remember when I was little, walking to my neighbors’ house to pick the figs off of their backyard tree in early June. Years of growth and care had caused the tree to expand across the back corner of our neighbor’s backyard, and this yearly ritual provided my sister and I with enough fruit to last us until the next summer. We were always greeted with a warm smile and a hug as we scurried, buckets in hand, towards our fruity symbol of summer. Throughout the rest of the summer the figs would make their way into salads, preservatives, desserts, and ultimately, our stomachs, and over time summer simply wasn’t summer without the ripe fruit on the dinner table.
As I grew older, the summer brought with it music festivals, exciting vacations, and road trips with friends but, with age, came hard work. The summer after my junior year of high school my dad insisted I spend some time working at the family business. Since my great-grandfather opened Carl Poe Company, my family has been repairing gas meters and selling their parts for over fifty-five years. So, instead of having a nice office job or internship like some of my friends, I labored in the oven-like workshop disassembling gas meters for repair. It wasn’t lazy days spent by the pool or the thrilling vacation I’d desired, but it was a much needed lesson, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Those sweaty hours of swinging a hammer and dismantling meters with my pneumatic screwdriver taught me the importance of preparing for the future. Though I arrived begrudgingly everyday at eight o’clock at the forceful request of my father, the job provided me with experience I’d need when applying to future jobs, not to mention a little extra cash.
This summer was my first not spent in Texas, and surprisingly there has been little difference. It’s become clear to me that Los Angeles does summer quite well. Though it lacks the charm and slow pace of a southern summer, days at the beach and nights in sushi restaurants help to bring out the fun nature of the season. One of the best parts about being in LA in the summer is discovering what the season is actually like here. Day trips to the museum followed by night market adventures create new memories in my new home city. Though my Houston summers will be missed, I’m excited to see what my next summer in Los Angeles has in store.
Featured image from Needpix
Harrison is a sophomore currently studying Theatre (BA, Acting) and is also a member of the Thematic Option Honors Program. He is from Houston, Texas and grew up playing piano and guitar before transitioning to theatrical performance. Still a lover of music, Harrison plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, and electric bass. In addition to smiling and waving his hands on stage, Harrison loves talking to people and learning about different places, cultures, traditions, and histories. One of the main reasons Harrison chose to come to USC and move to Los Angeles was because of the city’s proximity to the film industry. His love of stories gave him a passion for movies, and he tries to see as many as possible.