“I bet deep down you still wish your mom would take you clothes shopping every August for the new school year.”

— Bridget Willard

Oh sure enough, life was good in the old days, when it was almost time for school. A fresh new “Big Chief” tablet, a dozen yellow No. 2 pencils (not yet sharpened) and a box of 16 crayons arranged by color and perfectly pointed — how lucky were we? Even in the years when things weren’t plentiful, there was almost always a new pair of shoes and at least one new outfit for the first day of school.

And it is about time for that. Maybe the brave can hold off until next weekend, when the state lets stores sell goods “tax free,” but that’s going to be pushing it right up to the first bell.

What we have, here, now, this very day, are the last blasts, gasps and a few good things that are all about summer — just summer — the lazy, hazy, crazy days of it. Sure, sure, sure, be literal if you want, and point out for us that the real “summer season” lasts well into September. We’ll say thank you, of course, and as soon as you turn your back, we’ll slide our eyes to the side because we’re actually thinking, “Whatever,” because you know as well as we do, when school starts, summer’s over and football and frenzy are kickin’.

OK, enough of the philosophy. Let’s get on with the reality of what there is to do today.

Punt, Pass and Kick

Today’s the day the Brownwood Parks and Recreation Department will hold the annual NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick competition for area boys and girls ages 8 to 15. Things start happening at 10 a.m. at Coggin Park. Competition is set up by age divisions, according to the child’s age as of Dec. 31, 2009, with 8- to 9-year-olds the youngest and continuing on by two year increments to 14 and 15 as the oldest.

Family fun at Riverside

The Pecan Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League is hosting a family fun day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Riverside Park. Marines past, present and future, active or reserve, and their families are invited for fun, fellowship and food. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish and dessert to share and their own eating utensils, blankets, lawn chairs and drinks. If you want to know more, call Carrie Rodman at 325-232-0551.

Virginia Perez benefit

A brisket lunch and washer and horseshoe tournaments, with proceeds to benefit Virginia Perez, who is awaiting a liver transplant, is also planned for today at Riverside Park. Activities begin at 10 a.m. Perez is a former employee of Brownwood Manufacturing and the Brownwood Regional Medical Center emergency room. Brisket plates will be sold for $8 and the details of the washer and horseshoe tournament will be available on site.

And by the way

•Little Zion Baptist Church, 601 Cordell St., will have fun things for kids to do — and refreshments — from 10 a.m. until noon. Children 4 years of age and older are invited.

•Williams School and Community Reunion will go on all day long today with a catered dinner tonight at 7 p.m. The reunion is being held at Hampton Inn, 1103 Riverside Dr.

•The Brownwood Area Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., or until sell-out in the shade under the Bill Monroe Overpass (Austin Avenue) at Avenues A and Brady.

•The Heart of Texas Dance Club meets from 7 to 9 p.m. each Saturday at St. John’s Church, on Main and Depot, for open dance practice. Cost is $2 per person. Call 646-0048 or 646-0037 for information.

•The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host bingo at 1:30 p.m. and a country musical from 6 to 10 p.m. Snack bar will be open serving homemade ice cream and hamburgers.