One minute it was Ohio winter

by bethanybump

January 1999 Rocket Summer

One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.

And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer’s ancient green lawns.

Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground.

Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky.

The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land….

— Excerpt from “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury (1950). Incidentally, I just came across this book when I was going through a pile of old, dusty books in a corner of my loft. What a treasure.


He started performing shows as a teenager in Dallas and Fort Worth Texas. As Bryce’s amount of local fans grew, he made his first EP at the age of 16 in 2000 called ‘The Rocket Summer EP.’ Before he was about to put out the EP, his friend suggested that he name it instead of using his own name. “He was reading a book called ‘Martian Chronicles’ and one of the chapters was called ‘Rocket Summer,'” says Bryce, “so he was like ‘You should name it The Rocket Summer.’ I just thought it was really cool so it doesn’t really have like a super meaningful meaning. It was just kind of a casual thing that I did when I was a kid.”

— Excerpt from Bryce Avary interview

Naming his band may have been the least meaningful thing Bryce ever did. Everything he has touched since has been so supercharged with meaning it’s difficult for me to compare his music to that of any other beautiful music.