In a socially distanced summer, at least we've got our memories. Here, Sharon Stone, Iman, Pamela Anderson, and more share theirs — and the vintage photos to match.

By InStyle Staff
Jun 16, 2020 @ 8:00 am
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Carinthia West

For some of us, summer brings back carefree memories of running through lawn sprinklers, catching fireflies, and perfectly roasted marshmallows. For others, it's the season of sharing rosé at a sidewalk cafe, or getting sand between your toes no matter where you find it. For most, it’s a hard season not to love.

This summer, of course, already feels different. After three months of lockdowns across the United States and with warm weather finally upon us, we asked some of our favorite icons — Angelica Huston, Candice Bergen, Olivia Newton John, Patti Hansen, Iman, Sharon Stone,  Ali MacGraw, and Pamela Anderson — to share a few of their favorite memories of summers past.

From childhood recollections of lawn tag, bike riding and drinking out of the garden hose to more recent remembrances of snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding and picnics, they waxed nostalgic about the best parts of those long and often languid days.

And what about their plans for this summer? Many shared that the last few months have reminded them about the preciousness of relationships and the importance of living each moment. They long to see friends and family again and hope to enjoy simple pleasures such as sharing a meal or watching a colorful sunset. As MacGraw put it, “Each moment of our lives is important and we must put our hearts into making this summer a good memory too.”

Angelica Huston, Malibu, 1983

The pearls are my mother’s [Enrica Soma’s], given to her by my father [John Huston] when he came back from Japan after he made The Barbarian and the Geisha. The pink outfit was, as I remember, just a little leotard and a full skirt made by my dressmaker, whose name, ironically enough, was Rosie! I can’t remember what [the photographer] Carinthia [West] and I were doing that day, other than that it was in Malibu, and it was obviously a very happy, beautiful day.

My fondest summer memories are split four ways: playing tag on the lawn at our house in Ireland as a child with my brother Tony and riding in local gymkhanas on my pony, Victoria. More recently, games of pool pong at my ranch in Northern California with friends and family. Lovely golden days being spoiled by my friends Jimmy and Jane Buffett at their beautiful house on Long Island and paddle boarding off their boat in Sag Harbor.

This summer I am going to stick close to home. It’s been a very unsettling year, but my refuge has been my farm — in particular making an eccentric garden with tons of vegetables grown from seed this spring and about a hundred roses that I propagated and planted myself. Also spending time with my animals, especially my two dogs, Oscar and Pootie, and my three favorite horses, High Five, Charlie, and Sky, my miniature pony.

Quarantine has been hard because I love being with my nieces and nephews and watching them grow. I also hope to be able to return to being with my beloved. In light of everything going on, I have a renewed appreciation for the simple acts of being with family and friends. Sharing delicious meals, traveling to gorgeous places, having the freedom to enjoy parties and concerts and heavenly long summer evenings eating paella and lobster rolls and watching the sun go down over a warm, inviting sea.

Olivia Newton-John, Honolulu 1986

Courtesy Olivia Newton-John

This photo is from when I took my 3-month-old baby daughter, Chloe, to Hawaii with my sister Rona, and she had her first swim in the ocean and played in the soft, fine sand on the beach in Honolulu. I also have sweet memories from when my husband, John [Easterling], took me to the Bahamas during our first summer together. We snorkeled and swam, and it was heaven! And, of course, I had so much fun when we filmed all of the dance scenes for Grease in 1977 during one of the hottest summers ever recorded in L.A.

Whether by request or design, I plan on being home this summer. I have an added appreciation for everything. I always wake up and say thank you for another day, but now I am grateful in a much larger way. It boils down to love and respect for each other and our planet. It’s heartening to see people consciously being protective of others. I am hopeful that these acts of kindness and the incredible service by our health workers and essential businesses will continue to be seen with the respect they deserve. Everything changes. Our world was certainly out of balance, but I believe good will come from this.

Candice Bergen, Almería, Spain, 1970

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This shot is from a legendarily horrible, ludicrous film. The kind of film you’d laugh yourself sick over if you saw it stoned. Or straight. It was called The Hunting Party, and we shot it in Almería at a well-known film location. You’d find old arrows in the desert and bullet shells from Lawrence of Arabia. I enjoyed being there because the Spanish crew was lovely, and I spent my time with them. Oliver Reed was in the movie. He was a nightmare to work or be with. Oy.

When I was married to [director] Louis Malle, we spent every summer in the southwest of France at his home there named Le Coual. We would eat meals under the trees in the garden. In the afternoons we would swim or hike and then start preparing dinner. At night we would watch movies from our vast collection of great cinemaworks. It was the most simple, authentic life, and the present rarely intruded.

This summer we will be in East Hampton, N.Y. My daughter and her husband usually come to visit and friends come for lunch. Since the pandemic, I take nothing for granted — and rarely did even before it. But I hope we will all be together and have our meals on the porch and swim in the pool and be grateful. I think about it all the time.

Patti Hansen, Palm Beach, 1976

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This was taken by Arthur Elgort at the Breakers Hotel in Florida. I remember watching Arthur dance in the ballroom after our shoot, and he was so elegant. This was a very important time for me. It was the beginning of my career, and I did not know until the story came out that it was a full feature.

I grew up in Tottenville, Staten Island, one block from the beach where we used to sunbathe and swim. From 17 to my early 20s I was taken to remote and glamorous locations all over the world as a model. When Keith [Richards] and I met and started a family, we continued following the sun for all our vacations. One of my favorites was taking our girls [Theodora and Alexandra] cross-country in a van from New York to California. California trips have always held a special place in my heart. I lived briefly in Manhattan/Hermosa Beach in the late ’70s, and it hasn’t changed much. I still go to visit my friends there, and my husband and girls love it as well.

I want to get back there and go biking on the boardwalk with my girlfriends. I don’t take anything for granted on any given day, but this period has made me even more thankful for time spent with loved ones. I also want to thank all of the people working to get us through this pandemic. I pray that we will get through this soon and have a summer we will appreciate more than ever.

Iman, Dominican Republic, 1977

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If total languor is one of summer’s main traits, then here I offer no contradiction. This picture is from one of my first fashion shoots. I was new to modeling, new to America, and new to lounging poolside in heels. I adapted pretty easily to all three! This year I’m repurposing summer’s warmth to help my work with CARE, the global humanitarian organization presently doing critical work to fight COVID-19.

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Sharon Stone, Bel-Air, 1994

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Here I am taking a break from high heels and swollen feet, but my fondest memories are of bike riding with my dad. He worked second shift, so time with him was precious. Drinking water out of the garden hose. Washing the car with my family, and the whole sudsy fun of that.

I’d love to be able to see my friends and family this summer. I hope we can go back to Montana, where we like to barbecue, swim, and go out on the lake.

It’s strange to start [thinking about this time] from the perspective of fame, as fame is rather isolating to begin with. I am already a bit of a shut-in, since when I go out, paparazzi follow me and cars chase me around, so this isn’t as new for me as it is for my family and friends. However, six weeks in, it’s even getting to me — who goes out only once every week or 10 days. A long time ago, my going-out freedom was gone, so I have kind of a live-in life. I do miss so much having my friends over or going to see them. I miss my family. I think we have abused our freedoms so severely that this sort of thing was inevitable, unfortunately, and now we absolutely must respect each other and our environment in totality or this is just the first of many issues to come.

Ali MacGraw, Malibu, 1978

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My childhood in New England included spending a summer week in rural Vermont, swimming in old rock gorges and taking someone’s old pony down the dirt road to the post office. Much later came the unexpected treat of spending time on the Mediterranean, because my husband’s [Robert Evans’s] work took him to Europe each summer. We visited fantastic places like the beach at the Lido in Venice and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes.

My imagination and sense of romance placed my every thought in the era of F. Scott Fitzgerald and all the glamorous people who played there decades before. Some of my happiest summers were spent on the beach in Trancas, back when Malibu was a small family village, with kids [including son Josh Evans, pictured] and dogs and dolphins and neighbors, and time stood still. It is impossible to imagine this coming summer in any other way but the proverbial one day at a time. I most want to share it with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, and I would be ecstatic if that time included being at an unpopulated beach. I am hoping that we can still create beautiful and lasting, positive memories. It will take hope and optimism, though. Each moment of our lives is important, and we must put our hearts into making this summer a good memory too.

Pamela Anderson, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 2020

Courtesy Pamela Anderson

I love to be with my boys [Brandon and Dylan] on the beach in Malibu. They were raised there, and every day felt like summer at our house — surfing, barbecues, lots of friends and family around. The California dream. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are not together right now, and I miss them so much. But we are all looking forward to being reunited soon. I’m at our house on Vancouver Island, close to my parents in case they need me.

This summer I’d like to take the boys on my boat here on the island. It’s a sweet little Chris-Craft. It’s nothing fancy, just what I need here to cruise around. It’s a life changer. Freedom.

I think [this period of time] is a wake-up call about our relationships and how fragile we all are. It has brought some people closer. Human connection is a lost art. Let’s hope this is a way to relearn how to be together. Or even be apart in a healthy way. Nothing will ever be the same.

For more stories like this, pick up the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download June 12.