Friday, July 12, 2002

What was your most memorable summer, and what made it so memorable?

Summers growing up back east were all idyllic, but have now melted into one big, sticky memory of going to camp (swimming in polluted lakes and being bitten by mosquitoes in New Hampshire) and visiting with family (swimming off of polluted beaches and being bitten by hermit crabs in Massachusetts). Every summer day of youth was appreciated as one more day that we weren’t obligated to be in school.

I suppose the last truly memorable and special summer would be 1979, following high school graduation in Los Angeles. Every day of that summer was appreciated as our last taste of freedom before having to start behaving like adults (although, in reality, my friends and I all managed to put off acting like adults for several more years after that). Highlights included the “Rally to Stop Diablo!” in San Luis Obispo, where we put an end to nuclear power in California (you can thank me later), spending some time down in San Diego where my brothers were each living, and following The Kinks back up the coast with concerts in SD, LA, and Santa Barbara.

The summer of 1979 was also when President Carter reinstated Selective Service Registration, for a possible draft for a possible war (we were expecting to invade El Salvador or Nicaragua any day). As I drove from work to the Post Office to get my Registration form, KMET provided the perfect soundtrack of Alice Cooper singing “I’m Eighteen.” Later that week I started attending meetings with my parents to learn the new rules on filing for Conscientious Objector status. My file was started, but luckily it never needed to be used.

It’s amazing what you can remember about a single three-month period. Especially when they all said that the drugs would destroy any long-term memory. Ah, but that’s another story.

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