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10:20 a.m. - 2011-08-06
Makes me feel fine.

Summer songs.

I remember…

…sprawling on the banished furniture in the damp wonderfully cool windowless cellar of my parents' house playing Bullshit with my sisters and friends while we waited out the day's heat and Side C of 'Yellow Brick Road' played on endless repeat. Always a toss-up between 'Sweet Painted Lady' and 'Danny Bailey' for best song.

…being bunked on the sleeping porch of Mrs B's summer rental in Seaside. The sleeping porch was on the second floor and overlooked the street. The vertical louvered windows cranked outward to catch the night breeze, all of us little kids jammed onto the cots nearest the windows, our chins on the sill, spying on the impromptu street party Mrs B's elder son was having with his friends down below. The song that summer was 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'. The big kids seemed so cool and grown-up. So Mick Jagger was the voice of summer to me for a long time afterward.

…sitting on the concrete picnic table of a roadside rest area at 2:00am drinking Super Big Gulps of Diet Coke with my friend Robert talking the night away, trying to console him over his break-up. He'd finally found the chops to dump his loser married boyfriend and was hurting. (Why is doing the right thing often so hard?) We'd rolled the windows down and left the radio in Robert's car tuned to the local college radio station. Cyndi Lauper came on. Immediately we slid off the table and danced around it bellowing the words to 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' until we were laughing and breathless.

…the entire crew of the pizza place I worked at sarcastically joining our boss who was in the back in singing his favorite song, the one he always sang while he mixed dough- 'Volare'. It was July so we had the doors chocked open and a guy crossing the parking lot toward the produce market at the far end of the strip mall suddenly veered off and came in our door singing too. "Vo-laaar-ray! Oh oh oh! Can-taaar-ray! Oh oh oh!"

…having a classy brie and wine picnic on the grass of the Trophy Point band shell listening to the USMA band play the hell out of Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture' while fireworks burst over the Hudson.

…it's not a song but WABC's Ron Lundy vamping for time when Dan Ingram was late (which was often) always cracked me up. I have a summery memory about it. I'm sitting on the highway overpass near my house, legs dangling, gnawing on dense Russian bread bought at the Hassidic bakery on my way home from working for Walt the One-Armed Landscaper, listening to my little transistor radio and giggling over Ron Lundy's shtick. I was tired in the good way, a decent day's work done and I was relaxed and easy in my skin. The bread was so good! Even without butter.

…cruising to a mix cd of summer tunes and laughing hysterically when Jan and Dean's 'Surf City' cued up and from the backseat 10 year old Alex groaned, "'Two girls for every boy'? GROSS!!!"

… taking the Circle Line cruise and nearing the dock at the end of our trip the tour guide on the PA broke off his canned lecture and corny jokes to do a really good Frank Sinatra. "Start spreading the news…". He got a standing ovation.

…leaving Mike and Alex asleep in the motel room and going to the beach at dawn to walk the tide line as I usually do when we're down the shore. Along with the regulars- the fishermen, the joggers, the partiers straggling home- that morning there was a guy with a guitar sitting on the hard pack just out the water's reach. He was strumming and just noodling around, then spotting me he raised a hand, waved and started playing 'Sister Golden Hair'.

…getting off work at the diner and heading to The Shot before last call for a beer and some necessary dancing. That was the summer of Men At Work, Men Without Hats, and the boys from high school who'd turned into men while I'd been down in Texas for the past couple years.

…working as a counselor in the nursery of the day camp at the local bungalow colony and walking my kids back to their bungalows at day's end and 4 year old Avi singing 'Rhinestone Cowboy' at the top of his lungs. Hey, it was way better than 'The Wheels on The Bus'. (Which, of course, go round and round, round and round, round and round.)

…I know, that was kind of evil. I apologize for any summer camp sing-a-long flashbacks. How about I make it up to you with some Mungo Jerry?


It's summertime and we be jammin' here at Casa Sage, ~LA

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