I don’t know what it is about the summertime that makes me nostalgic. But this is the time of year when I am most reflective and introspective. I suppose it’s because so many of my childhood memories involve searching for perfect sea glass and exploring the rocky outcroppings that separated the private beaches from the public one. It’s also just a lazy time of the year, so there’s more time to dwell on your past life.
This summer, I’ve been thinking about my very early years. It’s all thanks to Slacker radio (similar to Pandora) and their featured “Yacht Rock” station. What is Yach Rock, you say?
I don’t know who came up with this nomenclature, but I guess it’s not wholly inaccurate. I usually consider this easy listening, though, and I think the Yacht Rock title was a way to rebrand and repackage it so it sounded cooler. Because who wants to be caught listening to easy listening? It’s one of those genres that betrays your age.
Despite all that, I am ADDICTED to this station. I’ve managed to fine tune it (banned all Michael McDonald, who took The Doobie Brothers from Rock Stars to Lounge Lizards; marked almost all of America’s songs as favorites) and here I sit, listening to the music that makes me feel like I’m 5 again and hanging out on my Uncle Lou’s beach.
This is the music my mother listened to, back when she looked like Twiggy and wore halter tops and bell-bottoms. Back when I was this adorable, dark-skinned, curly-headed little girl who romped around the beach and charmed Uncle Lou into letting me play in his rowboat. (Without a life jacket, I used to row out a few meters from shore to the nearest sand bar by myself. Can you imagine letting your kids do that now? I don’t even let mine in the 1-foot-deep kiddie pool without supervision!) I listen to Seals & Croft and I can smell the honeysuckle and Coppertone mingling with the salt in the air from the Sound. When Christopher Cross begins to play, I’m transported to a time when our main source of decor was macramé. Right now, as I am writing this, Ambrosia is playing and my world has turned avocado green and sunflower orange. The music invokes my own clichéd Proustian memory.
This is also the week that the Hostess Twinkie and Cupcake made a comeback. Now I truly feel like a kid again. I’ve already broken my adult Twinkie rule of no more than one Twinkie every five years by having two in as many days, but I figure it’s ok since I was, at the time, introducing the kids to these tasty treats. If only foil-wrapped Ding Dongs would come back to the East Coast, my life would be complete…
But until then, I’ll content myself with basking in the sun listening to Peaches and Herbs (Reunited and it feels so good!) and The Pina Colada Song, just like my mom and I used to so many years ago. (I’ll let you do the math as to how long ago that was. When I do the calculations, it just depresses me.) Only difference is that instead of slathering myself with suntan lotion I now use sunscreen, and instead of drinking those Hugs barrels, I can relax with an actual Pina Colada while my children burnish their own summer memories in their minds.
What invokes your summer memories?