Looking Back

The Summer of Love

It was some two years after. Back then, no one knew about the great getaway, my first solo long-distance road trip. I had convinced myself it was about the music, driving up to the Monterey Pop Festival and all. It was the music, but much more. I was on my own. This was a break-out, a freedom that came with the windows rolled down. I was on Highway 1, covering some 300 miles of two-lane blacktop. It was a big deal. Memories of that time were easily triggered. The sounds of Janice, Jimmy, Eric and Grace never stopped bouncing around in my head. I was seventeen and just a week out of high school. Those were the days, a time of innocence. It was the summer of 1967, the “Summer of Love.” I did make it to Monterey but not up to the Haight. Sleeping in the car was already old. If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing; well almost, I really needed a convertible. I don’t know what I enjoyed most, the central coast or the sounds? Whatever, it was an indelible moment that has partially made me, well, me.

Same car and color–different wheels!

Living on the Strand–Somebody had to do it!

In 1969 outwent the Chevy and in came the Fiat 850 Sport Spider. Even though it always ran hot, it was cool. After all it was brand new, sporting parking permits from both the City of Hermosa Beach and UCLA. Even the glove box was dotted with badges marking my time driving in midnight to dawn gimmick rallies. Frozen ears and toasty feet were the rewards of once a month nighttime top down driving. Coffee was available only before and after. There were no cup holders. Damn that was fun.

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