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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

My favorite Veteran: A British Officer and a Gentleman


This is the man that stole my mother's heart. A pretty dashing example of "the greatest generation" in his prime. My mother brought a friend along on their first date because he had a reputation for being a cad - that's "player" in today's lingo - and she was trying to put him off. Rather than being put off, my dad charmed the friend as well sealing the deal. He was always a dazzling dancer and he probably rattled off some compliments in one of the four languages he was fluent in — besides English: French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. He might even have wooed her in Swahili; self-taught, he had learned a smattering of that language, as well. In any case it worked. The next time he asked my mum out, they went solo. And the rest, as they say, is history. My family's history!

My dad, Edward Good, part of the Greatest Generation, was born in Preston, Lancashire, in the north of England on July 28, 1915. He served with the British Armed Forces in World War II. At one point he oversaw the command of an Italian prisoner of war camp in North Africa. He sent this picture to my mum in 1941. Years later, because I loved the photo of my handsome father so much, he made me a copy and inked over my mother's name with mine. Thinking of him today, Veteran's Day, 2014. He passed away in January, 1992. I'm so grateful he met my then husband-to-be and that we had one last special Christmas together before he died; my biggest disappointment is that he never met our son. The adoration, I think, would have been mutual and oh the stories my father could have told him.

Remembering all the vets with affection and admiration. My father, thank God, did not have to give his lives for us, but he would have. Thinking today, not only of my father, but of those who did.

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