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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 …

Vacate the Premises


I read a piece not too long ago, bemoaning the fact that the digital age is ruining vacations. The writer, a young man, had been on holiday with his girlfriend, happily posing for pictures until he got a look at them, moments later, scrolling through the photos on her iPhone. Ew?! That's how I look? He'd sucked in his stomach and smiled, confident that the man he felt like inside was the man who appeared on the screen. Wrong. We lie to ourselves but the camera never does, and there he was, revealed in all his glory: flesh still white and while he wouldn't go so far as to say flabby, he didn't look like the college athlete he used to be. His chin, not exactly weak but no one would mistake him for Chris Hemsworth either. The poor guy's vacation was ruined. He said he wished he could have at least enjoyed his one lousy week away from the office with his illusions intact.

Superficial? Sure. But I can relate. I rarely pose for vacation pictures anymore. That's a half-truth. I rarely pose for any pictures anymore and I'm going to be mad as hell if you try to catch me on candid camera. Some things are better left unseen. I'm exaggerating, of course, that stupid thing some of us older women do.

Still, looking through the vacation photos I shot with my iPhone, the ones I like best from our trip to Florida and the Florida Keys, are people free. The reason has less to do with my insecurity about my looks and aging than you might think. I love the idea of traveling but hate the idea of being a tourist. Those photos with people posing, grinning in front of an iconic destination, from the Grand Canyon to Big Ben to the Eiffel Tower leave me a little cold. I get it. You were there. A great memory, and believe me I've got my share of those thrilled to be there shots. Photographically, I'd like you to step aside please, so I can get a good shot at that place, that view, that stunning sunset.



You can find more #AtoZChallenge Posts in the sidebar to the left.
The Key of Blue is one of my favorites.


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