In Our Own Backyard….Where did the time go?I was watching a news program on television as we got ready for church Sunday morning, and they had a special feature on The Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
I was watching a news program on television as we got ready for church Sunday morning, and they had a special feature on The Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary. Since they were part of my growing up years, I was interested in hearing the interviews with the remaining members of the group and their insights on what it was like to be a part of one of the most iconic vocal groups in today’s American culture.
It was all very interesting, but one statement near the end of the newscast really made me sit up and take notice – all four remaining Beach Boys will be at least 70 before the year is out. Seventy! I could hardly believe it, and yet, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. The Beach Boys were already young adults when I was rocking and rolling to their infectious rhythms as an impressionable pre-teenager and giggling with my girlfriends over which one was the cutest – Brian, Dennis or Mike. Since I’m now 62, that would make them – well, around 70. Wow, where did the time go?
The rest of the morning I had The Beach Boys on my mind. “Surfin’ Safari” and “Good Vibrations” aside, they were the only group to ever record a song called “Wendy.” When I was 14, one of my almost-boyfriends presented me with a 45-rpm record of The Beach Boys’ recording of the song, and I listened to it over and over and over, wondering if he was sending me any sort hidden message of adoration through the lyrics (as it turns out, he wasn’t).
I can also remember numerous teen dances at the armory as if they were yesterday, where the DJ or some local rock and roll band would crank out Beach Boys music to the throb of all that teenage angst going on in the room. My girlfriends and I would live for the moment when “Surfer Girl,” or “Hushabye” or “The Warmth of the Sun” came on, each of us hoping some boy might get up enough courage to give up his spot along the wall and ask us to dance one of the slow dances. Wow, where did the time go?
After watching the news program on The Beach Boys Sunday morning, I commented to my husband how old it made me feel to hear they would all soon be in their 70s. He reminded me that other noted celebrities of our time are also “getting up there.” Paul McCartney of The Beatles recently turned 70, and so did Harrison Ford of “Indiana Jones” fame, who will always be first and foremost in my mind as Han Solo of “Star Wars.” Oh, my gosh – do you realize that the original “Star Wars” episode was released in 1977 – 35 years ago? My son was only a couple of months old when my husband and I took him in his diaper and footed PJs to see the epic adventure at a local drive-in theater. Wow, where did the time (and the drive-in theaters) go?
Last weekend, two of our grandkids were visiting our house with their parents, and when Saturday morning cartoons rolled around, they begged and pleaded to be able to watch “Spongebob Square Pants.” Their mother put her foot down, however, and for reasons of her own, she refused to let them watch it. Under protest, they scrolled through the channels until they came upon a cartoon program that not only passed muster with their mom but made both of them squeal in delight. That program was “Tom and Jerry” – the tale of the hapless cat who is forever chasing the wily mouse. And that little bit of entertainment, my friends, dates back to 1954. Wow, where did the time go?