Saturday, August 13, 2011

Anthems of Summer














In the summers of my youth, I spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out at a resort on Leech Lake, here in Minnesota. It's a terrible name for a beautiful lake. On its southern shores, there's a little town called Whipholt. It's mostly a residential area with the resort as its focal point. At the edge of town there's a long sandy beach where I hung out on a fair number of summer days. On one of those summer days, an afternoon in late August, I lost my virginity on a grassy hill overlooking that beach.


My boyfriend, who later became my first husband, worked at the resort. After he was done bailing and gassing up boats, cleaning fish and mowing the lawn, we would hang out with other local kids, along with a few who were vacationing at the resort with their parents. A garage at the resort had become a sort of rec room: a table with a few chairs, a ping pong table, and most important, a jukebox. The jukebox didn't get much rest, it was well-fed, but for the life of me, the only song I can recall now was, "Let's Live for Today," by The Grass Roots. It became our anthem that summer.

Many years later, sometime in the late 1990's, long after that husband and I had gone our separate ways, I went to a Fourth of July celebration where The Grass Roots, on a reunion tour, were performing in the bandstand. There they were, alive and well, still looking and sounding almost as good as they had thirty years earlier. They encouraged us to sing along, and we did.

Later that night, on another grassy hill, I sat with another husband to be, as we watched the fireworks rain down around us.

This summer, on July 11th, Rob Grill, lead singer of the band, moved out of sight on this River of Life, and it brought to mind that long ago summer, sitting on a table in a garage, listening to the jukebox, and becoming all too aware that my boyfriend and a girl named Helle were more friendly than I was comfortable with.


I wouldn't want to be young again for all the tea in China. But I sure do like this song:







For those who might be interested: their guitarist at the time, on Rob's right, is Creed Bratton, an actor now, who plays one of the guys in, "The Office," with Steve Carrell.



24 comments:

  1. Rather than the garage, I seem to recall listening to these guys in our basement in the dark with candles. Such were the days.

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  2. Oh yes, this song brings back some good memories. It was a wonderful time.
    I wish I had had the sense to enjoy the moments more...

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  3. I don't know where I was at the time, it isn't a familiar song to me. I guess I was busy being a young mother myself. I hope you are having a great weekend, Teresa. It's sure nice to have nice weather, wherever we are.

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  4. Isn't it great how a song can transport you back in time to a place where you remember what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were thinking, etc? I totally remember this song but was not aware of the connection to "The Office". I'm going to have to check that out!

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  5. Teresa--I Googled him and read some really interesting stuff, including the fact that he grew up on Coarsegold, close to Yosemite and that he attended Sacramento State University...my Alma Mater! Thanks for posting this. I would not have known any of this had you not. It was fun seeing the old 60's posters too from the Cow Palace. Boy...does this bring back memories. I was right there during that time!

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  6. Teresa, what fun this was to hear. We just came home from a family reunion, where talk and laughter included music. This was not one of the songs that came up, but, oh, how I remember it, going into my senior year of high school. Music can certainly bring us back to a moment in time, can't it? A nice remember to live for today.

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  7. Linda, The basement with candles - another whole kind of rec room. My friends who grew up in the suburbs had those and I did later in my youth, but when I was a little kid, the basement was really a basement. Candles - pretty risque there. :)

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  8. farmlady, I have almost amazingly good recall of my youth. Somewhere along the way I realized I wanted to recall things and started paying closer attention. Maybe I knew I would write about them someday?

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  9. DJan, Raising children can alter how we spend our days. The days here have been really nice. Almost has a feel of fall in the air already, sort of transition time. I don't mind, fall's my favorite time of year. I hope you're having a great weekend!

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  10. Teri, Yes, I can often pull up what I was wearing, even how the day felt, what the light was like. The Cow Palace was a pretty happening place it seems. Here in the Midwest it was someplace almost magical to hear/read about. glad I could pull up those times through this song. And, I didn't know about Creed until recently. I like his character, what I've seen of it, and he actually plays someone named Creed, basically himself, if I remember correctly. Have a good day!

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  11. Penny, Yes, the message is still a good one. Family reunion - haven't been to one in Many years. It will probably stay that way. :) it sounds like you had a good time. It's good to laugh. I need to do more of it.

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  12. OK. You are totally freaking be out with the information about Creed. Whoa. Whoa.

    Loved these memories of summer and love and music. Ahhhhh....

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  13. Betty, Ain't that cool? Summer and love and music. Yeah.

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  14. Lost virginities
    Cannot ever be reclaimed,
    Yet the view remains the same.

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  15. I wouldn't want to be young again either, but my life's soundtrack is pretty good. :-)

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  16. Paul, Well, the view from that hill has changed. Someone built a house there... :)

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  17. Li, I do love the soundtrack to my life. It might be a little heavy on the 60's stuff, but that was some fine music.

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  18. I didn't even recognize the name of the band, but the song came flooding back as soon as I heard the first few notes. Ah, 60s music.

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  19. Nancy, It still is my favorite. I try not to be stuck in any time period, but musically it was a good one.

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  20. Such is life my dear
    Because change is life itself -
    Even on a hill.

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  21. Thanks for that song, and the Creed trivia. Once the camera was on him, it seemed really obvious, but I never knew it.

    The Grass Roots seemed grown-up and sophisticated to me. Like, what the cool, older kids were listening to.

    Found you via Too Far From Heaven. Nice to meet you!

    Roxanne

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  22. Thanks for stopping by, Roxanne. Now I want to sing that song. See what you've gone and done? I've been enjoying your comments at Jules place. It's good to meet new people here in Bloggerville. Love all the connections we make.

    Thanks, again. Glad you liked the post.

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  23. Lost my virginity to the strains of Mozart. He was in the bathroom next door to my bedroom and...I told you I was old. Hee Hee Hee

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  24. "To the strains of Mozart?" That's gotta be a pretty old joke, too. Is that Red Skelton? Henny Youngman? Dean Martin?

    Sheesh, now I'm showing how old I am.

    I suppose now you're going to tell me it's a Cletis Stump. And I wouldn't be surprised.

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