Thirty years ago, I was riding around a small town in Oklahoma with my two best friends. Kevin and I were 15. Frank was 16, had his license, and was a doctor’s kid. This gave us full access to his Father’s full size van, complete with captain’s chairs, and a very nice tape deck. We’d sleep in, have lunch at the Sonic Drive-in and head for the pool.
At the pool, we’d spend our time dreaming about the three gorgeous lifeguards, occasionally jumping in the pool to escape the 100+ Oklahoma heat, and listening to the top 40 tunes of ’77 over the pool speakers. When the pool closed, we would go to Kevin’s house, play chess, build model rockets, and talk about Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. We spent hours speculating on would win a war between the Federation and the Cylons. Oh, and also reading everything we could find about this new movie coming out called Star Wars,and wondering if it would be worth seeing. Nerdy? Yep. But for small town boys with big dreams, it was a lot of fun.
Video Recorders, DVDs, CDs, and even cable television weren’t even in our wildest imaginations. My Dad had just purchased our first color television a few years back, and still had to adjust the outside antennae to pick up all 4 channels. But we had our comic books, and we had our cassette deck in the van, and our 8-track players at home.
Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors was our favorite tape, and quickly became the soundtrack for that memorable summer. We liked side one better than side two, but came to love the first song on side two, The Chain. For those of you who have no idea what Side One and Side Two mean, ask your parents. (Sigh)
Recently, I picked up the CD, and have spent much of the summer remembering that first summer of freedom for three boys on the verge of adulthood. I only saw Frank one more time after that summer. His Dad moved the family to Kentucky.
Kevin was my Groomsman for my wedding in 1989, and is still one of my best friends, though we see each other only every few years or so. Each time I do see him, the years melt away, and for just an instant I’m fifteen again, full of wonder and promise, believing all things are possible, even in a small town.