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It doesn't hurt to hang on to the old good vibrations - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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It doesn't hurt to hang on to the old good vibrations

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Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 12:00 am

Summer used to be a lot better when it involved fun, fun, fun in a Thunderbird and lots of time at the lake.

But my 1960 T-Bird ended up in a junkyard and I ended up having to think of ideas to write about instead of figuring out mischief to occupy those hot and idle months.

Sweating was no sweat back in the day. And what’s a little sunburn when there’s golf to play, beer to drink and a drag to cruise when the sun goes down.

We did our best to live up to the Beach Boys songs. Of course it was kind of difficult to surf in San Angelo. But there are lakes and rivers, so we got by.

 Actually, those days were relatively short in comparison to the rest of life that has had to be lived. But they were glorious while they lasted. That’s why they remain so vivid in the mind.

Alas, you always get to the point where you have to earn a decent wage to maintain a fun lifestyle. And having a job cuts into the time you have to enjoy all that fun.

Instead of a good three months of knocking around doing nothing worthwhile, you quickly discovered that a weekend had to do. And your grand plans for a week usually got morphed into something different and definitely duller.

Nowadays, those of us who survived the eventful 1960s curse the advent of summer. We feel a little nostalgic when one of those summer songs from long ago plays on an oldies station. But we also avoid baking in the heat, although it sometimes feels good on all those aching joints.

But then, we’re not exactly glad to see winter show up. Spring is nice until the allergies kick in. And fall may be the only season we still enjoy, mainly because it involves lots of football.

So now summer’s just something to be endured. Maybe we have an occasional thought about reliving all those wild and crazy experiences, but that’s just something to do while waiting for the air conditioning to cool the steering wheel down enough to grip.

Actually, it’s probably a little easier to live in the past because that enables you to settle back in the recliner and try to find one of those Frankie and Annette beach movies. And if you get really lucky, Tuesday Weld might show up in something. And you try not to remember that she’s 66 going on 67. That would remind you that you’re … well, never mind.

Try as you might, lyrics such as “Hot town summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirt And gritty” just don’t have the same significance as they once did — even if you download them as a ring tone.

So maybe that’s why summer has become such a bittersweet time for so many people. It just reminds you of things that have passed you by.

But, by the same token, those also are the memories that affirm that wasted days and wasted nights kind of add to your long resume that has grown increasingly dull as time passed.

Odessa, TX

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