“Driving around, living the dream. I’m cruising the town, digging the scene. I’m not gonna stress, not gonna worry. Doing my best, no need to hurry. (Beach Boys Lyric)
I usually get antsy in the days preceding our springtime road trips. Anticipating once again the excitement of extended freedom from our accustomed routine, an emotional flashback to times of youthful optimism provided a useful theme to satisfy such restlessness last week. What could make a more fun combination than nostalgically indulging in Beach Boys music, spring training baseball or “hot rod cruising” to re-experience the vanishing bohemian spirit of the late 1960s?
So many pop music idols in my adolescent past have faded away into non-existence yet The Beach Boys remain immensely popular in today’s times. While I remember their surf culture vibe in my era once rivaling “Beatlemania” in popularity, regrettably only two original members ( Mike Love and Bruce Johnston), still perform live with this iconic band in today’s times. Fortunately, my wife and I continue to relish The Beach Boys sound as tunes like “California Girls”, “Help Me Rhonda”, and “Little Deuce Coupe”…. once provided a fun escape outlet for idealized youth like us growing up in a turbulent era of extreme political unrest in America. It follows that we would accordingly “loosen up” to dance and singalong to “hit after hit” in the Beach Boys live performance at Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida last Thursday.
Classic American cars of the 1960s-70s additionally evoke “deja vu” visions for many men of the “baby boom” generation.For owning a fast car then often meant challenging drag races after school accompanied by bragging escapades about one’s engine horsepower capacity. Thus I made up for lost time it seemed by cruising with my lawyer friend in his vintage Corvette last week. Regrettably, the high speed performance of this vehicle could only briefly be displayed as we cautiously zig-zagged through the tourist clogged, I-95 corridor on Saturday afternoon.
Spring Training baseball for me has never really been about winning but rather a place of silly refuge from the more serious pursuit of growing up. Who cares then that I would be witnessing the Miami Marlins, arguably the worst team in Major League baseball on this sunny Saturday afternoon in Jupiter, Florida. An outfielder dropped an easy pop fly, a mustard package splattered on my lap, and an umpire made a bad call. It seemed “all good” in this insignificant ballgame of relaxing retreat.
As my wife and I begin our marathon road trip on March 9, we seek new opportunities to sustain such youthful exuberance. I hope you will similarly enjoy this nostalgic ride through my upcoming blogs. Basking in this fun spirit of travel, I leave you to ponder ways to find your own “Good Vibrations ” in the following Beach Boys video.