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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Summer of 1970

In the summer of 1970 I drove to Dayton Ohio with my Grandfather. While there I fell in love with a faraway girl with long blond hair and a white dress. Everyday I would watch her walk through a nearby field. I was 15 years old, away from my parents and full of summer thoughts and impulses. I remember going into a store and purchasing my first Playboy magazine. It was almost as much fun as being a kid in a Las Vegas casino sneaking coins into a slot machine. Being a reader I then went to a store and purchased the latest Harold Robbins novel. Those of you old enough to remember his novels were not very good but they were full of sex.

Every week or so I would accompany my Grandfather on his weekly trip to a donut shop where he picked up cardboard barrels of old stale donuts. He would bring them back to his apartment complex and scatter them in the back yard. The feeding frenzy was like something out of the movie The Birds.

During my time there we went to the Wright Patterson Museum, and a magazine plant, the name of which now escapes me. On a trip downtown I picked up a Marine Band Harmonica in the key of "C". I now had an acoustic guitar and harmonica, I was on my way.

Finally came the time I had to return home and I deadheaded on a Flying Tiger Line Stretch DC-8 back to Los Angeles. When I arrived home I went to my bedroom to unpack and there I found a brand new sunburst hollow body electric guitar on my bed. I was ecstatic. After I thanked my parents my first question was where is the amplifier. They hadn't thought about that. The next day we went out and picked up a small amplifier, probably at Sight and Sound in Van Nuys. That is me in the picture above right after we bought the amp.

My Mom had been saving up blue Chip stamps so she could get the guitar. I still have the guitar. It is the only one that has survived my childhood. The action is still way too high and the pickups aren't very good but I still love it. I was online tonight and I could only find one website that had a picture of the same model. I have no clue who made it or where. It had been a rough spring as the Beatles had broken up and I was not too fond of high School. But the summer of 1970 was pretty damn good. And I still think about that blond once in a while.


Anonymous said...

who was the blonde? Sounds like a sequel to the "Summer of 42"

Taht Guitar has a lot of memories...if it could only talk. great stuff...thanks

Guitar Rat said...

The blond remains a mystery. I should have been brave and gotten closer. But I think everyone needs something like this in their past to wonder about. I remember my Dad talking about the Movie, The Summer of '42. I saw it and liked it. He would have been 16 at the time, about the same age as me and my blond.

I wish the guitar could talk. It might remember some good times I have forgotten about. Thanks for your comments

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that this was the blonde in your fantasy:


Bob Walance

Guitar Rat said...


Nice, but no she was more like the blond (Laura Dern) in a movie called Smooth Talk, with Treat Williams. In that picture she was maybe 18, wore white and her hair radiated in the sunlight. Since I was 15 at the time so she would have been an older woman.