If you could live at the Beach, you would.

It’s August 1966 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – You Live At The Beach – Station 8 Is Your Home.

If you could live at the Beach, you would.

– Gary Mack – KHJ AM&FM – August 10, 1966 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The beach – the waves. Yeah. Your beach, your waves – your Summer.

It hit you hard, this love of the sea. Ever since you took your first wave and rode it all way you knew; this was what it was all about. You found your place in life – this was the place you could go and get answers. And you needed a lot of answers.

September coming up fast – senior year. Folks are pressuring you to go to college – your dad says maybe the Army is a good idea. Your mom wants you to become something. You don’t know what yet. You’re trying to figure that out.

Feels like your last Summer of freedom. You’ve got all this future to think about. Paddling out and waiting for the next wave gives you time to think. You like your life right now – its perfect the way it is. You can’t be in the water all your life though. Good as it sounds that’s not what life’s about – even you know that.

The future scares the crap out of you. You’ll never be able to do this again – wait till the sun sets and catch waves at night. Looking at Santa Monica – the lights on the pier. All those people. All doing something – all having to be someplace. You don’t – not now – not this minute. In the middle of the ocean and its dark and the moon is making an attempt to creep out – this is where you are – and you can’t think about anything else. Future? It’s just you and the waves and tomorrow is a million miles away.

Bonfires up and down the beach – somebody has a portable radio on and the Lifeguard starts barking at you on his megaphone from shore that you can’t surf at night.

There went that moment. Maybe you just have to live in each one and not worry about the others, because they’ll get you anyway.

And this moment you’re now freezing your ass of. Didn’t seem that cold in the water.

Is life always this complicated at seventeen? Maybe you can hitch a ride from one of the bonfire people. Your friends left hours ago – they didn’t want to wait. Friends are like that.

And a half-hour’s worth of Gary Mack at 93 KHJ from August 10, 1966 to put things in perspective.

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