About 40 years ago, Capitol Records released a Beach Boys compilation titled Endless Summer. The LP contains the pop group’s early 1960s greatest hits including “Help Me, Rhonda,” “California Girls,” and of course the appropriately titled “All Summer Long.” The idea of re-releasing Beach Boys hits in the early 1970s was a brilliant marketing move because this compilation was one of the band’s most successful records.
Perhaps the compilation title Endless Summer was conjured up by the band, but more likely, the title came from a record executive or a group of executives who were thinking about their teen years when they dreamed of an ‘endless summer.’ On a bit of a side note, attention Beach Boys mavens, you may weigh in on this site’s comments section to enlighten me about who came up with the LP’s title.
I think about the Endless Summer album because I recall seeing it and its contents for the first time during my childhood when playing with my best friend Dan at his house. “Danny” as he was known back in those days, roamed the neighborhood and more importantly, his house with me. Certain rooms in Danny’s house were festooned with things that interested his big sister. One room in the house featured a large poster of Clark Gable and in another room there it was: a poster from that Beach Boys compilation, Endless Summer – which covered a wall in his sister’s bedroom for years. In retrospect, this greatest hits packages was a great idea because it introduced the Beach Boys to the younger end of the Baby Boomers and older Generation X’ers like me and Danny.
So there it was, that Beach Boys poster depicting a photo of an airplane with the band’s name on an attached banner and on another plane a banner with the words, “Endless Summer.” That poster got my young mind to thinking if an ‘endless summer’ was possible. Obviously reality told me that on Ohio’s North Coast that an ‘endless summer’ was impossible, but is that what they have out there in California where the Beach Boys called home? I quickly extinguished that thought as pure fantasy because all places have four seasons – it’s just that California does not get hammered with snow like northern Ohio.
Still, that Beach Boys poster got me to fantasizing about an endless summer where the sun keeps shining, the temperatures don’t drop so much that you have to put on a parka and life goes on unfettered with no snow. In my youth, I was already sick of snow and freezing temperatures. By the time I was in first grade, I was already shoveling the stuff. Cabin fever set in every November or December and would not let up until April if we were lucky. OK, I enjoyed playing in the snow on occasion, but believe me, it quickly grows old. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again: one of my favorite memories was when that snow would thaw, the air provided a wonderful feeling and the sun actually appeared.
By the time I was about 7-years-old, I already knew that my cousins, aunt and uncle out in Southern California didn’t have to put up with freezing temperatures and shoveling driveways and sidewalks for what seemed like at least half of the year. When I was out there practically breaking my back shoveling my parents’ driveway, I dreamed of what was going on out to the west of me where my Cousin Scotty was surfing the Pacific near “dreamy” places like Malibu.
As of this writing, I am not living in Southern California. I’m in the Southeastern US where we receive the occasional snow and/or ice event, but for the most part, I rarely deal with snow and quite frankly, I hope I never have to deal with snow in the future. About a month or so before I moved to the Atlanta metro area, I viewed the last episode of Miami Vice. I forget who it was, but someone asked Detective Crockett about his future plans. Crockett replied that he was going to a place where the sun is warm and the drinks are cold. Wow that line resonated with me when I was at that type of a crossroads in my life. It wasn’t too much later when I got Crockett’s wish by moving down South.
Certainly nothing is perfect weather-wise in the South or anywhere on this planet. No one needs to point out that we receive our fair share of heat and severe weather including strong rainfall, hail and tornadoes. The biggest weather issue that has had me concerned in recent years is drought. Since I moved here one quarter century ago, the weather patterns have changed enough to make this state much more aware about supplying water to its residents and businesses alike. Not too sound alarmist, but it would be nice if there were solid plans in place just in case the Peach State experiences a drought worse than the one experienced in 2007.
On those 90-plus degree days I feel that somehow karma is getting me back by not wishing to be around snow and cold temps. “Well, you asked for the warm sun and cold drinks, right?” I say to myself. “Now, you got it, buddy!” Maybe an ‘endless summer’ is not such a great idea?