Everyone has one song that seems to embody the essence of their high school days. Mine is California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas. The big, fat harmonies, the sweet, plaintive melody, the freedom that the song implies lives somewhere in the future and of course, the images of a dreary, Eastern winter contrasted with the warm, sunny, care-free atmosphere of California in the ‘60s – at least, the idealized California I longed to experience. I finally did get to go to California for the first time at 17, and it did not disappoint. I was mesmerized by the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the beaches, the trip to Disneyland, the big, blue skies, and the feeling that anything was possible. I returned to live in California some ten years later, and as the Mamas and Papas sang in another song, “California Dreamin’ was becoming a reality!”.
January 31, 2005