The Lost Summer Of 1974
My parents brought my brother Jerry and me to Central Florida in the summer of '74. Between the two of us, we had almost no money, and zero friends. But we did have each other, and his '64 Plymouth Valiant. Thank God for that car. It got us to the beach, to the Eau Gallie Speedway on Saturday nights, to the Drive-In theatres, and to Jerry's Pizza Palace (no relation). Or, if things were really tight, we just drove around listening to Mystery Theatre on the radio and hatching schemes on how to get back to Tallahassee.
When we weren't in his car, we could usually be found playing our guitars. And did we ever play them! I played mine, I'm sure, for 14 hours a day that entire summer; every day except on Sundays, when I played for 18 hours. I'm convinced that I learned 70% of everything I know about music in that three month span. Man, if summers were 6 months long I could have really made some progress!
Late nights were most often spent in Mom and Dad's sweltering garage, our makeshift hangout, from midnight til 3 or 4 AM, "burning a fat one", as Jerry liked to call it, and then watching Star Trek, Sea Hunt and Twilight Zone reruns while eating enormous bowls of Cheerios until the TV's color bars and 1000Hz audio tone made it pretty obvious that it was finally time to go to sleep.
By September, we had both found part-time jobs, made a few friends, and started at our new high school. So life went on, and before long we were doing OK.
I jokingly call it The Lost Summer, but looking back now, it was probably the best one ever.