Light Notes

What a trip with the Beach Boys

KENNEWICK — There’s a sure-fire way to return to your childhood — or at least your teen years. Attend a live concert featuring old fogies from your generation.

That’s what happened to me — and a bunch of other baby boomers — when we rocked and rolled to the Beach Boys at our Benton Franklin County Fair.

It was a sea of arthritic hips swaying to the beat, all memory of back pain lost in the moment.

As I looked at the herd of folks clapping wildly, I figured they hadn’t had this kind of excitement since they qualified for Medicare. The two original Beach Boys could identify with their audience.

But even though the seniors prancing on the stage didn’t look like the same guys from my youth, they belted out hits as if it was yesterday.

Surfin’ Safari, I Get Around and 409 had me back in my boyfriend’s ‘55 Chevy heading for the beach — California beach, that is. And then when the musicians sang California Girl it was as if I were wearing my bikini and slathered with Coppertone.

Those were the days of surfers and sun.

The Beach Boys had only been a hit for a short time in 1962 when I spied them at a coffee house in Hollywood. They were hanging out like the rest of us, back when new celebrities could relax and enjoy the scene on Sunset Strip. I remember wishing I could talk to them, but shyness — and probably good sense — got the better of me.

This week it did, too.

Just before the concert started, I had an unexpected photo opportunity. A friend could include me, in their group to briefly meet Mike Love and Bruce Johnston — original members of the band.

I was ecstatic and tongue-tied. A miracle my husband, Bill, hadn’t witnessed before.

But for the few moments I spent with The Beach Boys, I was transported back to my teenage years.

Thankfully, when I returned to my concert seat, I wasn’t wearing my bikini.