Of course, Summer is especially delightful in the Beach area, and of course Book Again is just a stone's throw from the Redondo Beach Pier, so of course one finds it just this side of impossible to avoid looking at Redondo in the Summer.
Mom (Sheryl to you, proprietor of this very store) would always take us down to the beach at the southern end of Redondo, the somewhat perilous (to a kid, anyway) descent down the hill to the sand a necessary part of the proceedings, a daily Rite of Passage, if you will.
Down the ominous cliffs we would go, complaining about our altogether impossible "go-aheads" ("flip flops" to other generations) that never seemed to flop correctly. We always seemed to have enough supplies for a rather prolonged stay -- each brother carried one or two bags or baskets as well as towels, while Mom brought the umbrella.
Because everybody had a Beach Umbrella back then. Do they still?
At any rate, Mom would always concoct a special summer brew of her own device: half pink lemonade, and half Delaware Punch. You won't find Delaware Punch anymore unless you are fortunate enough to stumble upon it in one of the few Deep South states where it is still allegedly sold.
But in the mid-sixties, it was everywhere. And it was awfully good.
So, the special brew, some hard boiled eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and potato chips. Not Lay's though, they were just getting started. we would have had tried-andtrue Laura Scudder's Potato Chips, or perhaps some Wampum Corn Chips.
And we even found time to swim, which, after long ruminations on the unseasonable frigidity of the water, we happily took to, madly jumping about and body surfing as long as we could, before the dreaded call to lunch.
I say "dreaded" because, in those days, there was an unwritten though universally adhered-to Law that said Something Terrible was certain to happen to anyone who entered the water within an hour of finishing their meal. We were always told we would get undefined "cramps", and, having no idea what that might actually entail, we dutifully stayed out of the oh-so-dangerous water for the appointed duration -- even though none of us had ever heard of anyone actually getting cramps from swimming.
Such waiting periods are, no doubt, the genesis of the art of Sand Castle making. We would soon lose ourselves in the attempted creation of great labrynthian structures of dark wet sand, and bravely soldier on even as tower after tower collapsed prematurely, until at length much more than an hour had passed, and suddenly it was time for one final dash into the waves, before the tragic march back to the car, bags less full yet heavier (to us), wet towels and tarred feet, and a long climb back up those same South Redondo hills...
This is not the column I intended to write, but it will do.
Yes, as my eyes mist up in fond recollection of those dear and ancient memories, it will do very well indeed.