Summer of ’71
by Chris Lawler
The last South Bay house I lived as a teenager was on Blossom Lane in North Redondo Beach, just east of Aviation and south of Aviation High School. Compared to my previous home on Fourth Street in Manhattan, it felt like Siberia. I was a freshman at Mira Costa and this was Aviation High School turf and none of my few friends lived anywhere near me. I had the feeling this was where people lived if they couldn’t live at the beach but wouldn’t give up the dream. Of course, now, I would kiss the ass of my lucky stars to live that close to the beach.. Alas, I have become a refugee.
My dad was out of the picture by this time and my Mom a waitress trying to support four kids and our bi-polar Grandma. She was burning out and becoming an addict from the stress. I had no idea how common this Gulag was for women during the ‘swinger’ era of the early seventies.
I was self absorbed with teenage angst and had little perspective. Man, I needed my dad back then! He was off, starting a new life married to a rich banker’s daughter. Again, this was a pretty common situation back then. There were no video games to soak up all the alone time. Instead, I had a dog, and a front yard. I was outside a lot. There was a pack of younger boys who hung on my street. I got them organized enough to play baseball in front of my house. Home plate was in front of my garage door. I chalked out a ‘strike zone’ on the door and would pitch tennis balls to them. It…
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