Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Early summer in LA, the Byrds and Bakersfield

It feels as hot today as childhood memories of Bakersfield in August.  The husk-dry temperature becomes visible, a close companion, not your new best friend.
While riding through Bakersfield and much of the San Joaquin Valley, either because it was true or from sheer perversity, my father said he could only find country music on the radio.  My mother's case of the vapors intensified.  My siblings and I stared into the middle distance as we would have regardless of the tunes.  Still, a blistering day and a pedal steel guitar only need a milkshake from the Carnation coffee shop or an ice-filled Giant Lemonade from the mimetic stand on the edge of the fields to make time travel complete.  I'm pretty sure the Byrds are better than anything we heard on those occasions, though I hope there was some Merle Haggard.  He does not give me the vapors.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, god. I love this. And the Byrds.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you. We have to make the heat into something we can bear. xo

Erin in Morro Bay said...

I remember very hot days driving through Bakersfield and then Fresno on the way to Yosemite every summer. And all those orange shaped juice stands along the way.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Those orange and lemon-shaped stands were the oases in the middle of cotton or alfalfa fields. Oh, that heat. Yosemite and its snow-melt river would have been heaven. xo