August has been an odd month over here. July thunderstorms continued through August with rain in the west and dry in the east – until last week, when it hit the east as well. We’re talking UK weather, of course.
And I missed the Fiction in Fifty Words completely last month, as I was too busy at Camp Nano, rewriting the Chronicles of Marsh. I’ll blame writing on not doing much blogging in the week, too, although as I’ve been reading enough books to be way ahead with reviews, I’ve obviously had some time—just chosen not to post.
So I’ll start with catching up on Fi50s, because July’s prompt put me straight back into the mindset of May, when I gave you Sweet Home, Alabama’s background.
You can join in with Fiction in Fifty Words – check out the instructions here.
You can probably guess that with my analysis of the Eagles and Lynryd Skynyrd for Sweet Home Alabama, that my knee jerk reaction to the prompt is to add ‘Streets’.
Taking it to the Streets is probably my favourite Doobie Brothers song, closely followed by Black Water, with its a capella refrain near the end. I only have two Doobies albums, but love them. And I saw them, before I really knew much of their music, in 1976 at a concert in Milwaukee, or just outside, in a football stadium. O
It was one of those stadiums that is really a two storey stand along one side, with a ball field and running track in front of it. The other side was a chain fence and then streets of neat houses disappearing as far as you could see. I was at Summer Camp, and I was with my fellow camp counsellors at a concert which started at 1 and aimed to finish about 9.
The Doobies were headliners. The back-up group was the Beach Boys. To me, that was astounding! The second best group in the world backing up a band I’d hardly heard of!
The first two groups (I didnt know them and probably never found out their names) did their sets and we enjoyed them. There was an interval, so we got sodas and stuff like that.
There was a pause before the Beach Boys came on.
A long pause.
Eventually the announcement came that because of thunderstorms near Chicago, the Beach Boys plane had been diverted. But they would be here, really they would.
An hour later they told us they had landed somewhere. They would be with us in about forty-five minutes.
And eventually, we heard a slight disturbance in the quiet suburban streets. A police siren wailed, soft at first, then growing louder. Definitely coming our way. Excitement grew. Was it them? Were they really on their way?
They turned in through the gates in the chainlink fence, and swept to a halt in the middle of the field, side on to the stand. Five gleaming black cars, all in a row.
And out of each limo, stepped one Beach Boy.
The concert was good, we sang along, they thanked us for waiting, we thanked them for coming. And then the Doobies came on. Taking it to the Streets was their latest single.
I bought the Doobies’ albums when I got back to the UK, and I’d see the Beach Boys in London about five years later.
But I’ll always remember those five black limos.
August – One Drop Too Many
It was another summer storm. One of many, all attributed to climate change. She cowered in the shed, watching the torrents pour down the house roof, bypassing the gutters she’d meant to fix.
If only she’d closed the back door…
The puddle flowed over the doorstep and flooded the kitchen.
© J M Pett 2019
Beach boys photo; performing at Central Park 1971 for ABC tv special, public domain (downloaded via wikipedia)