For a brief period in my childhood, Southern California was where I wanted to be, instead of Mansfield, Ohio, where I was.
The reason in no small part was the song "Surf City" by Jan and Dean. It was #1 for two weeks in July of 1963. It was one of the first records I owned.
I was 11 years old.
I couldn’t drive but I wanted to buy a 1930 Ford Wagon and call it a woody. I knew it wouldn’t have a back seat or a rear window but it would still get me where I wanted to go, which was the beach. Surf City was where they never rolled the streets up because they were either surfing or throwing a party.
Going to parties and surfing sounded like the life for me. At the time I had barely been in an ocean let alone surfed, and most of my party experience involved relatives and cake.
But I sincerely wanted to shoot the curl, then check out the parties for a surfer girl. Although I wouldn’t have known what to do with one at the time, “two girls for every boy” sounded like good odds.