Reason #47 to live in San Diego surely must be the endless-summer’s worth of concerts at beaches and parks throughout the county. A tradition going back more than 30 years is to take chairs, food and Liquid Refreshment of Choice and listen to the Mar Dels. Five guys (always backed by two “Mar Del Girls”), who started the band in 1982 and quickly rode the nostalgia wave all the way to Radio City Music Hall and even across the Pacific Ocean to play alongside some true Rock n’ Roll legends.
Agenda, always the same: Top down on the Corvette; drive to Power House Park in Del Mar (the hometown inspiration for the band’s name); concert at 7:00; sunset and the Green Flash (more on that in a future post) at 8:00; last song, sometime after 9:00.
Last song this evening was Madonna’s “Celebrate”. As the first guitar notes were struck, many in the audience – ranging from four-year-olds to those older than us – made their way to a grassy area in front of the stage to start a line dance. I grabbed L and joined in. Despite always being the Prettiest Girl at the Dance, she’s a bit reserved, in so many ways combining the worldliness of a 60 year-old-woman with the shyness of a 12-year-old-girl. Which this time, was code for, “I’m not dancing in front of all these people”.
So I did what any self-respecting Middle-Age-Guy-Who-Still-Think-Of-Himself-As-A-20-Year-Old: I picked her up.
And danced and spun and carried her through the line, I might add, to the applause and high-fives of our fellow line-dancers. Being who she is, L pretended embarrassment, at first anyway. But then the smile kicked in. So did that wondrous light behind her eyes.
We made our way through the line, I put her down and we ran back to the front of the line to do it all over again, before it was too late. And then, it was over. At least for one more year.
Thanks, Doug and “The Girls and Boys Makin’ All the Noise”, for keeping the music alive.
See you next summer…