Have you seen the movie, Shag? Rob and I were channel-flipping a few days ago when I ye
lled, "Stop! What movie is that?" A 1987 film, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the summer 1963, titled Shag was on one of those movie channels I rarely watch.
~ "I was in Myrtle Beach in 1963!" I yelled out again. Rob was amused at my excitement so he turned up the volume. Yep, that was the summer that Mom and Dad gave me a trip to Surfside, South Carolina for my high school graduation gift. Can you imagine letting your 17-year-old teen-age daughter travel 3,000 miles from California to South Carolina on a Greyhound bus--alone? I laugh every time I think about it! Boy, times sure have changed.
~ Shag brought back vivid memories of my cousin, Buddy, driving us up the coast in his old red jeep, for a night on the town in Myrtle Beach. Ahh, The Grand Strand. I danced the night away at the Pavilion. I never lacked for a dancing partner--I was the tan, cool California girl!
~ Buddy made sure we got home by curfew, but I'll forever have memories of that hot, humid southern night on the Carolina coast. Here's an excerpt from my book, Lady and the Sea:
Rosie's Dad thought a trip to Surfside would be the perfect high school graduation gift.
"Isn't Mom coming with me?" Rosie asked.
"Not this trip. This is your special graduation present," Talmage said, beaming.
"You'll let me travel alone?" Rosie asked, trembling.
Her Dad patted her shoulder. "You'll be fine, Rose."
She stared up at him. "Dad, remember? It's Rosie."
He smiled. "Yes, of course. After two years, you would think I'd remember. As I was saying, Rosie, sit close to the bus driver, and if any strange person approaches you in the bus station, hit him over the head with your purse, then go to the nearest employee and report him."
Rosie loved her Dad's optimism about life. Listening to him give his serious yet humorous instructions soon erased all fears of her solo journey. Besides, Prissy had a new romance, and Rosie's on-again-off-again boyfriend casually told her that he was going to spend a few weeks at his parent's cabin in Lake Arrowhead. A summer in Surfside sounded like the perfect escape.
The next night Prissy watched Rosie neatly fold her yellow polka-dot bikini. "I can't believe your dad talked your scardy-cat mom into letting you travel to South Carolina on a bus--alone!"
Rosie placed the new bikini on her bed. "Mom's trying not to worry so much these days. When I asked her if I could stop in Lubbock, Texas for a night to see Ken, guess what she said?"
"She said no, of course."
"My mother said, yes, of course," Rosie said, smiling as she tucked her new silk bra and panties into the corner of her almost full suitcase.
Prissy's mouth dropped.
"But she did give me a not-to-do-warning list," Rosie added.
"A warning list?"
Rosie cleared her throat. "Rose, Mom said, it's been two years since you've seen Ken. Now, I was young once, so remember, it only takes one drop of --"
"Eeek!" Prissy screamed. "What did you say to that?" Prissy asked, cringing.
"I told her, Mother, I'm a big girl now; I know all about the birds and the bees."
The girls laughed as Rosie finished packing.
So in the summer of '63, Rosie boarded a Greyhound bus for Surfside, South Carolina, alone.
(Picture of Surfside, SC)