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February 20, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

A Summer Place and Me

Sandra Dee, the last star of the 1959 movie, A Summer Place passed away this Sunday morning. Her death nudges me out of the comfort zone I was in today.

I saw that great movie in 1960 at the Avalon theater in Chicago, I was ten years-old at the time. I fell in love with the musical theme of the same name by Percy Faith.

Years later I saw the movie again on TV. I was old enough by then to understand the story-line. Before the 1960's decade was out and even into the early 1970's I was almost caught up in my own real-life version of the film with respect to the young lovers in the film. Still, the movie and music always reminded me of the dream I had when I first saw the movie each subsequent time I saw it or heard the music.

The impact of that movie is part of the motivation that brought me from the Chicago metropolitan area to North San Diego County where I live today with my wife, Sherry. While it's true that I don't have a home on the beach as in the movie, I'm not that far away from the Pacific Ocean. In many ways I have lived some of the movie and understand at a deep level, a lot of the meaning behind the lyrics of the theme:

There's a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm
For within that summer place
Your arms reach out to me
And my heart is free from all care

For it knows
There are no gloomy skies
When seen through the eyes
Of those who are blessed with love

And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it's anywhere
Where two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love

There's a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms

In two days time it will be nine years since I started out in our former van on that five-day drive from Chicago to San Diego. Somehow this narrative is fitting for that anniversary of sorts. Still, I feel sorrow for Sandra Dee who was once a rising movie star, the happy wife (at one time) to the late Bobby Darin and, to her family. Life fades to black on her existence. She will be remembered by me as someone who impacted me in my youth and her affect continues to this day.

Rest in Peace, Sandra.

Don


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