I turned on the car radio this afternoon and there were the Mamas and the Papas! I instantaneously beamed back to 1965 and Cousin Brucey, and my green and yellow bedroom, and to tearing orange juice can rollers out of my hair with relief, and crowding into the bathroom mirror to see how my sister, Margie, applied her eyeliner, (one sliver-thin black line piggy backed by an identical white one) and I felt the rush of insecurities and wonder at this new world that we had landed in the year before when we moved to suburbia New York from India. I think the most useful transitional tool for this move was my little gray transistor radio. Margie’s was brown. We slept in the same room but when the morning “Time to get up girls” sounded from downstairs, we each turned our radios on and zoomed about the upstairs. Those songs, that music, was this new world. If we could know these and feel them we would belong.
I wonder if I ever really listened to the words of “California Dreaming”. I couldn’t fathom California then. Now, forty-five years later, it is my home and though I spent my first five years here “Manhattan Dreaming” , I am fully here now. The title makes me laugh out loud. The nostalgic innocence that those words illicit and the truth of this moment.