With the final act of the Vietnam War and the disgrace of the Nixon presidency playing out on television, 14 year-old Tim Castle is up-rooted from his military brat upbringing in Alaska, as his family heads for a civilian life in Miami. Seeking an identity to fit his life as a high school sophomore, he joins the local swim team, excelling in the sport but barely being accepted by his team peers’ social scene. He never doubts his need for risk-taking adventures, knowing that you are only young once. Tim at Swim, Blog 1, follows the ups and downs as Tim turns 15. Girlfriend trouble with his best friend spins out of control, and Tim is soon a lost pot-head, ditching school and deceiving his clueless family. Rescuing fellow stoner Jace Conning from drug rehab leads to the formation of a rock and roll cover band, ‘False Gods.’ The band quickly becomes a local sensation in Jace’s Place, Blog 2. Inspired by Jace’s indomitable spirit, the band goes on the road in The Jace Experience, Blog 3. At the end of Tim’s junior year, he finds himself abandoned by the band and living in the wilds of the Everglades. Escaping from the law in Florida, Tim moves to his mother’s new home in Ames, Iowa, joining the high school football posse of his new best friend ‘Gator. A Prairie Christmas, Blog 4, includes Tim’s direction of a holiday episode of Little House on the Prairie. Blog number 5 – Plastic People follows Tim to college after high school graduation. His musical talents and an addiction to performing have Tim an active member of four new bands as well as carrying on as the sole survivor of False Gods. Blog 6 – Eighteen finds Tim at the crossroads between youth and adulthood. Nothing has changed but it all feels differently. Blog 7 – 10 Reasons Why brings everyone together for one last time
Since there are many rock songs performed at trysts, parties and shows in the story, video links are embedded to YouTube sites by the actual recording artists. It is the music of their generation’s lives. Try using YouTube Red to avoid advertisements. Videos do get taken down by the artists. Please comment on any link that has been blocked so a different version can be installed.
Another visual component are the sketches embedded in the text, showing the kids in various degrees of teen degeneracy. If you wish to skip reading salacious content, these sketches are a clue to skip a section filled with sex, drugs or rock n roll. If you wish to skip all three types of debauchery, maybe you should skip the whole blog.
This is fiction, none of the events described are real. The main characters may resemble actual people but their actions are entirely imagined. Prominent public people, such as artists, musicians, writers, club owners, athletes, coaches, politicians and religious leaders, are depicted as themselves, with no intent to defame or denigrate. This is fiction meant to realistically remember a time when hopes were both high and low for a future that is now. It is written for the enjoyment of those who read and experience it. We could have done better in the 70’s. That’s what growing up is about.
Note: to access the individual chapters, just click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner. Or, just follow the links at the bottom of each post to go to the next blog:
Samples of several chapters are at the bottom of the menu: Tom Petty Tribute, Hillbilly Holiday, Surfing the OC 1976 & New Year’s Eve Globe Theater.