Irrewarra, summer 2015
Lorne Foreshore outside The Wild Colonial, summer 1968/69

Sipping my coffee I stare out the window. Rain tumbles down on my parched paddocks as it has since early morning, and I’m rapt.

Summer rain taps at my window, west wind….” I commence singing, but stop, realising I am unable to remember the words of a song that once was special to me.

The rain, a most welcome, soaking summer rain continues to fall, bringing relief to my thirsty fruit trees, veggie patches and trees, hopefully to ensure their survival over the predicted hot summer.

I’m comfortable in my chair, relaxed, legs stretched out, my fingers tapping in time with the rhythm of the falling rain on the tin roof, and then, unexpectedly, more of the lyrics of the song I’d been singing spring to mind.

Staring across the paddocks in a dream-like trance; it’s summer time, I’m in Lorne, and it’s 1968/ 1969…

I am parked in my car on the foreshore by the Wild Colonial Club looking out across the bay towards the Point. Rain is falling steadily, there’s hardly a breath of wind, but a good surf is up and some surfers are making the most of it.

I’m in a forlorn mood.

A girl I’d had a crush on during our teenage years over many summers in Lorne has this summer blossomed into a confident, attractive and desirable young lady, but her eyes, I felt, tell me they are not going to be for me.

I watch the surfers. One in particular is really ripping up the waves, must be Wayne Lynch I think to myself. Wish I could surf like him!

My thoughts drift back to my crush; I’m especially disappointed at my lack of confidence in making an approach but I know it is due to my fear of rejection by her. Would she reject Wayne Lynch? Probably not. I reach for the Panasonic radio hanging from the rear vision mirror of my Mini and switch it on. I needed a distraction, and the logical distraction is music.

Summer Rain by Johnny Rivers is playing. How appropriate I thought as the rain continued to fall! I loved that song. Great voice, great tune, a real summer song but what I really liked about the song was the instrumentation, especially the Hammond organ and brass interludes helping to drive the rhythm along. A well-produced, slick recording that sounded fantastic. And a great song of reflection.

All summer long we spent groovin’ in the sand
Everybody kept on playin’
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It lifted my spirits. There we were, a group of teenagers meeting and mucking about on the beach groovin’ in the sand,  learning new things about ourselves and the opposite sex as we had done for a number of summers.

Once, in a fit of bravado, lying close together I’d held her hand under a towel so nobody would notice, and, incredibly I’d even stolen a kiss from her, receiving a friendly squeeze of the hand in return! But that was a couple years ago. We were so much younger then.

The rain was getting heavier as the song faded and I stared into the distance. The surfers had gone.

Summer rain taps at my window or so I thought, but to my astonishment, it was not the song but my crush tapping at the window.

“Can I hop in?” She was drenched. Nervously I smiled and nodded. She clambered in, looked me in the eyes, and smiled. Then, putting her arms around me she gave me a warm hug and an affectionate kiss. I could not believe what was happening to me. I was flabbergasted! You could not wipe the smile off my face!

Summer Rain became our song that summer, and, like the song, we danced and grooved in the sand all summer long. Ahhh, the memories of young love! Thank you Johnny Rivers!

Now, where is that Johnny Rivers CD? I amble over to my CD collection and start looking.

© Colin Ritchie.