Neil Young reminds me of summer. So too does the entire Forrest Gump soundtrack, and the Indigo Girls, and James Taylor. This is all thanks to my most favorite summer job ever -- Breezin' Up* in Beach Haven, NJ. (Lovingly called BU.) (The store, not the town.)
I worked there from the summer I turned 16 until the summer I turned 20 or so; then came back the summer after college graduation, following my month-long jaunt (note: backpacking and roughing it in hostels) through Europe. K and I got many of our friends to work there with us, which made the whole experience that much more awesome. There are so many things I could say about BU, but I've put some of them into my currently-out-with-agents manuscript, so you'll have to wait until it's in stores.
The thing with BU was, there was a massive collection of CDs from which to choose; and with three stores, and multi-disc players in each store (mid-90's represent!), picking out the music for each store, for each shift, was the ultimate in coolness. (Um, for me.)
So many times, I would be standing at the front of the store, having just put out the flag and opened the doors, waiting for customers to walk off the beach and realize how desperately they needed washed-red or hunter green tee shirts, and it would just be me and the music. From the Gin Blossoms to Jann Arden, working at BU is what allowed me to stop pretending I hated mainstream pop and adult soft rock, because, let's face it, I totally do. (I still got my Tori Amos fix every day, don't worry.)
So these days, I fully credit BU with introducing me to a lot of music I don't think I otherwise would have appreciated. Edie Brickell? Check. Creedence Clearwater Revival? Check. Michael Penn? Check with a side of Romeo in Black Jeans. And I love when I unexpectedly hear a song that transports me back to BU--back to being 18, back to having tee shirt folding contests, back to watching the lines form outside for the ice cream stand, back to closing the doors on the irrepressible summer heat and thanking my lucky stars I got to work in an air conditioned store. Back to summer.
* THERE'S A WEB SITE FOR BU?!?!?! Amazing.