Monday, January 28, 2008

Music Monday - "So Happy Together" The Turtles



For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.

On a cool August night in 1969, I lay under my scratchy camp sheets and blanket and snuggled in, waiting for the magic to begin.

It was Sunny's turn to "tuck us in". It was only her turn every four nights, because, well, there were four counselors, and while two stayed behind each night and watched us, only one was "in charge". It was a weird collection of counselors that summer. During my first summer at Camp Hillcroft all my counselors had been golden. I can truly say I loved each and every one of them. They got me, with all my weird idiosyncrasies, and it was the first time in my eight years that I'd felt like I truly belonged anywhere. When my parents asked if I wanted to return for a second summer, I jumped at the opportunity like a lonely puppy greets a playmate.

This summer, camp was still wonderful. Most of the same kids had returned. I liked my bunkmates. I liked the boys in the "house" that was part of our unit - I liked all my nine-year-old peers, in fact. Another bonus was that my friend Martha had joined me at camp, and even though we were on opposite sides of the cabin, it was still fun having her there.

But our counselors were kind of... different. For one thing, we had a conservative Southern Belle. In retrospect, I feel awfully sorry for her. Hillcroft was a hippy camp, and I can only imagine what life was like for her there. I feel sorry for her even though she forced me to eat liver, creamed corn and beets one night, which I promptly vomited all over the mess hall table. It was my worst humiliation in the five years I spent at that camp, and the fact that despite this, I still feel sorry for her might give you an idea just what a fish out of water she was. To make matters worse, she was engaged to a soldier who was over in 'Nam. These were the days when "if you're not against the War, you're for it," and I'm sure that her military ties isolated her further. I've blocked out her name. I may feel sorry for her, but 39 years later, I still don't like her.

Okay, enough about Southern Belle. Of the other three, one was a tiny, athletic woman who didn't seem to like kids that much (and she was a camp counselor, why?), and the other was a protegee of our graphic arts counselor, so we never saw her except every fourth night. She was nice, but I often felt she was more involved with the images she played with during the day. Then there was Sunny.

Sunny was a hippy chick. Her name suited her well, and she had long, swinging, light brown hair, freckles, and an infectious smile. She was one of the music staff, and she played a mean guitar. She also had a boyfriend at whatever university she went to during the school year, and she loved to tell us stories about him as we fell to sleep. These stories were often accompanied by her wonderful singing and guitar playing. "So Happy Together" was apparently their song, and I can't listen to it without remembering wonderful times in those long ago days.

The clip below is a gem - true sixties and true Turtles. Enjoy!

Oh! And one last musical note. If you want something to get your whole body moving, go to Betsy's place and listen to Shantel. She got me hooked, and I've been grooving all day!

15 comments:

anno said...

Oh-- a bit of summer on a cold winter's morning! I think I remember this song, and I'm smiling already!

Betsy said...

I love this song! Sometimes I sing it to B as we're walking to school-- it always makes us both smile! :-)

And thanks for the linky love!

Hope you have a great week!

Greg said...

One of the memories I associate with this song concerns a 4H-camp I attended in the northwoods of Michigan. Yeah...The Turtles; good stuff!

soccer mom in denial said...

I'm sorry - you went to sleep away camp when you were 8?!? Ok, still getting my head around that one. My sons would kill me if I suggested sleepaway camp. They hate me when I'm not home for bedtime and they are 7.

But that wasn't the point of your post. I too associate a song with camp counselor love - although mine is from the 1980's - The Police Every Breath You Take. It was only years later did I realize it was a pretty abusive song....

Hilary said...

I love this song. I am looking forward to having it stuck in my head all week.

Gunfighter said...

Thanks for the reminder of that year!

In the summer of '69, I was listening to that song while my older sister played it incessantly... incessantly, I tell you!

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, Jen, this is such a lovely memory piece. I laughed (and felt a little embarrassed too) along with you.
And, oh! I love that song!!

Sandy C. said...

a great song with a great post..what a great trip back in time.

Luisa Perkins said...

This song is an old favorite. I love your evocative camp memory!

Flower Child said...

this totally reminds me of a live-in babysitter we had one summer. she was awesome. although her name completely escapes me.

Liz said...

The vomiting is pretty humiliating, isn't it? I hate when that happens!

Leslie said...

Oh, this is the perfect camp song, isn't it? I LOVED camp when I was a kid. Good times!

Karen Olson said...

I never went to camp, but I love this song and I was a kid in the Sixties.

Wholly Burble said...

First--great song! One of my favorites from that era.

And second, it was fun hearing some of your memories of summer camp. We only got to go for two weeks to church camp. I'm sure our councelors felt that was long enough LOL. But those memories are fairly precious (and scary--waking to Daddy longlegs crawling across your face--eeeyuuuu).

La delirante said...

Hi! What a wonderful memorie. I could almost picture a "hippy" girl by the name "Sunny" :) I love that song. Have a lovely day!