That's me on the beach at Malibu in 1971. Sammy, Ponce and I went there one afternoon to hangout in the sun a bit. Ponce was a photographer, but I had no idea he'd taken these pictures of me. Or at least I don't remember him doing so...
|Ponce at Malibu the day|
the photos were taken.
For me, the photo is iconic. It captured a spring day in my life when so many confusing things were going on. I was 19, my son Joel was not yet a year old, and I'd been widowed for as long. Viet Nam was still raging, but fortunately both Sammy and Ponce had returned relatively unharmed (Sammy had taken some shrapnel, but his sweet and generous spirit was undaunted). When I wasn't working a split-shift at a factory in Oxnard, and pulling myself out of a nervous breakdown, I was at the apartment that Sammy, Ponce, and their band shared in Santa Monica. They were invaluable where my recovery was concerned. We spent our time listening to music, jamming, grilling, drinking cheap wine and smoking weed, and having a good time. It was just what I needed. Fun.
|Me and Sammy that weekend.|
There would be a whole lot of life stretching out before me. Harder challenges and even harder decisions were on their way. If I could turn that young girl around and speak to her, I'd tell her,
"Don't be afraid. Step out and do what you love. Don't succumb to the guilt that people will try to lay on you. Instead, turn from them, laughing, and walk away. Don't listen to the criticism of others. Be free but be wary, and believe in yourself."