The Summer Of “Grease”

Yesterday was a warm summer day. I was driving down the highway, and like I sometimes do, I had the windows down rather than use the air conditioner in my pickup. It’s hard for others to imagine why I enjoy getting a continuous rush of noisy, hot air across my face, but I understand it completely: It takes me back to my childhood on a farm in central North Dakota. I guess things were simpler in those days, mostly because I was still too young to be burdened by the problems adults carry with them, but for whatever reason, the warm wind roaring past my ears always seems to fill me with a feeling of peace.

While I was enjoying the breeze, a song came on the radio which even further reminded me of those long gone carefree days of summer. “You’re the One That I Want,” a song from the “Grease” soundtrack started playing and I was immediately transported back to the summer of ’78!

My Dad loved music so every piece of farm machinery he owned had an AM radio mounted somewhere around the seat and steering wheel. When Dad was nearby we listened to Country Western music, but as soon as he left, I always turned the radio to KFYR, the torrid 550 out of Bismarck.

The summer of ’78, like every summer of my youth, was comprised of many long hours outside, working in the sun and listening to KFYR. The movie “Grease” was huge that summer and songs such as “Grease,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Greased Lightnin’” “Summer Nights,” and my favorite, “You’re the One That I Want” were being played continually on radio stations all over the country. I had suffered an earlier crush on Australian beauty Olivia Newton-John, so I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her voice every time I turned on the radio that summer.

I’m 38 years older, but some days, like yesterday, I still feel like I’m 16. I can still enjoy a warm summer day, driving with the windows down, while listening to “You’re the One That I Want” blaring on my radio! Some things never go out of style for this old farm kid!