I'm not an Alice Cooper fan, but his timely June, 1972 release of School's Out was a big hit with all the kids back in the day. Years later as a teacher inside the educational system, I remember our host playing School's Out at a year-end staff party at his house with assorted beverages. I was ready to hit the beach.
On a recent weekend trip to Santa Maria to see my mother, I was driving on a two lane blacktop back road (the old Highway 1) heading down from the Nipomo mesa to Oceano. I suddenly had a flashback of being on this same stretch as a 14 year old in the summer of 1969 with pals, Ron, Paul, and Gary on our bikes. As I remember it, they were all on their 10-speed bikes, but I had my sister's old three-speed clunker as my 10-speed had recently been stolen from my front driveway, the frickin' nerve. I even wrote a letter to the Santa Maria Times editorial page warning of the rash of bike thefts at the time. That bike was a jewel with its metallic pearl white finish.
|"And meaner than a junkyard dog" |
–Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
So, we proceed on our bike journey and come to a downward grade (pictured above from Google Maps). I will estimate it is about a mile long as you come out of Nipomo. It drops into a left turn on Highway 1 that leads into Oceano and then north to our destination, the Pismo Beach Campgrounds.