It was the summer of 1985. The sun was beating down through the tinted windows of our GMC Jimmy as we drove through the centuries old trees of Tahoe National Forest. We weren’t on our way to Kellerman’s, nor was I planning on joining the Peace Corps. My name wasn’t Baby but I wasn’t far removed from the cradle. We were on our way to a cabin on Lake Tahoe, a family trip from our then home of Lafayette, California, and it was perhaps my first relationship between music and a memory.
As Ricky Skaggs’ country voice came out of the tape player, the two-way radio cackled with static and warnings of a Smokey from a passing truck driver. In the days when road trips seemed to last an eternity, my brother and I passed the time sitting in the back seat singing along to Ricky’s twangy harmony, and tickling each other along to the music.
Now, a country song cannot be heard without traveling back in time to those innocent road trips through the California sun.