Nathan was the only kid at camp with a boombox and he’d sit all afternoon on his Dallas Cowboys beach towel, with aqua Chuck Taylors, rainbow OP boardshorts and a big cotton ball stuck in his ear, playing tapes and watching us try to nail backflips off the pier. He wasn’t allowed to swim (something about the ear), and was stuck with a few other burdens that didn’t help much with our adolescent camper crowd- scrawny, myopic, a retainer that didn’t fit his teeth quite right so he had a bit of a lisp, and a cowlick that bobbed like a tiny, half-open umbrella when we walked single file to the cafeteria. We’d make fun of him in the cabin, wait for him to fall asleep, then squeeze half a tube of Aquafresh in his palm, tickle his nose with floss and watch him smear toothpaste all over his sleeping face. But when that boombox was on, he was king. Once we got tired of backflips (or the girls stopped watching us), we’d circle around him, eat grape Laffy Taffys and listen to his tapes. Sometimes girls joined, too, and once Shoshana (of the purple two-piece and strawberry scented hair fame) picked a De La Soul tape from the stack, said she thought the flowers on the cover were pretty and asked him to play it. A few minutes in and Shoshana asked if he had the Dirty Dancing soundtrack instead, but I was sold. When I got home the following week I huffed it on my BMX to Scottsdale Mall, bunny hopped the curb at Musicland and dropped ten bucks of lawn mowing cash on a copy of 3 Feet High and Rising. It was my soundtrack the whole rest of that summer and it’s been there ever since, anytime the sky is hot and sun-streaked and I’m looking for a sound to fill the day.
If it sounds like summer, it should taste like summer, and this one definitely does…
3 FEET HIGH AND RISING:
- 5 oz. ginger beer
- 1 ½ oz. dark rum
- ½ oz. Aperol
- ½ oz. Velvet Falernum
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- a few dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 lime wheel for garnish
Shake the rum, Aperol, Falernum, lime and bitters with ice, then strain into a collins glass with ice. Top with the ginger beer, stir gently and garnish with the lime wheel.