Monday, August 1, 2011
When The Happy Was In Happy Hour
I graduated high school in the early eighties. Life, back then was a little bit easier, a little bit safer and a hell of a lot more fun than the way things are today. Summer vacation meant weekends on Cape Cod, with your friends and most definitely Happy Hour.
Happy Hour on Cape Cod seems like another life time ago, but I made some of my greatest memories of young adulthood there. It was legendary. We would team up and hop into someones car, drive the hour and a half ride to the Cape and land directly on the beach. The days were spent working on our tans, flirting with cute boys and laying in wait for the main event, Happy Hour.
Back then, there were lots of places serving 25 cent beers and deals for fruity cocktails, just perfect for a young crowd with little money and a fake ID. Happy Hour was the place to be if you wanted to enjoy the cheap booze and cute boys/girls. Headquarters for us was the legendary Pufferbellies or The Mill Hill Club, where the lines to get in would snake around the building. More often than not we would go straight from the beach, bathing suits still wet from the ocean and wait in line to enjoy Happy Hour.
Gordy Milne, DJ Gary Titus and Jim Plunkett were the genius' armed with a cadre of dirty sing along songs to entertain and drinking contests with prizes. But the real prize was the experience, the culture of Happy Hour and the memories we made. More often than not, after hours of Happy Hour, we had no place to stay overnight, so we would either crash in our cars or crash on the floor of someones weekend rental that you didn't know. Then get up the next day and do it all over again. The Jersey Shore cast has nothing on Happy Hour, as we invented the good old, drunken summer rite of passage.
Now there is a documentary being made about those days of glory called "The Kings Of Cape Cod", and this trailer takes me back to a wonderful time of youthful abandon. Some of my close high school friends met inside the walls of the huge warehouse turned night club, Pufferbellies, and are now 20 years happily married with teens of their own. Would they want their teens doing what we did back then? Most certainly not, but they still share the stories with them about a time when things were different.
And when being a 19 year old, spending the summer drinking on Cape Cod was considered a normal rite of passage. Oh, Happy Hour.....where have you gone?