California Dreamin’ is part of the baby boomer soul


The Mamas and the Papas sang their share of California Dreamin’. But baby boomer Laurey Boyd doesn’t just sing it, she lives it … in her mind!

I am a Texan.

Laurey Boyd with husband Bill.

Writer Laurey Boyd with husband Bill.

That sounds like something one says at an AA meeting. I only say it because 1) It’s true; it’s in my DNA. And 2) I am in every way a native Texan: born in Dallas, the right place to be born; living just north of Austin, the best place to live, and colleged in east Texas, but we won’t go there.

So why am I perpetually in love with California?

I’ve never been there. I’ve only known it through television and movies. Still, I am hopelessly devoted to my imaginative ideal of the perfect spot on earth.

For one thing, I don’t think that anyone really works there. Oh, I know they make huge incomes to support wildly expensive houses furnished in large white upholstered furniture. I know they drive for hours from their stately pleasure domes to get across town to engage in creative brainstorming sessions from which they make the millions of dollars that fund the stately pleasuredomes.

Boyd_sunset_womanIn the meantime, life is a day at the beach. Literally. They see the ocean. They hear the ocean. They play in the ocean.

And occasionally, they jump in the Tesla with their Chihuahua and head off for some beach-like spa to purge themselves of any negativity, just to be safe.

From whence did I conceive this vision of heaven on earth? From every media biometric I’ve ever been exposed to my entire life. I am essentially Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange,” eyes clamped open as my optic nerve takes in beatific scene after beatific scene of beautiful people living life against thebackdrop of an azure Pacific coastline. Why am I not there?

But reality does set in.

The same medium that brainwashed me has now set me on a path toward detox. I was innocently viewing a (what else?) program on staging outrageously expensive California homes so their owners could sell them for outrageous prices. I was happily enjoying the seduction when a certain wave of thought began to surface in my consciousness. As it reached the shore of my prescience, it sounded something like this: this is ALL staged. Yes, it’s beautiful. Sure, it would be cool to live there maybe, but something tells me I’m being had. This is the ultimate shell game and I’ve been a rube. Only my Texas groundedness has saved me.

Sunset at Malibu. Laurey's vision is a reality.

Sunset at Malibu. Laurey’s vision is a reality.

I fear I would get there and the whole thing would turn out to be a one-dimensional Potemkin Village luring me in only to leave me singing, “Do you know the way to San Jose?”

I think I’ll stay put for now. Hopefully, this part of Texas will not look like “The Last Picture Show.” Even emigrant Californians seem to like it here. Perhaps one of them will buy my small hacienda for a small fortune.

If so, I will take the proceeds and drive headlong toward the Pacific. The brainwashed mind is a terrible thing to waste.


  1. Loved your post! I experience that same thing with shoes…I see a pair that’s beautiful and completely different than what I already own. I spend some moments fantasizing how great I’d lookin those shoes and then realize in order to pull them off, as in my fantasy, I’d need a whole new wardrobe…a new car…different hair….& probably a new attitude.

    1. YES. I wrote about this very thing in an older Boomer story titled “The Well-Heeled Woman”. It is just as you say. Thanks. Laurey

  2. My favorite line: “For one thing, I don’t think that anyone really works there.” Really enjoyed reading this article! Great style. Very pithy.

  3. Good writing. You must visit CA. It’s one of my favorite states, but, as with many wonderful places, it’s better if you have LOTS of money. Otherwise, enjoy visiting when you can. There’s so much to see and do. See as much of it as you can. It seems to have a bit of nearly everything, but there’s no place like home, in the end, especially if home is Texas. 7/1/13, 19:00 CDT

  4. Cute article. So this is the way non-Californians see us, huh? lol Lived in SoCal most of my life … with a couple sidetracks of living in Hawaii, Chicago, and, yes, Texas. But home to me is California. I REALLY think you’d enjoy my murder mystery set in sunny Southern California, the narrative as seen thru the eyes of a Midwestern transplant. The book is YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE I CAN TRUST, by Michael E. Petrie. Getting terrific reviews and depicts a very real California that exists just on the edge of that California dream. Available thru Amazon or wherever books are sold. For synopsis, reviews, etc. please visit

  5. Fun article. I totally get it. I grew up in Northern California, in Silicon Valley before anyone had a clue what silicon was. I’ve been living in Austin long enough to ALMOST be a native. (Forgive me, Laurey, but a guy can dream, can’t he?). For a hilarious look at the other side of the California dream, my novel Live At Five is about the shenanigans of a TV newsroom in Bakersfield. You know Bakersfield–that place halfway between Fresno and Hell. But then, Texas has Amarillo. I’m just sayin’….
    Keep up the good work Laurey.

  6. I am proud to claim you as a ( very distant) cousin. So you’ve still got a hankerin’ fer a greener pasture? Takes all kinds! Wait!! You caught this bug from the Mamas and the Papas ? Well, that makes everything o.k. , I suppose. Or does it ? Your obedient reader ,as usual, and ever and always filled with boomerangst, Henry

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