Orange Groves - In the Mood

Orange Groves
Orange Groves

As a child in the 70s, the orange groves of California hold several fond memories - Robert Plant, free oranges, and forts.

Hippie Parents
Hippie Parents
Greenhouse
Greenhouse
Favorite Arby's
Favorite Arby's
Lighting Up
Lighting Up
Robert Plant.  In the Mood for a Melody
Robert Plant. In the Mood for a Melody

Robert Plant

My mom and stepfather were hippies. They grew pot in a greenhouse, smoked doobie, and had loud all night parties. We even had bead doors. As a child of hippies, life was very interesting. The Orange Groves seemed to be a favorite place for my mom and stepfather to drive around in and get stoned. I guess it makes sense...no cops, cool scenery, and fresh orange smell. Since I was so young, I was always brought along for these trips. I think I was about six or seven at the time. I didn't mind at first because we typically went by Arby's or this Chinese Eggroll place first, so I got some decent food to eat while cruisin' around. Typically the trip would start with us driving to a random orange grove with takeaway from Arby's or the eggroll place. We would find a dirt road and slowly drive through the orange grove, often near an irrigation ditch. We were almost always in complete solitude. About the time we hit the dirt road, my mom and stepfather would "light up". This seemed to be about the same time Robert Plant's "In the Mood" started to play on the car stereo cassette player. The main speakers were in the back dashboard and I was in the back seat, so, naturally, the music was loudest for me. At first I was okay with this arrangement, but after hearing Robert Plant's "In the Mood" about 100 times straight, I started to go insane. Even the song, just once, repeats the phrase "I'm in the Mood for Melody" about 50 times. I guess this is a song you'd have to be stoned to appreciate. Anyway, I tried to block it all out and think of something else.

Free(Stolen) Oranges
Free(Stolen) Oranges

Free Oranges

One of the benefits of living in California in the 70s is free oranges. There were many orange groves that literally had dirt road access, right off the main road. You simply had to drive down the dirt road, find a secluded spot, and run to the trees to pick ripe oranges. My mom and stepfather had a bucket that we routinely filled with oranges using this method.

Low Branches are Excellent for Forts
Low Branches are Excellent for Forts
Orange Fights
Orange Fights

Forts

As I recall, orange tress have branches that hang close to the ground. This makes the perfect place to hide and build a fort. A fort could simply be built around the trunk of the orange tree. The dirt could be piled up to close the gap between the lowest branches and the ground. Tumbleweeds could also be used to help close the gap. These forts served as hideaways from parents, school, and anything else. They were a nice place for solitude. Occasionally, an orange fight would break out and these forts served as shelters and places you kept ammunition (oranges) -- or, bottle rockets in some cases.

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Comments 5 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

You paint a pretty picture of orange groves and nice childhood memories. Reading this made me feel good so thanks for sharing. And oh yeah, cool Robert Plant video, too :D


kea profile image

kea 7 years ago Author

Hey Cris A! Thanks for the comments. Yeah, it was an interesting and cool time. I miss it sometimes, even though I hated it at the time!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

LOL so true that, sometime we only realize a good thing when it's gone. But hey you can always go back, right? Go and be a child again! :D


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

Kea that was a sweet memory. Thanks for sharing it made me nostalgic. Its apples trees for us, up here.


lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

Way cool =) thanks for sharing! Orange County is no longer....well, that much orange. But orange fights?! Oh my god, my eyes...my eyes! Burning! ;D

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