In these 58 essays, author and radio personality Dick Summer shares his thoughts on staying healthy, happy and sexy as we age. The essays are lighthearted and generally humorous, though at times a bit too glib.
Summer writes that anyone with the right attitude can be a member of the “Louie Louie Generation” by pursuing the three H’s of the title, but clearly these essays are aimed at the generation that grew up in the ’50s and ’60s with Louie Louie as its theme. By Summer’s definition, those who aren’t Louie Louie lads and ladies are probably “Pimple People,” “many who … wear their jeans low enough so that when they walk away they leave us with a parting nasty crack,” or “Drab and Dreary Drones,” those who “slouch through life, drenched in TV, slogging through soggy relationships, and settling for dimmed-down dreams.”
Many of the essays center on his wife, Barbara, his “Lady Wonder Wench,” and address advice from the “Virtual Founding Father,” apparently an imaginary icon he calls Big Louie. “We call him the Chief Mustard Cutter of our Louie Louie Generation,” Summer writes. “Big Louie’s motto is, ‘The tingle is in the double ’tude, dude,’” meaning that attitude and gratitude are paramount. “And his tingle jingle is the song with a double title and a double dose of ’tude: Louie Louie.”
Summer’s broadcast experience comes through in his breezy, confident writing, but a little goes a long way. Constant references to Lady Wonder Wench, Big Louie and other repetitive labels wear thin fast. His best essays come toward the end when he shares his experiences with radio legends Wolfman Jack and Cousin Brucie Morrow.
More personal reminiscences could have made this a much stronger, more relevant work. As it is, it’s a light, easy read, likely to appeal mostly to readers of a certain age and those interested in radio the way it used to be.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.