Good Day, Sunshine . . .
life in southern california is an endless summer for easygoing carol willis
True to her astrological and genetic determinants -- she's an Aries and part Cherokee -- 21-year-old Carol Willis is a genuinely optimistic young lady who'd rather be pursuing pleasure under a sunny sky than sitting by a strobe candle and wondering if Homo sapiens is rushing headlong toward extinction. A Texan by birth and an ex-resident of San Francisco, Carol now enjoys the relatively placid atmosphere of Laguna Beach, a combination art colony and oceanside resort town south of Los Angeles, in the heart of conservative Orange County. She lives in a small house not far from the ocean and spends her work week operating a switchboard for an answering service, taking calls for local doctors, lawyers and other professional men. In the evenings, Carol likes to entertain small groups of friends, watch old movies on TV or listen to rock music à la Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Her free afternoons are likely to find her heading for the nearby hills to hike or go horseback riding, and she gets a kick out of scanning the seascapes and other artistic wares in the galleries that line the Laguna Beach segment of the Pacific Coast Highway. Most of all, she digs the beach, though on sunny summer weekends, one of the many quieter lagoons in the area may take the place of the seashore, since Laguna's population skyrockets during the tourist season and Carol isn't especially fond of crowd scenes. She grew up with three sisters and a quintet of stepbrothers, including a pair of identical twins. Most of Carol's siblings are now scattered as far afield as Florida and North Carolina, which prompts her to joke that her tribe "has the United States virtually surrounded." It isn't often that the Willises can get together for a reunion -- but that doesn't bother Carol, who operates with enviable self-sufficiency, living as she does within a few minutes' reach of both job and recreation. Though astrological primers observe that Arians are always in need of new challenges -- a contention borne out by Carol's expressed desire to add skydiving and skindiving to her list of outdoor pastimes -- Miss July claims to be more than content with her lot in life, which she finds as unhurried as it is unharried. "Isn't that what it's all about?" she asks. It is, indeed.
Photography by Pompeo Posar, Jack Hamilton