Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I feel a rant coming on.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone off on one of these. Usually my rants are caused by the realization that chips aren’t sold in six ounce bags anymore, or trying to figure out why I can get a two-liter bottle of Coke for just 99 cents but I have to pay $1.99 for a 12-ounce.
This rant was caused by a fetish with the 1960s, and a desire to go back there and live amongst the flower children and dropouts.
I went off.
I was a child of the 1960s and I came of age in the 1970s. Do I miss that time? Heck no. Do I want to go back and relive those times again? Once was plenty.
This is what I remember about the 1960s. First, we almost went to war with the Soviet Union. Second, our president was killed ... then his brother, Bobby, and after that, Martin.
Three men died in a fire on the launching pad of Apollo 1, including the second man to go into space, Gus Grissom.
There were no Diet Cokes, or light beer. No magic markers, just ballpoint pens with indelible ink, and just my luck I didn’t learn what the word indelible meant until AFTER I drew the mustache and goatee on all my sisters’ Barbie dolls. To me indelible means a big spanking and being grounded for two weeks.
We had limited color TV – only at my grandma’s house – and when we did watch there were just three stations from which to choose and someone had to hold the tin foil rabbit ears so we could pick up a decent signal. For years I thought that was why we had my little brother.
There was no texting, no Internet, no voice mail, and if you did make a phone call, you had to check first to see if someone else was on the line because your house had a party line. You were tethered to the wall in the kitchen or the front foyer by a short cord, and if you called and no one was home, the phone just rang and rang forever.
And good luck if you were trying to dial the local radio station to win concert tickets because all we had were rotary dial phones back then, and the radio station hit line was full of zeros and nines. You could work up a decent finger cramp cranking out that number.
The very people you idolized from that era didn't have the sense not to kill themselves on drugs and booze. Shopping malls hadn't been invented yet, and while gas cost 15 cents a gallon, cars back then were carbon monoxide-spewing monsters that averaged around 4 mpg. Back then they didn't even know what mpg meant nor did they care.
I grew up in the 1960s and for one I was glad the ’70s and ’80s arrived, if for no other reason than air conditioning, Diet Coke and magic markers. The ’70s gave me something to hate - Disco.
Because of the conveniences we enjoy now we are able to look back fondly on what was perceived as a simpler time. It was not. When else could you get shot while attending college?
When else would you have A-Bomb drills during school?
The best thing about the ’60s and ’70s is that they're 40 years in our rearview mirror.