You've mentioned your age a few times. How old are you exactly? And how were things different when you were young?
Signed, A Kid
I feel 24 years old, but my driver's license says I was born on November 3, 1957 so... [calculating] that makes me 53 years old. Ouch!
Telephones used to be mounted on walls, not carried in your pockets. And they had rotary-dials. I remember when touch-phones were introduced and people thought that was a big deal. Dialing a rotary-phone takes forever.
My first significant memory of society was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated (November 22, 1963). I was six years old and didn't know what a president was, but was shocked at the sight of adults crying. Everyone was so solemn and sad that I knew something important had happened, even though I didn't understand what. You just sensed life was different. It was similar to the grave mood on September 11, 2001.
On a brighter note, I remember four "mop-tops" coming over from Britain in 1964, starting a wave of "Beatlemania." You can't imagine how intense the reaction was to The Beatles -- they were huge. Everyone watched their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and the group was mobbed everywhere. Thousands of screaming young girls surrounded and chased them around America. The media reported on the band breathlessly and every possible way to merchandize their popularity was tried. You either loved or hated The Beatles; indifference wasn't possible.
The 1960's were an exciting time to live through, although toward the end it got chaotic. Order broke down in many places and people were actually killed in places like Kent State. Young people organized over opposition to the Vietnam War and rock music was a rallying cry. The "younger generation" set itself apart from their parents by adopting long hair and wild clothes. There really was a "generation gap" and large numbers of people argued with their parents and broke away from them. Drugs grew in popularity and, toward the end of the decade, it seemed everyone got high. Drug culture emerged and had many promoters like Cheech and Chong, Timothy Leary, and innumerable rock musicians. Sex, drugs and rock 'n roll was more than an anthem, it was a lifestyle.
The scene evolved into the 1970's which were significant for polyester and disco music. Mainstream culture caught up with what was happening among young people, co-opted it and de-fanged it. The authentic and original ideas of the Sixties were replaced with slick commercial exploitation.
I better stop here before someone yells, "The old guy's ranting again!"
I would have LOVED to have lived in the 1960s. There really was no other time like it. It is interesting how similar some things can stay over time. I watched the Justin Bieber documentary, "Never Say Never" recently, and the fans running and screaming after him, climbing on stage during concerts, and crying at the sight of him reminds me of footage I've seen during Beatlemania. I just thought it was an interesting parallel.ReplyDelete
agreed the 60s would have been an era to live in...not so much for people of my colour. many trials and tribulations but still a great era...very Mad Men esque?ReplyDelete
Why Ally you are the exact same age as my father but I must say you are much more fashionable (and hip- don't tell him!) :) "Change the darn channel"- cracks me up!ReplyDelete
Are you kidding me?! You stopped at the most interesting spot -- the 70s. GO THE F*** ON!!!ReplyDelete
I would love to hear more! My parents(two years older then you) never tell me stuff from the 60s or 70s. They always just say "Oh I can't remember that".ReplyDelete
I'd have loved to hear about your impression of the 80s and the 90s (and the 00s if that's a way to call them), as these are the only ones I can compare my memories to :) How exciting to remember the Beatles coming to the US!ReplyDelete
PS, also thanks for the mention in your next post, I'm flattered!
You're not that old dear Ally! The way I see it, you're just more interesting and have better stories to say! Thanks for sharing your memories! :)ReplyDelete
Love this post! What has been your favorite time period so far personally?ReplyDelete
Hi Michelle! The Seventies were the one that affected me the most, probably because of my age then (teenage years). The Sixties were fun to watch but I was a kid and saw most of it through a television screen. I remember asking my mother -- as a joke -- if I could go to Woodstock. (I was 10.)ReplyDelete
It is wonderful to hear all the stories of your growing up - I took some time the other day and went back to some of your older posts as well - I wanted to see how your fashion style had improved - and it has...but also really enjoy your perspective on a diverse range of subjects - I was sorry to read about your mom and your brother - it is so sad to lose members of your family - no matter how old or young you/they are - thanks for sharing so much of the real you...Lots of loveReplyDelete
My memories are so similar to yours! In fact, I can recall seeing the Nixon-Kennedy debates in black and white and wondering why it was so important that my parents watch them. And the Beatles on Ed Sullivan--we interrupted our Sunday evening meal for that.ReplyDelete
Do you remember Ted Mack's Amateur Hour?
Terri: Of course!ReplyDelete
Well, I loved reading how things were back then... sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong decade !ReplyDelete