Saturday, February 27, 2010

A sisters gift....

When I was 8 years old, my sister let me play all of her records. It was really my first chance at playing music, especially HER music. Having the power over what I got to listen to! It was great! It seems so outlandishly primitive now, but you would put a vinyl record on a rotating turntable, place the tonearm on the spinning disc, and if the vinyl record wasn't too scratched up, music would play!

I played all sorts of records. She had quite a collection. Several groups from MoTown like the Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gay. She had Steppenwolf, The Doors.Iron Butterfly. EVERTHING! I would listen for hours everyday, over and over again.

But eventually what I loved most would be classified as Hippie music or even maybe "long haired" music like Jefferson Airplane, WoodStock, Country Joe and the Fish, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Beatles, and Bob Dylan.

Everybody seemed to be singing in protest of the Vietnam war and singing about love and peace. To me, it eventually transcended from just protesting the war to more of a marching call to creating a better world. If only people would make love not war. Reject this society that has created tools to destroy the world and people with the desire to do it. Who knows, maybe people just got tired of being scared of nuclear destruction.

The Merry Pranksters went on their Magic Bus and Timothy Leary was telling everybody to "Tune in, Turn on, and Drop Out". It seemed to peak around 1967 to 1969 with the "Summer of Love" and WoodStock. I followed all that stuff... always after it happened. My sister would talk and talk about current events, the war, all that was happening. I absorbed it like a sponge even though I think I was around 10 or 11 years old at the time.

Things always took a couple of years to reach Oklahoma. I say that not in a 6:00 o'clock news sort of way, as that was just an instant information thing. No, it was more like the general feel of things brought on by the music and the counterculture stuff. By this time, my sister had a Peace Sign hanging from the mirror, beads everywhere, and long straight hippie chick hair.

People were wanting to start a new society with, I guess, some sort of group love energy. Reject all of the current ideas and materialistic things. Just get it together!  I know that it really sounds stupid and naive when you try to explain it, And the fact of the matter is, it was stupid and naive.

By the time I was about 13, I probably was ready to run away to a commune. What a laugh!  I was just a little child!

Along with the stupid ideas, there WAS a sense of hope. Hope and a belief in the common goodness of humanity. Funny, but people actually thought that if only these could be brought together in a group, something new could be created. A new age of society! Everybody would tolerate each others differences and work on a common future where each participant is looked as being equal. Basic human needs, like hunger and health, were taken care of. Seems like some pretty radical "really out there" thoughts, huh?

My point being is that no matter how old I get, I never want to loose that naive optimism. I never want to become so cynical that I feel that it is pointless. I never want to believe that basic human nature will continue to always produce a never ending cycle of have and have nots. Never convince myself that it is right for the same country to have billionaires on one hand and on the other, poor families with starving or sick children. Be complacent when 8 figure bonuses are given to some people, while pink slips are given to others. Be silent while others are treated wrongly by the same people that are suppose to protect them.

That silly naive optimism was the greatest gift my sister gave me. The same will be the greatest I can give my children! Thank you, Karen.


  1. You write:

    " matter how old I get, I never want to loose that naive optimism. I never want to become so cynical that I feel that it is pointless..."

    Agreed, although I am retired law enforcement and sometimes that old cynicism comes creeping back. I wish it wouldn't...

  2. I understand! This is a great slice of you. Vinyl has become the expensive 'must' for sound these days again. Everything old is new again, eh?

    We are just peeking into the beginning of a brand new astronomical great year! Another 26,000 years to go. Hello Aquarius, age of knowledge. Goodbye Pieces, age of belief. You are one of those 'bringers of the dawn' ... you mind is not contained in the dross of the crisis in society... you are part of the solution.