Walking …

Holy smokes. I’m just sitting here, shaking my head. What an odd morning this has been. Woke up way early, in the ‘o dark thirties’, left a funny/annoying email for a friend, scanned the headlines on the news feeds, had champion breakfast of wafers and Dew and went to the channel of a young man who does reaction videos to music he’s never heard before. And it was that video that sent me walking.

I was 17 years old then – the whole world ahead of me. But we don’t ever see that, at 17 years old. We think we’re always going to be 17 and anything beyond that seems like myth or science fiction or outright craziness. Who knew? And if someone had told me so, I would have nodded and then laughed it away. 17 is forever. It just is. I distinctly remember turning 17 – the breakfast conversation with my mom. Every year she would ask the same thing and the only time the answer changed was when I turned 17. She asked me, “Feel any older?” and I looked up at her and said yes. Because I really did feel older – like some amazing thing had happened overnight and I was suddenly this 17-year-old person – who was this new person? I remember it so clearly.

It was 1969. I don’t care what anybody says, there was only one event of import that year and that was Woodstock. Did you ever give a party and have 500,000 people show up? Woodstock did. No – I didn’t go. My dad was a cop; there was NO WAY one of his daughters was going to do something like that. It’s ok though – the documentaries are enough. The good ones, anyway. If you don’t mind the rental fee, you can view the documentary on YT (probably $3.99). I saw it free on PBS the following year. It was as good (but cleaner, lol!) as being there. The music acts – good gracious, Ignatius. Sly and the Family Stone (I wanna take you HIGHER, BOOM SHAKA LAKA), Joe Cocker – A Little Help from My Friends (I thought he had a physical impairment – turned out be the effects of drugs and alcohol), Joan Baez (I Dreamed About Joe Hill Last Night – organizer song), Jimi Hendrix – The National Anthem; Country Joe and the Fish – Whoopie, We’re All Gunna Die and the ‘F’ song, lol!, Lovin’ Spoonful (so lame against all that mega-talent). The list goes on. The music was something else. I don’t have sufficient adjectives. You either get it or you don’t.

So … yeah, it was a long walk this morning. A walk I seem to be taking a lot lately. Walking … down memory lane.

 

26 Responses to Walking …

  1. Scoop says:

    I remember it well and think back to those times a lot these days. I was some 6 years older than you and the time and Woodstock seemed to be the farewell party to Rock & Roll, Jazz, Blues and Hippies.

    I left my heroin addicted friends in NY the next year and headed to Berklee School of Music in Boston only to end up driving a cab like I did in NYC after college. The era had passed and died a slow agonizing death with only a few musical punctuation marks during the early 70’s . . . then they too died out and left me out of touch with the new radicals that seemed to proliferate society and life became more serious and not so carefree anymore.

    I missed, and still miss, the days when health, politics and religion were only casual mentions in a conversation which was usually about film, books, music and art. It was a life of self-exploration that slowly morphed into introspection of the world and society as a whole. I miss the lack of anxiety that we had in our youth but then our lack of seriousness and responsibility left this society to rot from the inside out. It was a combination of a lack of morals, music, drugs and rebellious indifference to all the taboos (which we broke) that seemed to give us our “united” sense of being with all the other youth of our days.

    Woodstock was the last gasp of that generation and the following 5 or 6 years was our death rattle.

    Liked by 5 people

    • audremyers says:

      I can’t argue with you observation.

      But it was a once in a lifetime event. The Rolling Stones concert that happened after Woodstock proved that. Woodstock was a moment in time.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. 39 Pontiac Dream says:

    Another top notch article, Audre.

    I always find it’s nice to have memories you can return to. My early life was no picnic and only came to something when I was 29 and met Tina. All my good memories are with her. I try not to think of life before then but it’s nice that other people can.

    With regards the yearning for youth, though I may think differently now to how I thought at 17, I don’t feel different. Yes, I’m not as thin as I was back then and I can’t move as freely as I could then but I still behave like a kid sometimes. As adults, we tend to think more responsibly and make decisions based on that but we’re all big kids at heart. I like it that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • audremyers says:

      I agree – my body tells my physical age but inside my own head, I notice no difference from when I was 17. I’m better informed, of course, but the me inside my head, is still 17. I hope it stays that way!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. the unit says:

    I take it you’re walking down memory lane, and not the 2 miles a day my doc recommends. 🙂
    I find it easier to do the memory one more often.
    Like Scoop says about age, circumstances and demographics play into it as well.
    I don’t have any particular memory about Woodstock. I’d been released from active duty the year before and my demographic and circumstance at the time of Woodstock was…
    https://www.weather.gov/mob/camille
    Thoughts and prayers for folks along the East Coast now.
    P.S. Katrina was even worse for us than Camille.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. audremyers says:

    Wow, Unit; I had forgotten about Camille. Frightening.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. the unit says:

    Luckily we had the National Guard on hand to protect against looters…well, in a few days.
    https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/nola.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/8e/e8e41c26-60fd-5a0f-b796-7f3d57dfcb04/5d56cae72590e.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C985
    On our own for more than when seconds count. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. audremyers says:

    Unit – stunning photo.

    It’s true today, too – Hope still winning.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Walkin’ – The Portly Politico

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