Dec. 7th, 2014

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas lights pink)
Here's my song for 1968:

This seemed especially apropos for 1968 because of the anti-war message snuck in between the lines: "generals order their soldiers to kill / and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten" - but also because we sang the canticle version in choir, later on (I think that was in junior high) and because I just liked singing it. (The songs that are fun to sing aren't necessarily the same ones everybody wants to listen to. See: "Annie's Song")

In 1968, in third and fourth grade, we didn't have organized choir yet - that came the next year. I think I sang in whatever kids' choir we had in church, is all. But I do think that 1968 was the year I started taking piano lessons. My mother had taken piano lessons as a kid, and we had always had her piano - we carted it around on all those moves in the mid-60s - and at some point she had taught me the very basics. When I was 8 or so I started picking out melodies on my own and that was when she carted me off to a real piano teacher. I loved piano lessons from the start, unsurprisingly.

I suppose that like everywhere else, 1968 was when they desegregated the schools in my hometown, but interestingly, I do not remember anybody saying a single word about it. I just know that there was at least one black kid in my class in fourth grade, and I don't remember there being any before that. (There weren't many black people living there. Apparently there had been a KKK presence there, and I'm guessing it was probably still there in the 60s, but it had gone underground, apparently, because I certainly never saw anybody wearing white robes and I never even knew about there having been KKK there in the past until I was grown up.) I don't have much to say about it because I was was so totally unaware of it at the time. There was this black girl in my class and I liked her and I don't even remember it being a big deal. I'm sure it probably was for her, but I guess talking about it across racial lines was just another one of those things you didn't do back then. (There were lots of those, all up and down the line from the big things like discussing race, to smaller things like wearing pants to school. Girls had to wear dresses til several years after this.)

In the 60s, most people still watched the news at night. Actually you had to watch the news or not watch TV at all, because there were still only the three stations and they all had the news on at the same time. I'm not sure exactly when the fourth and fifth stations came along - some time in the early 70s, I think. Anyway, I remember watching them talk about the war on the evening news - probably it was Walter Cronkite, because he was the most popular - I don't know if I was 8 or 10 or exactly when I really became aware of it, but it was somewhere along in this period. They were pretty careful about what they showed, I'm sure, but it was intense enough to get my attention, I know that.

I've been talking in every entry for days about us moving, but I don't think we moved in 1968. We moved one more time, but I think that was in 1969 so I'll save that for tomorrow. It didn't involve switching towns again, anyway, so it wasn't as big of a deal. (And after that the next time I moved was when I left for college.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas tree lights)

I toyed with inflicting The Archies on the good people of Music Advent, but in the end I went with this one, which I recall as being just as inescapable as "Sugar Sugar" - besides, I like the swoopy camera work here.

OK, to finish off the story with my childhood and all the moves, the last one was that we moved into a nice, brand-new house where my parents had bought it during construction and picked out all the colors and the tile and stuff. I'm pretty sure it was in early '69, because I remember living in the rent-house that came before that for a pretty long time. (But I was waffling, as I said before, about which year this actually happened.) The bad side of this happening in the late 60s was that we had to live for the next decade with the in-color of 1968/9, which was avocado green. EVERYthing in that house was green. Well, not literally everything, but the carpet was green, the appliances were green, and I clearly remember having an avocado-green vinyl couch in the living room - either we already had it before that or they bought it especially to go with the avocado-green house. I'm not sure which. The house was on a corner lot with a drainage ditch behind it - which saved our collective bacon when a tropical storm dumped 40 inches of rain on us ten years later, because our house was built on the spoil from that ditch and it (barely) escaped flooding when every other house in the whole subdivision had water in them. (Also, the drainage ditch was a playground when we were littler. I know that's the kind of thing that's inconceivable nowadays, but it was freshly dug and not gross, and as far as I can tell pretty harmless. I don't think any water other than the runoff from the subdivision went into it anyway. As I remember it, it usually didn't have very much water in it at all.)

After this I am probably going to quit talking about my childhood so much, because in later childhood I don't have as many interesting stories to tell, anyway - if I think of something that I think is interesting I'll certainly throw it in - but I'm really planning to talk more just about music and TV and what I remember about that, since we're getting to the phase where I was paying more attention at the time. In, 1969, I had the kind of taste in music you would expect a nine-year-old to have - I loved the stuff we saw on TV like The Archies, especially. I saw the Brady Bunch theme on the list of music published in 1969, and apparently this was the year that show started. It was also the year Star Trek (the "original series" as they say now) ended - I didn't talk about it before but we had watched it all along. It was one of the few things my dad and I bonded over, because we both loved it. (I didn't understand near all of it, of course, but I still loved it.)


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