Something weird is happening today. I’m reflecting on Life, the Universe, and Everything ( the meaning of which is embedded in the number 42 for those in the know). A most remarkable occurrence sprinkled itself into my life earlier this year. I turned 68 for the first time in my living life!! Well OK, this will be the only time I’ll turn 68 as far as I know. There was a time when this boy pondered the likelihood of living more than one life on this Earth; but I’ve long since veered away from the concept of reinfestation. Or is that ream in carnation? I dunno… my wife likes carnations. Perhaps if I lived many lives I’d be reinfested with carnations?
On the other hand, a completely different occurrence showered itself into my life in 1962: our grandmother gave me an 8-transistor radio for my 8th birthday. That has absolutely nothing to do with being 68, but that event did indeed change my life forever. That beautiful receiver opened up a world of music to me, specifically rock and roll, which was all the rage in those days. Our father hated rock and roll, he was a classical music junky. Didn’t make him a bad person or anything… but his FM receiver really didn’t get much else in those days; and that’s the way he liked it.
I distinctly remember falling asleep with the radio carefully perched on my head so the speaker was right on my ear. Sounded much better than the earphone, and you didn’t have to turn it up very high to hear well. However, too often I’d wake up to a dead battery. That would have been a very sad thing; but Mom always seemed to make sure I had a battery for my radio.
For us kids, growing up on Long Island meant that there were two radio stations that really mattered: 77 WABC and 1010 WINS. We’d listen to DJs like Cousin Brucie and Murray the K with just a touch of echo added to their voices as they spun the latest records to our waiting ears. Artists like Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, Dion, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Little Eva, and The Shirelles were just a few of them… and a couple years later a new band called The Beatles entered the scene. The 1960s evolved into a decade of immense social changes, and of course the music often reflected the spirits of us young punks. Some of us became hippies, some of us kept the hippie spirit alive deep inside but entered the work force to raise families.
So all that to say how happy I am to be 68 years old?? Well I could probably write a book about all of this stuff, but suffice it to say that this old hippie guy is, believe it or not, very happy to have traveled around the sun a whole 68 times. I mean hey, I’m blessed beyond belief with a loving family, amazing friends, and a debt-free retirement. One thing that haunts me a bit though, is that 68 is getting powerfully close to 70. So I think at that time I’ll officially be an old fart. Maybe I am already!!
So my friends, here’s to old age. It ain’t so bad!! Life is very good for us really. Oh… and you know a cool thing about living for 6.8 decades?? We got turned on to lots of really good music. Not just rock. When we were growing up there was lots of stuff on TV and radio from the 1920s, 1930s, and so on. Some pretty cool stuff back then!! And yes, today too!! This week, I’m posting a very small samples of music I’ve grown to love over the years. Music is a magical thing in my professional opinion. Helps keep the blues away. Soul food, ya know? Hope you have a chance to check these out.
PEACE, LOVE, AND HUGS TO YOU ALL!!! You young whippersnappers!!!
Let’s see… how about a little Cab Calloway from 1934…
Maybe some Laurel and Hardy… HUH??? Just watch.
Anybody remember Judy Canova?
Carmen Miranda… oh my I had the hots for her…
Like Peter, Paul, and Mary, I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music.
Mojo Men… with a woman drummer in 1967!!
Oh and there’s other band I mentioned earlier… you may recognize them.
Here’s one I sang at work some times… Devo says it’s Time Out For Fun
Maybe by now you’re saying, “Lord!!! Enough already!!” OK… one from Lorde, and that will be enough already.