The 60s Official Site

 

 

Our Visitors Remember the 60s

If you have a fond or not so fond memory of the 60s, send it to me so you can share it with everybody who visits the site.  Email me at the60sofficialsite@verizon.net

  Mini Polumbaum of Somerville MA Remembers "West Side Story"

West Side Story, a terrific late-1950s Broadway stage musical that was made into a spectacular movie 4 years after it originally opened in NY City now-defunct Winter Garden, is a beautiful musical both on stage and on screen.  

My initial introduction to West Side Story was through the music of the original Broadway stage production, during the summer of 1962, prior to my entering the sixth grade, while I was attending day camp out west (in Tucson, AZ, to be exact.). One girl in the group that I was with, who had just received a copy of the LP album of the soundtrack to the original Broadway stage production of West Side Story brought it to camp one morning and played it for the rest of the group. My love for West Side Story and the music took off instantly. 

West Side Story-mania was in the air that summer, as kids roamed the halls, often in packs, snapping their fingers and singing the songs from West Side Story. Five days a week, on the bus, on the way to and from camp, West Side Story songs were sung with aplomb by the kids and counselors alike. It was really cool.  

I never forgot West Side Story and its great music, I played my parent's copy of the same West Side Story LP of the original Broadway soundtrack production on their Hi-Fi whenever I could, after arriving home from day camp. I even liked to bang around with some of the most prominent songs from West Side Story on the piano, much to my parent's dismay, since they had given me piano lessons so that I could learn to play classical music. 

Although the movie version of West Side Story was in the prime of its popularity, I would not get to see the film version of West Side Story until seven years after its initial release, during a national re-release of the film version. It was at around Christmastime of 1968, as a high school Senior, that I got to see this film for the very first time and fell in love with it instantly. Back then, since I was still a teenager in high school, I identified with the Jets, the Sharks, and their girls, regarding kids being kids, and so on.  

Would you believe that this great golden oldie but keeper of a classic film still tugs at my heartstrings after all these years?!?

 

 

David Reeves of Mobile, Alabama Remembers When

I had a great, almost idyllic teenage life during the 60s. I'm from Mobile, Alabama, and grew up on Japonica Ln, but back then that was the country. My dad was a doctor, my mom was a nurse he met on the job. I was born in 1949, so the 60s were my teen and college years, and man they were great. In 1956, we moved out of downtown and built a very nice modern house on 40 acres of "country" land , our neighbors were the Jones, he was also a doctor. My parents still live in my childhood home, and when my dad retired in the early 1980s, he sold most of the 40 acres so they had something to live comfortably on, and now its an middle class suburb. Like I said, my dad was a doctor, so he made a pretty good paycheck. We were the "cool" family on the block , (every neighborhood had one, right?), so my sister and I always had the latest hairstyles, records, clothes, etc. The thing I remember most are the cars we had. My dad's war buddy came back to be a Ford dealer, so we always had Ford Motor Co. products. Because of that we usually got custom paint jobs, interior jobs etc., for ridiculously low prices. My mom had a 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon, with salmon/coral pink and white on the outside, and chocolate brown and pink benchseats. In 1963, My dad bought a maroon 2dr hardtop Galaxie, with black bench seats. I graduated from Davidson High School, class of 1967, and my sister class of 1971. My dad gave me his Galaxie as a graduation present, so the day after graduation, me, my girlfriend (soon to be wife, Laura) and my best friend and his lady and packed into said Galaxie and drove to the Summer Of Love. We got there after 6 days of speeding, sleeping in the car, and driving shifts. When we finally got there, we stopped at a restaurant and had lunch and then we drove straight into the city. It was something else, to say the least. Jefferson Airplane was on a stage in the park, there were people walking in the street wearing love beads and tyedye. That night was a crazy night. I was the lame kid who didn't do drugs,(Everyone knew one, didn't they), so when I bent over to get something out of the car, someone ran up and injected my thigh with something like LSD. I remember walking into a coffee shop and seeing the cashier with a lion coming out of his ear, and then running out and telling my friends. The next day, I woke up with a donut in my pocket, throwup on my bellbottoms, and a stray cat licking my face under some poor lady's Buick station wagon. I had a killer headache, and was dizzy most of the next day. I then remembered my sister wanted something , so I went into a record store and got the soundtrack. I found Laura behind the dumpster of a Chinese restaurant next door. After about a week of that, then we went home. My dad was furious. He took away my car, he cut the phone cord in my room, he took the needle off my stereo. My sister asked if it was worth it, I said of course it was. Then I gave her the live soundtrack I had gotten her and she smiled, and her friends came over to listen to it with her. I hot my car back after a month, and a new phone cord and my record player's needle also. I apologized, of course, then me and Laura went to the drive in. So those are some of my memories of the 1960s( I could tell you pages). I wish I could go back to that  innocent, pleasant time.  

Miki Polumbaum from Newtonville and Sommerville, Massachusetts "Memories of the 60s: Bittersweet"

I grew up in an idyllic suburb roughly 15 miles northwest of Boston, in in South Lincoln, MA, where the houses were moderately far apart, as opposed to being only 2-4 feet apart from each other, the way they were in the northern part of our town, as well as in most of the surrounding Boston suburbs.  In the late 1950's-early 1960's, we'd  go sledding down our street in the wintertime, on weekends and winter holidays, go down our sloping back lawn on our flying saucers, bicycling around town in the spring and summer, and we'd having swimming lessons at Concord's Walden Pond, and, later, a man-made pond shared by our town an another town near it, called Valley Pond.  The lifeguard at Valley Pond was a wonderful guy, who'd grown up in Southie (South Boston, MA) and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps by working as a milkman during the great depression, so he had some fairly controversial viewpoints which he made obvious to everyone, but he was a popular, cool guy all the same.  He taught the local kids, including my siblings and I everything we had to know regarding swimming, and he ran a tight ship, with firm rules, when he manned Valley Pond. 

As a kid, I was fairly isolated socially in many respects, but being a teenager during the 1960's was a beautiful time to be a teenager, despite a lot of the bad stuff that happened, and all the turbulence that took place.   Often enough, I enjoyed riding my bicycle to school, even in high school, which was in one of the next towns over, since our town was too small to afford its own high school.  My father had tried to get me into a tiny all-girls' private school called House in the Pines, where the daughter of some friends of my parents, who was also in my grade, attended, and which was located in Norton, MA, a town in the southwestern central part of the state.   The school Administration, however, turned my parents down due to lack of room.  I attended our public high school,  and, during the summer prior to entering my Junior year, while attending Summer School at a private school in another town that abutted the town that my siblings and I grew up in, I heard some stories about House in the Pines from a dormmate, also in my grade, which made me more than glad that my family had been unable to get me into that particular school. 

The girl in my dormitory told me that House in the Pines was not only a real snob school, but the girls  spent hours on end being catty and spiteful, and constantly putting each other down..  Moreover,  my dorm mate knew the daughter of our family friends and couldn't stand her..one bit.

High school during the mid to late 1960's was a rather mixed bag for me, the more I think about it.  On the one hand, academics were very hard for me, and my grades were extremely poor.  Yet, at the same time, since I loved singing, I was in Mixed and Select Chorus (the latter of which I got into by total default;  on my Junior year, the school Administration had made an error by scheduling me to be in Select Chorus which met every single day during third period.  The head of the music department of our high school, whose name was Mr. Wentworth, was a cool guy, and, believing that I shouldn't have to be penalized for the School Administration's stupidity, allowed me to stay in Select Chorus.  That helped sweeten the pot at the public high school for me.  One of the assistants, however, a woman, thought I was too weird and unpredictable, and didn't want me to come along when the Select Chorus went on tour that spring.  Mr. Wentworth, being the cool guy that he was, however,  went to bat for  me, and gave the woman the "what for", pointedly telling her that I was going on that tour whether she wanted me to or not.  She backed down, I wend on the tour, and enjoyed it thoroughly.  People in the places out of state where we went put us up after we sang in concerts, and it was really, really cool.

Despite constantly being cruelly teased and/or snubbed by other kids, there were many good things about school as well, including being in Select Chorus, as well. 
During the summers of 1964, 1965, and 1966, I attended Camp Indian Brook, a part of a group of camps called Farm & Wilderness camps, up in Plymouth Union, VT.  There were all kinds of activities, including work projects, arts & crafts, waterfront skills such as boating and canoeing, swimming, and all kinds of recreations.  The food was great, as well, and each summer was more fun than the last.  Although I never formed any real close relationships with the other girls in my cabin, there were at least a couple of girls that I corresponded by "snail" mail during the year, and I also met the girl who became my close high school friend, who was attending Tamarack Farm, a real working farm and a communal camp, where work projects were done every morning, it was co-ed, and there were recreation periods in the afternoon.  I went three summers in a row to Camp Indian Brook, and had lots of fun. 

The 1960's were the years of mini-skirs and long, straight hair.  Many girls, including myself, who had very curly hair, were getting their hair straightened and/or were setting their hair on jumbo magnetic rollers and then sitting under the hair dryers after shampooing it, in order to straighten it.  My dad absolutely hated the sight of me in rollers and wanted me to cut my hair extremely short, but my mom, more sympathetic to my need to follow the fashions, mollified him, and my dad reluctantly allowed to me to set my hair only once a week, after washing it. 

I loved the music of the 1960's, and missed out on my chances to dance to it, due to my social isolation, but I listened to it just like most of the other kids, and I listen to it  still.   Fast forward to the summer prior to entering my Senior year of high school;  I attended a music/drama camp called Camp Indian Hill, out in Western Ma. , in the Berkshires.  I majored in voice, had lots of fun, met lots of neat people, and, despite not forming any close relationships with anybody at that camp, I enjoyed the voice lessons, Madrigal chorus, and everything else.  I did manage to make some acquaintances, and it was helpful.  My sister was not so fortunate, as she became ill that summer and almost didn 't pull through.  Fortunately, with the help of my parents, however, she did. 

June of 1969 was the year that I graduated from high school.  I went to Tucson, AZ  that summer and spent it with my grandparents,  who gave me my first car as a  high school graduation present.  Getting a license was a rite of passage for kids growing up at that time, and I remember receiving my driver's license after taking the test on a snowy day, 5 days prior to Christmas, at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston's Brighton section, which closed down years ago.  We all went out to dinner to celebrate, and my first solo driving was when I drove to Aunt Sadie's Fruit stand on Route 117, to get an X-Mas tree.  (Our family celebrated Christmas during that time, in order to make the ophairs from abroad who worked for my mom when my brother was an infant and a small child, to feel at home.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed Christmas, and went caroling along with everybody else in our neighborhood as well, on Christmas Eve.  Christmas music, although Christmas isn't my holiday, especially sung by a church choir and accompanied by a church organ, was awesome to me, and I still continue to be amazed by it, despite my lost innocence if one gets the drift)

My Senior year of high school was the year in which I first saw the film West Side Story, and fell in love with it right away.  As a teenager in high school, I identified with the jets, the Sharks and their girls regarding kids being kids and so on, but began to develop a different viewpoint when I got a bit older and began seeing it in independent movie theatres.   I appreciated West Side Story for the creative work of art that it is overall, and I still do, but that's another issue. for another day.

Having a good friend that I hung out with in high school was helpful, and I still keep in touch with her via telephone, and see her on occasion, as well. 

KC Meder of Middleburg Heights, Ohio remembers the 60s.

The times were turbulent but it seems to me there was much more honesty. The world moved a whole lot slower than it seems to move now. In terms of music, there is no comparison to the "music of today. There seems to be so many "artists" they are hard to count.You could get a decent paying job, buy a car and still be able to date or just cruise with friends.

Remember "pitch in a dollar for gas"? We went for Sunday drives. Here in Ohio we (my parents and I) would drive to Amish country or just go park by Cleveland Hopkins Airport and just watch the planes take off and land. There was much more school spirit than now. In this generation, a lot of the kids have to work Friday nights to help their parents make ends meet. In the 60's my high school (Midpark High School, Middleburg Heights, Ohio) was brand new. There are 3 days left in it's existence because we are merging with our crosstown rival. I want to take the time machine back to the 60's where I felt safe and secure. KC Meder 

 

 

James Marvel, of the band Mercy Recalls a Fond Memory 

James Marvel of Mercy My great memory of the 60s is that I was there in the middle of it doing shows with the band Mercy We recorded the classic "Love Can Make You Happy." Thhee song written by Jack Sigler Jr topped Billboard, Cashbox and Record world with Elvis, Sinatra and The Beatles. On this Top 10 were other great groups like The Guess Who and Credence. Mercy was second to The Beatles' "Get Back."   Carl, I remember well traveling with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Andy Kim, Oliver, The Box Tops, Gary Puckkett and The Union Gap, Tommy James and The Shondells and many more of the 60s Rock legends! Even today I'm still on the road keeping those memories alive and with the help of my wife Faye we recreate that amazing era! Here is a recent show I did. 

 

Thanks for your groovy newsletter.

James Marvel, former member of the group Mercy.


Ben Sharpton of Roswell Georgia, recalls his memories of the 60s.

The decade of the 1960s was so full of new possibilities and hope. There was also a lot of uncertainty and fear. Like reader Bob Diner (Redding, CA.), I grew up in Central Florida. Cape Canaveral was just over 100 miles away. The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space launches fascinated me. Cuba was  less than 300 miles away, and I still remember the concern that Russia might arm Cuba with nuclear missiles. A building contractor had constructed a "model" fallout shelter in a park in our town and I recall walking through it and wondering what it might be like to be there if we were attacked.


My dad was a Chevy Dealer and I distinctly remember the 1963 Corvette Stingray, with split rear windows, hide-away headlights and the sleekest body design to ever come out of Detroit. Dad didn't offer Corvettes on his lot very often, but one day a 'Vette arrived and my brother and I went for a ride with Dad. The car only had two seats, so I had to sit in the little luggage compartment in the back, but the car was so cool. It was sporty and low to the ground. The dashboard was unlike any other car. And those headlights - incredible.


Voluntary desegregation began when I entered junior high school. I distinctly remember being impressed by the black students who had chosen to leave their safe, familiar environments and venture to our school. My junior high school was built in 1914, and in '65 it was ancient. The black junior high was much newer, and yet these few students chose to attend this old, decrepit facility (rumored to be held together with bubble gum) out of the principle of racial integration and in search of the best education they could receive. That impressed me.


I've described some of my other memories (and a lot of my imagination) in my new novel, 7 Sanctuaries (Novel Voices Press, 2012), about life in a small Southern town during the '60s (available at the iBookstore, Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com). I find that almost all of my readers have their own stories of that marvelous decade that they want to share. It was an amazing time.

Michael Welsh of Uniontown, Ohio remembers the smell of cooking rubber. ... .... 

When I started school in Akron at '"Saint Vincent  Grade School" it was, I think 1963 for 1st grade. With the nuns at that age, they were GIANT Penguins at the time. They were trained to put and keep you in your place, [ they were tough]. With all due respect to those who deserve it, those that did not were obvious. Sister Gerald was a creation all to herself with the job title of "Principle" and the height of  Wilt Chamberlain. You know, I think the Priests were afraid of her. My father was 6'2 and she was as tall as him. Then, there was the almighty "Sister Peters" who, was as dangerous as nitro and maybe 4'8 with those high heel shoes they wore at the time. Anyway, with those two, I must have 100 stories each that are not boring


Each morning my mother would get my brothers Jerry, Jim and my sister Phyllis up for breakfast. Sometimes we just got up, cause we  were so poor, that there was no breakfast unless my dad or mom had white rice. Does anyone remember having white rice with hot milk, butter and sugar, but so good. Then left for school out the front door and we got hit with, the odor of cooking rubber from the "Goodyear" plant, just a little over a few miles away.  Because we walked to school 75% of the time we all smelled  like tires all day and yes we actually did walk to school in the rain, snow, cold or heat.

The school only had two buses and if I remember right, they did not always run and some times my mother drove us in our old Volkswagen Beetle. This may sound crazy but I enjoyed the smell of cooking rubber but not the smell of burning rubber which was quite a difference . The closer you got to school, the stronger it was and the smoke from those stacks rose to  what seemed to be cloud level on a still morning. The clear blue sky with the colors from a rising sun and the shapes that took place in the sky was a site to behold.

On cold mornings, like below freezing with clear blue skies, the group of us walking to school would see how many different things we could see before we got there. Being Catholic we always saw religious shapes or the dreaded nuns and their huge veils. Of course, I saw girls, then I saw nuns chasing me from girls [just kidding about the nuns] but I just really never got tired of the odor of cooking rubber. On darker mornings, you could see the glare of the huge blimp like shape of the "Goodyear" sign and in winter, walking home late from school, you would see the white and blue haze of that giant sign from the back of "Cadillac Hill", which is just behind where the old high school was before is was torn down.

"Cadillac Hill" is an actual street that has very old and very used homes. When I was in school, it was a bad area all around but it was and may still be an attraction for cars to travel up and down. You see, the street is so steep that you need to almost fall forward to climb up the hill and if your car is not in good running condition or is a low power 4 banger, than you should not attempt to drive up. It is a different thing going down, the brakes better be good. The street faces Glendale Cemetery and is a very spooky area at night. It may sound crazy but I do miss that smell of cooking rubber when walking to school in the 60s. I hope someone else remembers that.

 

Nancy Ferraris Loera of La Mirada CA recalls the Watts Riots.

I recall the Watt’s CA riots in the summer of 1964. They broke out as a result of a black man who was arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles. His mother made a scene by putting herself front and center into the face of the arresting officers. Ultimately, a crowd gathered and the arrest became a signal to the crowd to become angry and boisterous toward the police. Tempers soared out of control, the crowd grew. The crowd continued to escalate throughout that day and the following due to deep seeded resentment on the part of the crowd due to their anger over what was also brewing in the city. Something called the McCone Commission had been developed, which was a pin-pointed investigation of the complaints on previous riots, poverty, inequality and racial discrimination.

 

The riotous crowd continued to grow in the heart of Los Angeles stretching the total boundaries to surrounding smaller city areas. What made this so significant to me? Well….I was blessed to have strict and moral respecting parents, even though I didn’t view it as a blessing at this particular time. Although the riots were about 15 miles from my home, my Mom allowed me to go to a drive-in movie with my boyfriend, about 2 miles from the house. We had parked the car, gotten our soda’s etc. from the ‘concession stand’ and our speaker was in place.

 

The movie advertisements had just begun, right at dusk as the sun was setting. Kids were being gathered by their parents from the playground down front. You know, the time when all eyes are on the screen in anticipation of the movie. Suddenly, the concession stand manager announced spoke over the over-head speaker and piped to every car….”Attention, attention please, would Nancy Ferraris please come to the snack bar immediately; Nancy Ferraris, please come to the snack bar, you have a phone call.” No cell phones existed back then!

 

I was just about to pass out sitting in the front seat of that 1957 green and white Chevy Bel-Air!! Every single eye just had to be looking at that snack bar, waiting to see a girl walk toward it! My boyfriend tried to calm me, as he got out of the car, walked around to open my door, and walked me to the snack bar concession area. The ‘phone call’ was a message, relayed to me by the concession manager who said the call had come from my Mother…..compliments of my Father….who called home from a meeting he was at in Los Angeles, to ask, ‘are the girls home?’ To which my Mother said, Pati just got home but I let Nancy go to the movies with Pete. “

 

At that point, the concession manager instructed me to call home. When Mom heard my voice she said to go to the entrance of the drive-in and wait for her, she was on her way to pick me up. I begged, cried, did all I could to talk her out of it. And I knew my Father, he meant for me to get home NOW!

 

Couldn’t they let us drive home? NO…my Mother had to come get me! We walked back to the car, many people staring at me. Pete put the speaker back in place, started the car, and drove to the entrance while I swear every single eye was on us!! On me!

 

Mother picked me up and all the way home I complained and cried over the embarrassment of being picked up at the drive-in. My Dad had decided it was not safe for me to be out while the riots were in full force and he thought Mom should not have given me permission to go out!!

 

I just knew what was in store for me on Monday at school! From the moment my sister and I arrived on campus, I was barraged by students asking what happened Friday night at the ‘Sundown’. It took a long time to live it down! I laugh now, but it wasn’t at all funny back then!

 

 

Nancy Ferraris Loera of La Mirada CA Remembers a time when her parents were out of town.

While my parents were out of town

I was raised by a strict Italian father. My grandparents had immigrated from the Tuscan area of Italy and settled in St. Louis Missouri where they grew tomatoes and raised cattle and chickens. By traditional family trade, Dad became a journeyman meat cutter and opened his own wholesale meat business just prior to my birth, at the young age of just twenty-one. My mother was a stay-home Mom before it was fashionable to be a ‘stay-at-home” Mother.

My father was well known in the meat cutting and packing business and was at one time, President of the Meat Packers Administration in Vernon, California. He supplied top of the line, Prime Plus meat to many Hollywood Restaurants and starts of that city. He took immense pride in selling and serving the best product possible.

In High School, our parents would attend Meat Distributors weekend seminars once or twice per year. One particular year, they left me ‘in charge’ of my sister, one year younger than myself. Being ‘in charge’ of my sister is a bit funny, as she never really relished my being ‘in charge’ of anything regarding her. Although I had my license, neither of us were ever allowed to drive without a parent in the car. Our Father did not allow us to drive alone until the age of eighteen.

But on this one weekend when they were to be gone, Dad left us the usual rules of the weekend and as always, the keys to the Cadillac, ‘in case of an emergency”. They always left late on Thursday, so this meant we had to attend school on Friday. My sister and I left for school as usual. I was a senior, this Friday was half day, and I walked home. My sister came with me for ‘lunch’ and when it was time for her to return, decided she was going to take a half day and not go back! Wrong, I was in charge and she was going back to school. She wasted a lot of time complaining about returning and as I pleaded with her to get to walking back, she ‘remembered’ she had a paper to turn in at the beginning of the class and that if it was not turned on upon entering the class, it was graded a whole grade lower than it was scored.

She begged me to drive her back so as not to be late. I refused. As a result, she pitched a fit, time was wasting and I gave in. Since my boyfriend was there, a year older than me and had his license longer, he drove my sister back (his car was in the shop that day). We took the back roads to be safe. We were driving directly to and from, what could possibly go wrong?

On the way back to the house, Pete said, “don’t look now, but your Dad is behind us.” I was paralyzed with fear. Pete was hyperventilating. He was driving my Fathers Cadillac. We drove in the driveway and before Pete could turn off the motor, my Father was at our car door, dragging Pete out of the car yelping and asking why he was driving his car! It was a fiasco to say the least. When able, I explained to my Dad. He told me the reason was not an emergency, never to do it again, and I got restricted from seeing Pete for a week. My sister got no consequence. Go figure!

 

Michael Welsh of Uniontown, Ohio Remembers the summers of 1968 and 1969!  - I have so many memories of growing up in the 60s, but one that is very clear in my mind is from summer 1969.  

During the riots in Akron, Ohio in which was the year before, we lived on Rhoades Ave. on the west side between Market St. and W. Exchange St. .  Our street was very mixed ethnic wise and included satanists and drug addicts which made life very interesting and at times dangerous. All of us kids in my neighborhood that I hung around were ages  8 to 12 years old and I was 10. My father and mother always warned me to never go outside alone and to inform them know exactly where I would be and with whom.

One Saturday morning between 7-9 a.m, I hopped on my stingray bike with chopper handle bars and the all famous banana seat, and peddled to by my best friends house. I wanted hime to get him to go with me but his dad was ultra strict. You see, the night before across the street from our house a what appeared to be racially motivated, a drunk black man or teenager stabbed the Italian neighbor so many of our neighbors were being very cautious. We knew there would be revenge of some kind and with my dad being a security cop with the Akron police, and him being a hot head, who knows what could have happened later.

At that time neighbors and parents looked after each others children and if they were misbehaving they got what was needed and then taken home to be dealt with as well  and I did not want my parents to know I left early in the morning alone.

I didn't want to wake my friend Mike, so I got on my bike and peddled to the corner of Rhoades and Exchange towards Market and then, turned around and rode down the hill for speed and thrills. There was not a car in sight until, I noticed the police with lights flashing and many more cars with lights flashing plus a big long limo in the middle. I was out in the road some and everybody had to slow up and about 15 or 30 feet from me is President Richard M. Nixon looking right at me and pointed at me then waved to me and to this day I'm not 100% sure but he gave me the peace sign.

Others were waving to me but I was so fixed on the President that I don,t quite recall who else waved. Can you believe it, there driving past me, about running speed and just feet from me was President Richard M. Nixon, pointing at me and waving to me. The thing that killed me the most was knowing how bad I wanted to ride home and share this big news but did not dare cause my dad would have tanned my ass good because you see I was grounded at the time.

I did end up telling my sister Phyllis, well that was not very smart because she had to tell my mother first. I don't think my father knew about it until much later, I figured my mother was on top of not letting my father know till much later. When I speak about the day I saw President Richard M. Nixon it's so clear in my mind, the colors the sun shining the glimmer off the vehicles the cool breeze and the smell of rubber in the air.

Rubber cooking is something that clicks on the memory chip.  Some think it is strange that, when I smelled rubber in Akron growing up, I could not wait to get up early in the morning for school so I could enjoy that odor while walking to school every morning to ST. Vincent Grade School.  So many good memories of that era. Maybe some other time, Thank You.

 

 

Erin Nelson of Reno, Nevada shares a letter from her Uncle. ...  This is a letter fom my mom's uncle, Gary Valentine who has been my penpal since basically my whole life, I've never met him because he has a life sentence now, from being in and out of jail practically his whole life (from drugs and alcohol of course). My mom was very close to him back in the day and says that he was the truest, coolest hippie she knew, he was supposedly shooting up heroin while babysitting her!! She says he was always a warmhearted, truly nice and wonderful person, I would really have loved to know him. Since he is still alive I am thankful to be able to write him all these years. So I've been bugging him to tell me about the 60s and Woodstock movement because I'm obsessed with that era, (I was born in the wrong generation) and he sent me a long letter in reply which I thought would be fun to share, it sounds amazing;

 
"In 1967 they had all these songs about going away to San Francisco, California. Plus I heard there was something very different going on there. Without even thinking about it, (I was just 18 at the time) I jumped on an airplane (one way and just 50 bucks in my pocket) to Haight and Ashbury in San Fransisco. I had already started to grow my long hair(got into a lot of fights over it in Chicago). I have to say, it was such a good feeling being a part of what was happening. Everyone really did love each other and looked out for one another. The music was challenging and becoming a part of everything. They used to have what was called "Love Ins" on the weekends in Golden Gate Park. All the girls wore flowers in their hair. 
 
I heard that a different scene was going on in the sunset strip in L.A. and i went down there for a while. It was more like poeple were just weekend hippies and we called those people "plastic". I did not stay there long because I heard Greenwhich Village in New York was happening there. Great music, saw Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Doors. A great time for music. Also became a part of the anti-war movement, I did not get into that much, but did go to a few rallies. 
 
Back then they used to have stand by airline tickets and if you did not mind waiting, you could get plane tickets dirt cheap. Anyhow, I missed Haight and Ashbury in S.F. and headed back there. Before I left everyone was smoking and doing LSD, but when I got back there, it seemed all the people went from that to harder stuff and instead of helping everyone like before, they started ripping people off to support their drug habbit. It got so bad that by the end of summer they had a funeral (they carried a caskit down Ashbury street and people threw their love beads in the casket) saying it was the death of Haight and Ashbury and the movement. 
 
If it wasn't for the drugs, I really beleive that movement could have gotten a lot bigger and lasted a lot longer. I have seen drugs ruin so many lives. 90% of the poeple in here are here because of drugs one way or another. Alcohol is also a drug, one of the worst in my opinion. This will be the first time I will ever bring this up, but drugs in any form are really no good. Now that that is said, yes the late 60's and early 70's were a great time. Especially for music. 
 
I never made it to Woodstock, but went to many outdoor concerts like it. The free concerts in Golden Gate park "Love Ins" were the best, the Grateful Dead would always be there. Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and of course Jimi Hendrix. A lot of blues bands were also big at the time. Of course being a hippie during that time brought a lot of trouble just because you looked different. Cops would stop you all the time just because you looked different, you were treated differently. It was kind of cool to look different though. Kind of like you against the world. You do get a taste of what racism is all about. Every time my son used to visit from New York he used to love when I took him to Haight and Ashbury. They still have some pretty cool shops and music places, but basically it is a tourist trap. " 
 
I was so happy to receive your letter after all this time. I really hope you continue to write once in a while to let me know how things are going with you. In the mean time... 
Love, Peace and Happiness, 
 
Uncle Gary 
 
 
 

 

Sammy Burnett Remembers Cruising in Spartanburg, SC. In my town everybody had a route they cruised most started at a little drive in called The Steeple and went from there to Doug Brooms then crossed the street and went down Reedville road , to the Famous Beacon drive in which is still in business and the same crowd still meets there. From the Beacon we went down Main Street to Pine Street and to the Sugar and Spice drive in then on down to Wades Drive In and traced our route back to the Steeple. At that time Spartanburg S.C. was the hub of auto racing with the likes of Cotton Owens, who just passed away a couple days ago. Jack Smith, David Pearson, Bud Moore, many cars were built in my town. Most of us worked for some of the builders, cleaned the shop whatever they wanted us to do just to be around them. Muscle cars were plenty with Hemi built in Cottons shop. His son had a Hemi and you could hear him coming  a couple miles away.

I  put a 427 Ford engine in my 65 Falcon Sprint and most of my friends also had some kind of hotrods. We could be at a drag strip in less then thirty minutes in any direction. When the police found out where we street raced, things started to slow down. Such great memories of cruising and listening to our favorite music, Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys, and all the Doo Wop. I sure wish those days were still around so my grandkids could have experienced our great times.

Duane Anderson of Arizona: Woodstock, I Was There:

My name is Duane Andersen and I was 23 at the time and just graduated with a degree in Business. I was living in the Wash DC area when my friends said there is going to be a concert in NY and you just have to go. I asked them how much it would cost and they said $18 now and 20 something if you wait till you get there but they said the rumor is that people are just going to walk in and there will be so many they won’t be able to collect the money. So, I thought, I would give it a try since it might be free and my friends would provide transportation. The trip up there was uneventful until we started to get close and got bogged down in traffic.

Since we were miles from the place, I thought oh no, it is going to take forever to get there. Then I smelled the smell of marijuana and thought, wow, these people don’t even care about the cops busting them. Then when we finally got there it was hard to find a place but opposite the entrance in the field on the other side of the road we found a spot to park the VW van, our cars and erect a tent. We walked in and were only able to be in the back of the crowd. I had been taking drugs in a recreational way for about two years and was amazed that everyone seemed to be stoned. Of course, just breathing the air is all you had to do. I couldn’t believe the immensity of the crowd, the stage, the huge speakers I thought were as big as a VW.

I remember when Joan Biaz was singing Friday night it sounded so clear on the still night and so beautiful it reminded me of being a kid when I used to go to church. I was amazed that such tame music was part of the Festival but it really brought me a nice peaceful feeling. During the weekend my buddy and I were able to get up on the stage but were promptly kicked off, the guy said, “What are you guys doing up here, get off”, I thought is was very “un-hippie like” and more like he should have been nice to us and given us a tour.

I had gone down to the pond or lake and saw naked people and froze on the spot, I couldn’t believe it. I thought that if they thought that was freedom that I’m not up for that. The rain came and the mud was a hassle but I was grateful we could get food and they had toilets brought in as well as hay to cover the ground, which made it all livable. I was in a time of my life that I was wondering what to do with my life and figured these kids were on the wrong track and it was a turning point in my life. I decided I didn’t want to continue with this lifestyle and was tired of the druggy life. I had been studying Zen Buddhism but lost interest in that as well and decided I would go back to my roots as a child and gave my life to Christ. I ended up getting a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling and taught school and pastored and ended up before retirement back in counseling in an elementary school in Arizona where I am now retired.

Bob Diner of Redding, CA Has Memories of Growing up in the Sixties

Having been born in 1955 the 60's pretty much comprised my childhood.  I grew up in the middle of the sunshine state (Fla), and have oodles of memories of a mostly fun time, while too young to recognize the presence of the oppressive heat and humidity.  I can remember the first superball the neighborhood kids got to experiment with.  Memory seems to paint the ball heavy, yet current similar balls, not so much. Odd that yes eventually a window was broken and that ball was forcibly retired to someones attic (or perhaps the adults were experimenting with not breaking a window themselves). There was a time when The Wild Wild West and Star Trek vied for my attention on the home tube, while slot cars, bumper cars and building model spaceships vied for my hands on time.  A few years later I remember my cool 3 speed bike with a banana seat and sissy bars, where I and a couple of other lads would be up with the sun and off after breakfast and not home until the streetlights came on.  In those days we watched old school NFL games on reasonably sized B+W sets and occasionally on monstrously sized console color sets.

 Although our minds tend to remember the fun times over times not so fun, I did grow up in a state with forced integration. There was a high school less than a mile away, and I was enrolled in one about 5 miles away. I did put that bike to good use getting there. There were lots of fights between blacks and whites back then. It was a sad, painful time (sometimes literally). I guess it was the right thing to do though, the integration. There had to be a mingling of all the kids to help pave the way toward acceptance as exposure to others replaces the unknown with the known. And it seems to have worked for the most part. There is and always will be racism but America is there to give those, whatever their differences, as long as they have the drive to achieve something, something better then the cards they were dealt with at birth. I remember a friend I made during those high school years. He was black and I was white. He got me through some close calls and I did the same for him. It wasn't that we were smart enough to preplan for such, circumstances just worked out that way. And I'm sure he won't be contributing to this site as his memories of the 60's can't be as fondly reminisced as mine or any other white kids memories would be. I abhor racism to this day.

All in all I had a fairly typical childhood in the 60's.  I had cousins in Ga, North Carolina, even New York.  I did get to visit a lot of my cousins.  Why my cousin in Ga even had a basement!  Wow!  Can you imagine that! You dig a hole in Fla and 9 times out of 10 you get wet.  Limestone is a bit unforgiving to people that dig in the wrong spot.  Unfortunately pretty much anywhere you dig in Fla is the wrong spot.  Uh oh, sinkhole!  We would play "Invaders" down there (no not the sinkhole, but the basement), and once I can recall a commerical for a new show that was coming on in the fall.  It was called Mannix and I loved that show, including the theme, when I finally got to watch it. I recall reading a few years ago that "Mannix" was considered the most violent show on in the 60's.  No wonder kids liked it.  Moving on I recall having a "Major Matt Mason, Mattels Man In Space".  Also, cherry bombs, black cat firecrackers, M-80's and roman candles abounded in those days.  I'm surprised that I have all my fingers.  I'm sure my tinnitus can be partially attributed to the afore mentioned explosives that we were frequently exposed to, in the glory days of fireworks.

I do believe the 60's were a turning point in history between the old and the new guard. What I mean by that is the fear of an ordinary citizen being taken out of their home to be beaten, or worse, went the way of the B+W movies. Happens occasionally but isn't mainstream. I'm unrealistically hoping to live long enough to live in a world where that will never happen again. Unfortunately 'immortal' isn't an attainable age.

 

Dianne Brown of Morwell Victoria Australia Remembers When the Beatles Came to Melbourne:

I am Australian and I have so many wonderful memories of the 60's ! I was born in 1955 and although I was still quite young, my memories are vivid.   
  
  
1964 still burns in my mind. I was 9 years old and a total Beatle fan. I would wear a plastic Beatle 'wig' to school every day, fall asleep every night listening to my Beatle 45's and 33 rpm's and lived and breathed all things 'Beatles'. Imagine my excitement when I found out that the Beatles would be visiting my home city of Melbourne !!! It was like a dream come true. They would be staying at the Southern Cross Hotel, right in the middle of the city and would be appearing on the balcony to greet their adoring public. That was it - I had to be there, no matter what. One slight problem - my mother. A friend of the family (16 years old) was going into the city to see the Fab 4 and I planned to go with her. Cutting a long story short, my mother decided I was "far too young to see The Beatles" and that I might be "killed in the crush." Needless to say, I didn't get to see my idols on their one and only visit to our country. I was devastated !!! The closest I got to them was seeing their plane fly overhead into the airport.  
   
40 years later, my mother bought me The Beatles No. 1 Hits with the inscription...."I am so sorry I didn't let you go to see them all those years ago, but I hope you understand how I felt. I hope this CD will make up for it." Well, I loved the CD, but sadly, it didn't make up for it, but being much older now, I can see things from her perspective.  
   
The 60's were carefree days for us kids in Australia. Every weekend in Summer, we would be at the beach. Up early every morning and our parents would not see us again all day until we decided we had better make an appearance and have lunch. A quick bite to eat and we were off again ! No-one worried about us being abducted or drowning back then. They knew we would be back before dark. Then it was a night of camping on the beach with a roaring fire going and watching our dad and uncle surf-fishing and we would listen to the radio. A full moon and still a very hot 90 degrees at 11.00 pm. Going through can after can of Aerogard (to keep the mosquitoes from biting), having a barbeque of sausages and bread and a quick shower at night and then up early again in the morning to do it all again.  
   
My walls were covered with pin-ups of Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. I would wait a whole month for US magazines to hit our newsagents so I could tear out the latest picture to add to my collection.   
   
My favourite year in the 60's was 1967 - my favourite songs - To Sir With Love, Groovin' & The Letter. I was 12 years old and my weekends were spent at my friend's place and we would ride our bicycles 4 miles to the local weir (dam) to swim and ride horses. We would cool off in the water, then ride our bicycles all the way home again, most of the time in 100 degree heat. We would experiment with cigarettes and feel quite grown up when we managed to do the 'drawback' without coughing our hearts out and feeling quite sick the next day!   
   
Sneaking out the bedroom window on a Saturday night and walking 3 doors down the street to attend the local dance at the town hall, looking much more older than we were - dancing until our feet were so sore we could hardly walk and then trying to sneak back home again without the floorboards creaking and giving us away!  
   
I love listening to my favourite radio station here in Australia - Magic 1278 http://www.magic1278.com.au/ A great digital radio station that plays all the 60's music. It is amazing how just listening to one song can take me back to 1967. I can still smell the suntan lotion, Aerogard and remember the hot summer sun from those carefree days.  
   
P.S. And even though my dear mother passed away in 2008, I never really did forgive her for not letting me see the Beatles in 1964!  
  
 

Ken Meder of Middle Heights, Ohio remembers growing up in the 60s:

 

I live and breathe the 60's even though it is 2012.

Even as the war in Vietnam raged, the war protesters and the civil rights folks were demonstrating, it was an innocent time in my life. My teens started in November of 1964 but I considered myself a teen before that for this reason. Being an only child, my brothers were my cousins Johnny and Artie who were a few years older than me. They taught me things and took me places that made me feel "older and wiser" than I really was. They gave me my first leather jacket and Stetson wing tip shoes with the suede insert. Took me for rides in their souped up cars and combed my hair in the "greaser" style much to my mothers dismay.

Here in Middleburg Heights, we had Southland Shopping Center which became the place to be. We would all go to Royal Castle Hamburgers and get a 6 pack of sliders and a birch beer to go, cross the street and meet by the outdoor clock in front of Southland Drug Store and just hang out and wait to see if any girls came by. Most of the time we were alone but there were times when a group of girls would show up and we would laugh and tell lies trying to impress the chicks! I'm sure they though we were just so cool... especially when one of our parents would drive up there and tell us "we got 20 minutes to get our asses home, or else".

I still try to keep the 60's alive today. My radio is tuned to the 60's station most of the time. My IPhone has well over 700 50's and 60's music stored. I've made great friends for life at my last class reunion, people who I wasn't close to in school but have become a huge part of my life today. We are doing our best to keep "our 60's memories" alive every month when many of us get together. It was a time of great worry for our country and the world but it was an age of innocence for me.

Rocco Navarro of West Chester, Pa remembers Philly in the 60s:

I remember at age 8 when we would go downtown to John Wanamaker’s Department store, you had to be all dressed up. My mother and sister would wear a hat & gloves. Everything was so more convenient back then; Friday the Fish Man would come on horse and wagon with fresh fish right to your door, the Produce man would do the same. Then we had the Umbrella man that fixed umbrellas and sharpened knives.    

Window washers would always stop by, milk, eggs, butter, bread and orange juice would be delivered to your step and no one would ever steal it. Almost every corner in South Philly had some kind of store; Shoe Repair, cleaners, hardware store, butcher, bakery, food and cloths. I wonder what happened to that world, why did it end? Now there are hardly any mom & pop stores and you need to drive to the mega stores for all your needs and now everything is from China and made so cheap. I have a Toaster from 1951 that I still use, the Chrome is beautiful, you don’t see that American Chrome any longer.

People talk about being green, those were the days of being green because we had hardly any plastic, you didn’t need a car because you could walk to any store and the American Products lasted for years and didn’t need to be thrown in a dump after a year of use. I remember a truck that was a Kidde ride called the Whip would stop by each neighborhood and give the kids a ride for 25 cents, also the Ferris Wheel, Fire Truck, Pony Rides and Ice Cream Truck. 

I also remember the Pretzel Man with his little cart with glass panes that had a flame keeping the pretzels nice and hot and the Waffle & Ice Cream man had the same thing. I guess things changed because of the global corporations put mom & pop out of business because they were able to buy from China so cheap and mom & pop could not. Really miss those days, seems people had more dignity back then. These days the Pretzel man, Waffle man and Umbrella man could not survive because they would surely be robbed. How did we go from that world to this world today?


Kimberly Durbin of California recalls what she misses most about the 60s:  

What I miss about the 60’s  is simple anticipation.  waiting all week for the Patridge Family and Brady Bunch shows and hardly being able to eat dinner because I was so excited for the holiday Peanuts Special; having to wait for an entire year to see the Wizard of Oz;   not able to sleep because I couldn’t believe we were going to actually land on the moon the next day.    
  
That hot California summer day in 1969 sitting in a hard armless kitchen chair in front of the black and white tv on it’s rolling cart with the box fan whirring next to me constantly adjusting the rabbit ears to get the best picture possible of the miraculous event happening before my very eyes. On that particular day I remember having this new exotic treat..fruit at the bottom yogurt...yum...strawberry...in the waxy paper cup.  
  
I loved that feeling of freedom and adventure that anything can happen today when your bike was everything. Who needed a special off road dirt bike? Nothing stopped me and my blue Huffy. Back then I would push the envelope and go downhill on a rocky dirt road..have a huge wipeout...survive..and never tell my parents which would become my adventure..my secret.  
  
In california kids ate all day. We would eat walnuts in the grove as we climbed the trees. Our streets were lined with loaded sweet cumquat trees. I remember how we would suck on lemons, oranges and pop apricots like candy. We were never sick.  
  
On my street a sweet elderly lady would make a lollipop garden by her front door. We  never took more than one. I realized later that she was a character actress in all kinds of movies. her name escapes me at the moment but I remember her in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken as the mayors loud and bossy wife..she was the house maid in the 60’s show The ghost and Mrs. Muir and many many many other tv shows and movies.  
  
I loved my Barbie doll and only one mind you. She was treasured and still is to this day. The Barbie I have was the first talking Barbie. I would take several trips to the toy store to finally decide on what outfit I would ask for on my birthday. again, anticipation. I never did get the Barbie Dream House and somehow survived the disappointment. but I cherish the memory of being so excited to see the Dream House in the store and do just that..dream, that was the best part in hindsight.  
  
Today's instant gratification is actually kind of sad. what has happened to dreaming and wondering and anticipation? oh yeah, Madison Avenue.  
 

 

Bob Vanderclock of Monroe, NY Remembers a Night in 1964:  My wonderful HS lady Karen and I, seniors in 1963-64, were "necking" one night in my car-summer after Graduation in the unshadowed darkness of the Waldwick NJ community park. Just us, nobody else anywhere at all.....at least for maybe ten minutes until a Waldwick cop quickly rode over over , stuck a big huge flashlight in our eyes and proceeded to ream us out so badly that it left us almost in a complete state of shock considering the little we were doing was, even then, far less than you'd be seeing on television!  
  
It occurred to me that , with my dad also being a very fearless cop in the next town over where I lived - Midland Park - maybe there was a little 'politics' being demonstrated here, since this brutish 'peace officer" required my last name and certainly would've recognized it....but in the fear of the moment all I could think of was "God, why the RIOT act!?" After the histrionics, he then left but not without first warning us we'd "better not be there" when he makes a second sweep of the area in a few minutes.  
  
We were, as the song goes, dazed and confused momentarily..looking at each other like we were almost strangers . I drove us off...very carefully so....and we were both thinking what just happened here? I drove her to her house, not too far away....now anticipating that if we had been petting or some such thing (which wouldn't have been "too much", honestly).....perhaps we'd have been SHOT! Believe me, I eliminated any thoughts of a sexual nature for at least two weeks after that. On the other hand, Karen and I are still good friends and we recently spent a few hours together on the morning on Jan. 20. She'd broken her hip in late August and I wanted to say hi and see how she was doing. Although there was still a bit of a limp in her walking she seemed to be doing well and said she's progressing and is still upbeat as always.  
Of the many times since 1964 that we've conversed , reminisced and laughed heartily over our 60's experiences , there's one "remembrance' we've never even re-broached. Guess which?  
 

Marshall Massengale of Sugar Hill, GA recalls a special memory of the 60s - In January 1962, my family took delivery of the first brand new car for which I can remember being present and for which that intoxicating so-called new car smell, consisting mainly of pure virgin vinyl upholstery, created a lasting impression. The car was a Wimbledon White 1962 Ford Falcon station wagon with a luggage carrier on top and featured cool blue all-vinyl upholstery and the optional padded dashboard. My mother was so proud of this car that I remember riding around for days with the window sticker still on it. That was the way of things back then as this ritual announced to the world at large that one had purchased a brand new car. It was almost a form of unwritten law or etiquette that dictated one should always display a new car window sticker for at least one week after delivery as a matter of prestige. Naturally, this became a point of conversation over many a cup of coffee in the neighborhood. "Did you hear that so-and-so got a new car? Yeah! A new Ford Falcon wagon! Oh, wow!!!!"

Time marches on, of course, and, over time, the new car lost its luster. "Painted wings and giant's rings make way for other toys." By 1965, my parents had bought a used, 1964 Ford Country Sedan which moved into the number one spot in the driveway. Unlike the Falcon, the newer fleet mate featured dual headlights, a relatively powerful, small block V-8 engine, power steering, power brakes and a three-speed Ford Cruise-O-Matic transmission. Heady stuff back in the day. In 1967, I came of age and learned to drive--in the Falcon, naturally. Its legacy in lacking power-boosted conveniences, as well as possessing a manual choke and a small, inline six cylinder engine having all the performance of the average garden slug, made it the perfect 16-year old's learner's platform--at least as far as my parents were concerned. I took my driving test in the Falcon and was rewarded with my first drivers license issued by the State of Illinois. The same day, I made my first solo trip in the Falcon, to the drug store to buy my mother a pack of cigarettes.


The 1960s were perhaps better known for cool cars like the big Wide Track Pontiacs, the awesome muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, the flashy convertibles and coupes like the Chevy Impala SS and powerful V-8s with huge cubic inch displacements and lots of raw, gas guzzling horsepower.  And while one could only drool over the colorful brochures and envy those who actually owned such automobiles or whose friends' families possessed them, there were those of us who languished in the obscurity of the mundane who owe their early auto associations to the humble likes of Rambler Classic, Plymouth Valiant, Studebaker Lark, or, in my case, Ford Falcon.  But looking back, it is with a measure of great personal pride that I point out to younger friends who have no knowlege of three-on-the-tree, 460 air conditioning or Flintstonian braking that, yes, I was born to this world in the early Ford-O-Matic period when Dyna-Flows roamed the earth.

 

Tom Atkins of Avalon Borough, PA recalls a memory of Woodstock - I did not attend the festival in August of 1969 - I was vacationing in Nags Head, on the Outer Banks, at that time. However, I did see the Walter Cronkite report on the CBS-TV news about the festival, and in May of 1970, I, and my prom date, became two of the very first people to view the "Woodstock" documentary film. I had won two tickets to the Pittsburgh premiere of the film from of a rock radio station in Pittsburgh.The old homestead, where I grew up, had one of the first "Touch-Tone" (registered trademark) phones in Avalon, PA. So, I used to win lots of items from radio stations! They would say "to the first caller," and that would often be me! That phone was not "modular." It was installed by an official "Ma Bell" (Bell Telephone) technician. My Uncle Ralph had a small business in the house, and he wanted "push-button" service, just as soon as it was offered to our local area. He got it!  It was shown at a small theater in Shadyside, PA, on Walnut street. I was soon to purchase the 3 record set, via mail-order, as soon as it was released in the summer of 1970.

Jimmy Murphy Remembers It Well - The 60's , What can I say ? Being a Baby Boomer , and born in 1957 , the 60's were my Life ! I'm now a Collector of all things Baby Boomer . From comics , to baseball cards & memorabilia , to classic toys , to old monster models , to antiques , to 1960 -70's T.V Shows , to books , to anything od . All this , I believe is because of my GREAT childhood , living in the 60's .

  
I was lucky enough to be born into a great family ! Two great parents , and two great sisters . I believe why I love the music that I Love , is because of the Influence of my 2 Older Sisters. From " The Beach Boys " , to " Bread " , to " Carly Simon " , to " The Beatles " , to The Monkees ' to the " The British Invasion ". I'm a Guy who Loves the Easy Listening Music . That's okay , though , I still love " The Stones " to " The Eagles " to "Bad Company " ! But the 60's - Top 40 Music , will always be #1.  
  
How Easy was Growing Up , in the 60's , on Long Island , New York... . Not a care in the world ! No bills , No jobs , No pressure ! The most pressure was hoping you had enough money for The Good Humor Man. I remember collecting empty bottles for 2 cents . redeeming them at " Gunthers " Deli . 10 cents would get you the Ice Pop in the shape of a Rocket Ship - Remember them ? Three flavors of Great tasting Frozen Goodness ! Or how 'bout going down to WoolWorths , and buying an ice cream cone butfirst you picked out a balloon with a price tag in it . The clerk would pop it , and you would see how much you had to pay. It could be from a penny , to a quarter . Most of the time , I got a quarter . Ha Ha !!   
   
My wife says most of my childhood memories involve Food! I think she's right ! Ha Ha !! Anybody remember Daisey Dounuts? It was a Van that came around during the summer , selling fresh donuts . My parents never had enough money for them but I was lucky enough to have a close friend whose parents had money. Somehow , I was always at her house , when Daisey Donuts showed up . Probably , the Best Donuts I've ever eaten!  
  
I am a collector because of my father. I remember Sunday Night getting in our 64 Chevy Station Wagon with my him and going garbage picking . We'd drive around the Island , looking for GOOD STUFF " that folks would thow-out . If you did that now the cops would be called.  
  
How great were the summers back in our childhood! Riding our Stingray bikes , early in the morning , and not having to be home till dinner . That was the only summer rule - Be home for dinner . All night and day , playing with my friends . bicycle tag, softball, Frisbee, BB-Guns, GI Joe's, Hotwheels , going swimming. How come my GI Joe Frogman never made it through his first summer of diving ? Ha Ha !!, Nothing but freedom ! It was GREAT !! Remember the first bad sunburn you had? I remember my Mom rubbing it with vinegar - what a smell !! UCK !!  
  
I do remember the Cuban Missile Crisis , though and helping my father build a fallout shelter , in our basement. We filled it with canned goods, water and beer [ Schlitz ] . Of couse I didn't understand the severity of it . To me , it was just fun . Helping my pop , listening to the Radio [AM - WMCA Good Guys , and all the great music] . When my parents passed away , and we sold their house . I found cans of beans with 10 cent labels on them. Wow !!  
  
Here's my list of my favorite things from the 60's . Aurora Monster Models [ Especially The Creature fom the Black Lagoon ] , Topps Baseball Cards , Kool-Aid , The Munsters / Addams Family , The Monkees , T.V .Dinners [a Birthday Treat, in my House.] I just loved them ! Especially the Chocolate Brownie Desert , Halloween falling on a Saturday [All-Day Trick-or-Treating] , Chiller Theater , Silver Christmas Tree with the Rotating Multi-Colored Light Projector , Hotwheel Cars , The 1961 N.Y.Yankees , Wacky-Packs , Bewitched , Batman , Saturday Morning Cartoons , Yogi Bear & Quick Draw McGraw on Corn Flakes /Rice Crispies boxes , The Bowery Boys , My Stingray bike , with the extended front forks & Wheelie Bar , Give-A-Show Projectors , all Beatles 45's , Wonderful World of Color, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid , my 68 Dodge Charger, Desiree [my first girlfriend] and Devil Dogs [the big ones , not the little 2 pack of today] .  
   
So to me , the 1960's were great . I believe that I'm the man I am today , because of them . I love your website . Keep up the good work . Long -live the 60's!!  

Linda of New Jersey Loves the sixties especially the early sixties.  I was born in 1952 so I can remember 1961-1964 before the British Invasion as they called it. There were 5 of us kids and I was the oldest. I live in New Jersey, and one of the best places to go at that time was the shore. Especially a place called Wildwood, New Jersey. I can still hear Soldier Boy, My Boyfriends Back, It's My Party, Sealed with a Kiss, and so many more playing on WABC AM Station. Cousin Brucie, and Dan Ingram. I remember getting such a good feeling listening to those songs.

In Wildwood at that time, there were clubs on every corner just blaring with music. I remember we ate in a pizza place next to a club where Bobby Rydell was singing, and I could hear him through the wall very clear. We stood outside for a little bit to listen. We couldn't go in the club, because all of us were too young. I'm sure my parents would have loved to go in there. No babysitters in Wildwood. Those days were so much fun and a very big part of my memory.

I also can remember playing my mother and fathers 45 records on a big Hi Fi. That's what I remember it being called back then.  We did a lot of dancing in the living room in those days. My parents were always pretty much up to date with what was playing on the radio, and I can remember my Dad coming in the house with a new 45 that he wanted my Mom to hear. Two records I remember the most that he came home with was Mission Bell by Donnie Brooks, and the other one was called The Big Hurt, I think by Toni Fisher. When I think of all those memories of the past, I always get this wonderful feeling inside of me. When I hear the song Mission Bell playing on a Memory Station, I start to get choked up because I remember the day my Father played that song for my Mom, and let her know that was the way he felt about her. They were so much in love. Those are the days I cherish with the music and my parents. 


I feel so blessed that I was able to experience some of the music from the late fifties and all the music from the sixties. I was able to see the change, and the change became my generation. I would lay up in my room with neon posters all over my walls and blast my music so loud you could hear it two blocks away. lol. I guess kids never change. We like to ruin our ears. I loved all the music from the sixties. It was awesome being a teenager then. I was just the right age to experience this wonderful era.


My two favorites who I never let go of was Lesley Gore, and Johnny Maestro from the Crests and The Brooklyn Bridge. They stayed my favorites to this day. Johnny Maestro passed away recently, and I cried my eyes out. I must have seen him perform 100 times in the New Jersey area. I got to talk to him a few times and he is the nicest guy you ever wanted to meet. What a voice!! Thank God his music will never pass away.

John Doro Remembers When - After reading most of your entries which I thoroughly enjoyed I figured I had to say something. I grew up (some of my friends will doubt that part) in the South Bronx in the fifties and early sixties and to this day I still play my 45's and LP's and do the twist and mashed potato in the solace of my basement. I remember going to the Brooklyn Fox to see fifteen acts at the Murray the K shows, seeing a movie and getting a free album. I still think doo wop is the best but I did transition a little bit to BTO, Steppenwolf and the like. Never really was a Beatle's fan but I do have some of their "sides". As I read some of the entries, I was and still am fascinated by those who grew up in the Midwest and were you very much different than I. Even though I was in the Air Force at Rantoul in Illinois, it wasn't like I could experience the "growing up". Thanks for listening and for sharing your memories. By the way, fizzies were mentioned. Do you remember "flav-r-straws" where they had a piece of felt in the middle flavored with chocolate or strawberry and as you drank milk through it, you would get chocolate or strawberry flavored milk.    

Grace Fulljames Remembers the 60s - Although I was born in 1956, I remember the 60s quite well, especially since I had an older sister and brother who kept me up to date with the latest music and the current issue of MAD Magazine.

My brother had a band and they'd practice down in our cellar. I remember the words "What a day for a daydream" sticking in my mind. They played a lot of the Young Rascals as well.

As I was young in the 60s, I was very much into The Monkees, Bobby Sherman and earlier on, The Beatles. My friends and I decided to go as The Beatles one year for Halloween. Woolworth had the costumes with those plastic masks that made your face sweat no matter how cold it was outside. As clever as we thought we were, we did not think about who would be who...and consequently we had three "Pauls" and one "John".

When the Monkees came along the Beatles were quickly pushed aside by me and my peers much to my sister and brother's chagrin, I watched their television show faithfully and wore down my 45 of "Last Train to Clarksville". I was in love with Davy. No amount of teasing from my older siblings could break up this love affair .... They were the first "boy band" of it's kind.

As a Producer of Echoes of the 60s, I can now appreciate the music of the decade that truly influenced a generation of Americans and those abroad. It isn't that I didn't remember these songs, it was that I didn't appreciate them as much back then because of my age. When I hear songs such as these now, my mind goes back to summer nights in Connecticut, chasing lightning bugs, playing tag and lying in bed falling asleep to the songs on the radio. I remember them well, it just took the show to remind me. Grace Fulljames, Las Vegas, NV

 

Fond Memories of the 60s

Terry from Cleveland, Ohio Remembers 1964: I realize that hindsight is always' better then the reality, And I know the 60's had it's share of "bad time's", But I guess my brain just refuse's to admit it, or just "needs" to remember the good times. Anyway, growing up in Cleveland,Ohio was for me a Wonderful experience. It seems as though the years that had gone before were leading up to the best part of my life.

1964 seemed magical, I won't try to analyze it, it was just "different". The movies,television, even people were different and ,kids certainly were. The Beatles hit BIG that year, I started collecting records,( which I still have,about 1500 of those round, black time machines.) Roy Orbison's "Oh Pretty Woman" was the first one I bought. I have just about every song that was out at that time. I went to the beach in the summer with friends, Ah,swimming in Lake Erie, (it wasn't as dirty then and I didn't go out far 'cause I couldn't swim ,still can't), building my aurora monster models, coming home from school for lunch, drinking real milk from real bottles that the milkman delivered.( is it me,or did everything taste better back then?) I remember riding my bike over the High Level Bridge from the west side of Cleveland to go downtown, well, I wasn't allowed to have my bike for awhile after that, ( my mom said I could have been killed.) But it was worth it. My friends and I toured all of downtown Cleveland, stopping at the Higgbee Co. and marveling at the toy section, we even stopped at the library (just wanted to check out Edgar Alan Poe). On the way home we stopped at a Newberrys store where I bought a chameleon for 29 cents,The evening's were m (unfortunately he or she came to a sad and accidental end when he invaded my toy town and I shot a plastic missile at him,or her.Terrible.)

The evenings were magical in their own way. On warm summer nights, my friends and I would get an extension cord and take the radio outside to listen to the latest songs on WHK radio ( color channel 14 ). Back then parents didn't have to worry about their kids being abducted, and we didn't get in any trouble. I remember the BIG bottles of coca-cola. I believe they cost 15 cents, even that tasted better back then, (We called it Pop ). We would sit under the stars and a street light and trade comic books and monster cards. Funny now, I can only recall a few names and faces, even though there were a lot of us on those nights. I remember Larry, who drowned in Lake Erie later in the year.

Even now the smell of newly cut grass or smoke from a BBQ sends me back to those days. As I think of my sis it takes me back. It's difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there at the time just what the "feeling" was or how the days and nights seemed so "special", perhaps it was youth and the feeling that we were never going to age and die. There is so much to remember and miss. The Magic of 1964 sailed straight through into 1965 and '66, There were great times to be had in '67,'68 and yes, even 1969. But by the '70's everything had changed, the innocence was gone, childhood had disappeared, but the memories of the '60's and those wonderful magical days and nights are still with me. I still find myself reaching out to those memories and go back once in awhile to be a kid again. Thanks For Allowing Me To Share. Terry

 

 

 Summer of 1967

Joe Cole of Weatherford, Texas remembers: Summer of 1967 I had a new '67 Corvette and every Sunday there was a big thing in Trinity Park in Ft. Worth, Texas where there was lots of music and the smell of illicit weed and pretty girls dancing around in little summer dresses. Guys had long hair and there was magic in the air. It was like everybody knew everybody else although there were sometimes a couple hundred people there, in the park along the Trinity River. It's funny, but now that I'm in my early 60s I look back and it seems like it was always summer in my memories. I wonder about a lot of my old friends who moved on and blended in. I've managed to stay me. I lived my life as an artist and still got the long hair even though I've always been rather conservative. I just listen to 60s music and paint. Still in Texas.

 

"Hippies, Honeys and Gas Money"

John Nix of Spartansburg, South Carolina remembers:  During the summer of 1969 I left the first real job I ever undertook and, after incurring my mothers wrath and a lecture on stability, began to look around for something to do that would be car related. Having all the ambition of the typical teenage slacker type did not help my pursuit much as the things that most interested me required effort and hard work, two things that I constantly evaded due to the fact that they did not seem to me to be the fun thing to do. It never ceases to amaze me to this very day that the very things that would have made life more interesting to me later could have been obtained with just a little effort and study on my part then. Things like being a part of a successful racing team in NASCAR or the NHRA could have been a career goal with just a little input on my behalf. I grew up in the heart of NASCAR country and after training at the local High School Vocational Center had the machinist skills and the contacts to have gotten involved. But the laziness in me was a beast that I could not tame at the time. I must admit that at that age I was the consummate quitter. I abandoned any arduous task ever undertaken as soon as it stopped being fun. This was one of the character faults that I possessed that made my mother gnash her teeth, both upper and lower plates, in frustration. In any event I had just left a perfectly respectable job as a bagboy for the now defunct Community Cash grocery store and was looking for that certain perfect job, the qualities of which would have been high pay, low responsibility, plenty of off time and zero physical output. My quitting Community Cash was just the first in a long lone of employment where my excuse for leaving employment might have been as insignificant as not liking the color of the bosses shirt or as serious as the fact that it might require rising too early in the morning to report for work.

So after pumping the last of my vast savings, one dollar and forty cents, into the gas tank of my old 1959 Ford I nonchalantly walked up to the pump jockey manning the straight back chair leaning onto the wall at the front door and inquired of employment. The name on the shirt indicated that his name was Dexeter and after observing his demeanor at my having disturbed his studiously reading a Superman comic book I began to understand why his mother named him with such a hideous moniker as she probably hated him at first sight as well. Either that or she could not spell Dexter correctly. After old Dexeter curled up his lip and snorted as if dog crap had just been inserted into both nostrils he gave me the old thumb jerk over the shoulder with the old bird finger extended for good measure into the office area where the station owner was busy killing flies with a swatter and counting out the change form the money box on the candy machine. As cool as I possibly could, all the while hoping that he would say no, I asked about a job. The owner stopped killing flies long enough to look me over for all of twenty seconds and began the job interview as follows.

OWNER: "Ever pumped gas before?"
ME: "You mean before just now?"
OWNER: "You mean you just pumped your own gas?"
ME: "Yes sir."
OWNER: "Dexeter didn't pump your gas?"
ME: "No sir."
OWNER: "Know anything about cars?"
ME: "I keep my old Ford Running."
OWNER: "You smoke that there marijuana?"
ME: "No sir. Don't smoke at all."
OWNER: "Why is your hair so long? You ain't trying to be a Hippie are you?"
ME: "No sir. My mother won't abide long hair. It's just been a while between haircuts is all."
OWNER: "Hell son, it's pert near over the tops of your ears, I ain't working no Hippies!"
ME: "No sir.
OWNER: "You a slacker?"
ME: "No sir (a lie first thing)."
OWNER: "Well I'll give you a shot I reckon, two weeks trial and if you work out we'll talk about you staying on. Pays seventy five cents an hour, no tips accepted by yourself it goes in the jar here on the desk to be split by me and Dexeter. When I'm not here he's lead man. You'll be pumping gas, changing tires and oil changes. When we ain't busy you better be pushing a broom or cleaning up. I don't allow anybody I'm paying a whole seventy five cents an hour to be standing around looking stupid. I do inventory every night (a lie I later found out) and if you steal anything from me I'll have the law on you even if it's just a tootsie roll. Hours will be from ten o'clock in the morning until I say you're done whether it's two hours or ten. Don't ask for no time off early and if you're five seconds late to work don't bother to stop cause you're fired. Also don't ever take advantage of my easy going nature cause I don't forget crap. Any questions?"
ME: "No sir, well just one, when do I start?"
OWNER: "I guess when you decided to pump your own gas just a while ago since I don't let customers pump their own"

So began my long and glorious career as a pump jockey for the Interstate Arco Station. My days there would be filled with the smell of gasoline, oil in my hair and busted fingers from the finicky tire machine that never seemed to operate as designed. Also since I had incurred the wrath of old Dexeter, his having had an ass chewing by the owner for my pumping my own gas, he took every chance to make my life hell. At the time one of the oil companies were putting small plastic discs in the bottom of their oil additive cans that were redeemable for cash, usually ten cents or so, and after selling the customer the additive one would keep the discs to be cashed in with the company sales representative on his rounds to the various dealers.

Dexeter soon informed me that the promotion was only intended for full time help and I was not considered full time I could not collect any reward and since that was the case he would be collecting all my discs for his personal satisfaction. Old Dexeter was good about changing up the rules or just making them up on the spot if the notion called for it. I learned early on not to go to the owner about Dexeter. Mostly Dexeter never even got called onto the carpet but the owner would just chew on my big ass instead. And when Dexter did get hauled in he would just roll that crap on down the hill till it fell on me. There was another part timer there by the name of Larry. Larry was a black kid that lived close by and until I arrived bore the brunt of Dexeter's displeasure whether real or perceived. Larry was okay and even though we went to the same school I did not know him until starting at the station. Larry had a funny routine when you asked him his name. He would go into a long drawn out, multiple name recitation of then popular basket ball players that were supposed to be his name. The result came out to be something like "Larry, Archie B, Luscious Allen, Debusey, Charlie Scott, Smith!" Larry was either a big basketball fan or just liked long officious sounding names I never figured out which. Larry's greatest skill though was dodging work but looking like he was so busy that he did not have time to stop for water. It was an art for which I had great admiration but as hard as I tried I never developed the knack for. I could be busting my butt trying to dodge Dexeter, catch the pumps, service the oil bay and clean the bathrooms and would still get yelled at by the owner for not working as hard as Larry, who would look up with a weary face and a sheepish grin and keep sweeping the same spot that he had been for the last hour in a slow, repetitive easy pace. Needlessly to say my days at the station were numbered from the very start. Only one thing ever happened there that could be seen by me as a favorable memory. It remains as clear a memory as if it happened yesterday and after all these years still will bring a slight grin to my face when I recount the story to someone else.

It was about the first of August. Summertime in the south is when the humidity and heat hold almost equal numbers on their respective scales and the haze has set in to make it so hot you can hardly breathe. Off in the distance dark storm clouds gather and lightening flashes with the promise of rain that may or may not come. When rain does come mostly it is in the form of that typical southern downpour that lasts all of five minutes and then just blows on through. The time was about six thirty in the afternoon and the owner had left for the day leaving Dexeter to run the station and generally torment the part time help. Dexeter had taken the shop tow truck and left to go pick up his supper from a nearby diner, not offering to bring me anything back and me afraid to ask him to for what he might do to the food before I got it back. Larry was in the service bay sweeping the same spot for the third time that day and generally just trying to stay in the shade. As I was washing down the pump islands I heard a rattle and a banging noise coming from the lower entrance to the lot. I looked up to see an old International delivery van bounce over the manhole cover like every shock absorber had been removed from its mounting. After it bounced back and forwards for a few more feet a scraping noise emanated from the front wheel hubs that clearly indicated that the brake shoes were running metal on metal.


If you have ever seen a modern day UPS truck with the side doors slid back you have a close idea as to what type of truck this was, only think smaller and used and abused. I mean this thing was already twenty years old and five years past service ability, but the owner had taken what should have been in a wrecking yard and had gotten it on the road. As the old bread van, a faded Sunny Bread sign could be observed through the present garish canned paint job, came to a wheezing stop at the pump island I could see a youngish white male, hereafter known as Hippie1, with shoulder length hair pushing on the brake pedal with all his might. Finally bringing the old van to a stop he gave me this curiously disconnected look of non concern to his driving ability and asked me what town he was in. After informing him where he was located he inquired as to the toilet facilities. If the owner had been present he would have been told that the "Ladies Room" is closed for repairs and that his hair was too long to be in the "Men's Room".

After directing Hippie1 to the restroom another young male with identical length hair, hereafter known as Hippie2, climbed down from the passenger seat. While I had been speaking with the Hippie1, the passenger, Hippie2 had been digging through the accumulated clutter on the top of the engine compartment, known to mechanics as the "dog house", much like a raccoon would through a trash can. At first I could not figure out what it was that he was looking for but after his exit from the seat I could see that he was cupping both hands together to hold a variety of coins, mostly nickels, dimes and pennies. Neither of the two occupants seemed overly concerned with attire with Hippie1 wearing only cut off jean shorts and "Jesus" sandals nor Hippie2 who was dressed in faded and holey bib overalls with the holes covered by various patches. All the patches were embroidered "head shop" purchases with the predominant theme being peace, love and dope with the standard peace sign insignia prominently displayed on the back pockets. Hippie2 walked up to me while he slowly counted the various coins and stood swaying while his obviously fuzzy mental process computed the total of the handful of coins. The conversation that followed between us went something like this:

Hippie2: "One dollar eighty or eighty two, I lost count."
Me: "How much should I pump?"
Hippie2: "What?"
Me: "How much?"
Hippie2: "How much what?"
Me: "Gas, how much you want?"
Hippie2: "How much can I get?"
Me: "Well, a dollar eighty or eighty two cents worth depending."
Hippie2: "Depending on what?"
Me: "On how much you have there."
Hippie2:"Oh! Hold a minute brother I'll be right back."

With a look of utter concentration he walked away towards the back of the bread van and began to untie the rag holding the door handles together which functioned to keep the doors closed while traveling. At about this time Hippie1 returned from the restroom and approached the back of the van where Hippie2 and I were standing and joined in on the paused conversation which went as follows:
Hippie1: "How much?"
Hippie2: "How much what?"
Hippie1: "Bread man, how much bread?"
Hippie2: "Don't know yet man, still digging."
Hippie1: "Hey gas dude, could you spare a brother a little bread to help out. We need to get this rolling crash pad back to Raleigh man."
Me: "Sorry dude, I got no cash myself and the pumps have to check up at shift end."
Hippie1: "S, ok man it's cool you know."
Hippie1: "You checked in the back to see if the crews got any bread?"
Hippie2: "Just checking it out now man."

Hippie2 finished untying the rag and swung both doors open which flooded the previously dark space with light from the evening sunshine. The interior had been divided just past the two seats up front with some sort of rug that had a Turkish looking design woven in. The rug effectively reduced the interior lighting but surely stopped any ventilation that might have come from the front doors. There was a screened window of sorts in both sides but these two were covered by what appeared to be non matching bath towels. A large thick foam mattress was on the van floor and several pieces of what appeared to be standard flat bed sheets were piled on top. As I stood there trying to get my eyes accustomed to the darkness I saw the sheets start to move. It became obvious to me that at least one and maybe more bodies were under the sheets. Pretty soon another male form appeared, whom hereafter shall be called Hippie3, and began trying to come alive from a previous comatose situation. To this day I could not swear if he was passed out or just asleep. Hippie3 was dark skinned and dark haired with features that appeared to be of middle eastern descent, possibly Italian or Lebanese or one of the other countries in that area of the world. His hair, while probably just as long as his counter parts, appeared shorter due to the intense curliness of it and were fashioned into a large Afro style. The conversation resumed.
Hippie1: "Hey man, you got any bread left?"
Hippe3: "S*** man, where the hell are we?"
Hippie1: "Place called Spartansburg or something."
Hippie2: "Man, you got any bread?"
Hippie3: "Naw man, I'm tapped, have you asked these two chicks yet?"
Hippie2: "Not yet man, wake em up and check."

At this point Hippie3 pulled the sheets further away and began to untangle himself from what suddenly appeared to be two very feminine legs. My attention span just increased dramatically. As Hippie3 kept moving around it also became obvious that he was decidedly unclothed and as bare as a newborn. I slid my gaze away because to look at another male naked was to immediately invite speculation that you may be gay so no teen male at that time ever, ever, got caught looking at another guy naked. My gaze returned to the general area though with laser focus when it dawned on me that if he was naked that maybe the "chicks" were too. After pulling on the sheets further Hippie3 finally found the end and flung the sheets back to reveal the other two occupants. At this point my mind suddenly started internally shouting "eureka" and the sound of a heavenly choir kicked in singing the "hallelujah" refrain of Handel's masterpiece. In full display, and with that natural look so prevalent of that generation, were two of the most gorgeous female forms that I had seen up close and personal to that time. Including these two I had gazed at a total of three to this point of my existence which now qualified me as a connoisseur of the female form. Oh sure, I had sneaked looks at Playboy magazines and anything other that remotely displayed female flesh, including the Sears lingerie section of their giant catalog. But this was up close and personal. Why it seemed that I could just reach out and touch it. Why I could just reach out and touch it! I fully expected that Hippie3 would cover the girls back up but he just kept looking for his cutoff shorts that were lost in the tangle.

The two girls were beginning to stir and I fully expected them to shout and be angry at being exposed. It became apparent that they were either used to being stared at naked or just did not care that I was there. So here I stood mouth agape, focus locked and dazed at the two wonders that I had discovered. I think the two girls were pretty in the face; however, I could not swear they were since I could not get my gaze above there chests. But they had two fine bodies. I am talking centerfold quality and firm as only two teenage girls can be. The both of them began to casually look for clothes to put on and eventually ended up with cutoff jeans and tank tops with no underwear in their hands. As they began to move around one of them, Hippie Chick1, looked up at me and kind of gave me this curious look as if she was trying to figure out if we had met previously. Hippie Chick2 lay back on the mattress and slid the shorts in her hands up her shapely legs and sort of raised her butt up of the floor as she pulled them over her hips giving me a fine but quick "beaver shot" before she sat back up.

Hippie Chick1 started scooting towards the back of the van with the intention of getting out it seemed but stopped short with just her legs sticking out over the back bumper. At this point she reached down and pulled her pair of shorts up her equally shapely legs and just stood for a quick second to pull the shorts all the way and sat back down. At this point they both still were topless and did not seem to care less. Hippie Chick1 pulled on a tie-dyed men's style athletic t-Shirt, the kind that resembles a woman's tank top but is looser cut under the arms and tighter across the chest area. It appeared that the hair under her arms had not been shaved in a while but I could not detect much under arm odor. The hair on her legs was just a little long, long enough that they appeared to be turning soft instead of stubbly. Her hair color, I had seen every where she could have possibly had hair too, was an almost white blond so the long hair on her legs did not stand out so readily. She put her feet down on the blacktop but had not taken more than one step away when she whirled back around and sat back on the rear of the old van. "Shit ya'll" she cried, "that stuffs to hot to walk on" she said as she pointed at the pavement. "Where's my flops at" she asked Hippie Chick2. Hippie Chick2 looked around and found one pink flip flop style shower sandal and one black one, both of different sizes. "Here Cece", or it could have been just the initials C.C. who knows, she said as she handed Hippie Chick1 the mismatched pair. Hippie Chick1 just slid them on as if that was what she expected to get all along and again stood up at the back of the van.

As she stood before me, with me trying not to be too obviously looking at her semi exposed breasts, it suddenly occurred to me that she was speaking and more surprisingly that it was me she was speaking to. "Hey baby" she cooed, "where can a girl go take a pee?" My attempt at a reply sounded like the chattering of a troop of African Baboons from the Serengeti Plains what with trying to make a reply while trying and failing not to stare at those two perfectly shaped dazzling orbs suspended just inches from me. My mind knew what I was trying to say but the mouth just would not co-operate at all making it all come out as moronic gibberish. Hippie Chick1 then gently reached out and put her fingers on my chin and raised my head to her eye level. "Just show me where the restroom is sweetie" she intoned with a voice as smooth as Tupelo Honey, "and I promise to walk back a little slowly so that you can get a better look but right now I really need to pee". I made some more unintelligible noises and pointed towards the restrooms at which time she nonchalantly walked away. The going away shot was almost as good as the coming at you view since the back of those cut off shorts were mighty thin in the seat with more than a few holes from which the skin peaked out. Hippie Chick2 had, at some point, slipped her own multi colored tank top on over her somewhat smaller but just as nice chest and had put on two pink colored bunny ear bed room shoes and began to shuffle slowly after Hippie Chick1 while scratching at various parts of her shapely anatomy and singing some song barely audible to my ears. About this time the English words being spoken to me by one of the male occupants of this "magic bus" began to register on my awareness. The conversation resumed thus:


Hippie1: "How much you think we're going to need to get back?"
Hippie2: "Don't know, how much did it take us to get to Atlanta?"
Hippie1: "S*** man that was like a week ago, I can hardly remember yesterday."
Hippie3: "Hey brother", he said as he looked at me, "wanna buy some weed?"
Me: "No man, I got plenty", a lie of the first order since I had never even to this point having had smoked any dope, "besides I ain't got any money."
Me: "Where you guy's been anyway?"
Hippie1: "Down to the concert at Atlanta man, it's been a righteous week."
Me: "Concert? What kind of concert?"
Hippie2: "You're shi***** me right? The concert man, you know like Woodstock only not quite as big."
Me: "Oh yeah, right, Woodstick", I replied with not a clue as to what he was talking about, "yeah man I got it."
Hippie2: "No man, not Woodstick, Woodstock."
Me: "Yeah, that's what I meant, Woodstock."

At about this juncture of the conversation the two girls walked back from the restroom and true to her promise Hippie Chick2 was just kind of swaying along which was barely enabling those most feminine charms to stay inside their hiding place. It kind of reminded me of two bald heads trying to poke through at the same time. As the two girls approached Hippie3 called out to them and asked if they had any bread.

Hippie Chick1: "Sure baby, I got that bread from the dime bag I sold to those guy's over at the purple tent next to us, don't you remember?"
Hippie3: "Oh yeah, that's right, groovy, give us a few more bucks to buy some gas."
Hippie Chick1: "That's groovy but can we get something to eat? I got the munchies really bad."
Hippie1: "Right on Cece, I could use a little something myself."
Hippie2: "Gas dude, is there somewhere to get some munch fuel close by?"
Me: "There's a burger place just up the interstate, a Burger Chef I think."
Hippie2: "That's groovy, so man uh, pump us like, I guess five bucks or so and drain the hose to the last drop if you can dude."
Me: "No problem."
So as I went to the hose at the pump the others just went about poking around the van or heading off to the restrooms or various other tasks that they felt needed doing. Hippie Chick1 came over and leaned up next to me as I started the pump. She seemed to be standing awfully close but I sure did not object. The conversation between us went as follows:
Hippie Chick1: "How come you wear your hair so short?"
Me: "I don't know, just cause."
Hippie Chick1: "You'd be a lot cuter if you let it grow some."
Me: "Well, it's kind of hot around here what with working outside and all so I guess it's best if I keep it short."

She kind of slid a little closer and suddenly I felt something warm and soft kind of lying next to the arm that was holding the pump nozzle. I glanced to my right and sure enough one of those barely hidden breasts was actually touching me. I slowly looked up and looked into two of the most sensual eyes that I had beheld to that very day. They were a luminescent green with flecks of gold highlighted in their coloring. They seemed as deep as two pools of liquid and held a smoldering, smoky quality at the same time. I could feel myself falling into them and everything else seemed to just fade to a curious pale shadow. Another car pulled onto the lot and blew the horn which jerked me back to the there and then and I suddenly realized that I had over pumped the gas by several gallons. I turned to look at the pump and it registered $6.23. They had only wanted five dollars and I had become distracted and pumped too much. Then suddenly it hit me like a speeding train. I had just been played for a sucker. Hippie Chick1, knowing how she affected me, intentionally had let her breast ride up onto my arm so that I would become distracted and over pump. And I had fallen for the old game like a catfish for gizzard bait on the river bottom. My faced became flushed and red as the shame washed over me. I felt like such a fool to have been so gullible. I almost let my temper get the best of me but at the last second thought of how easy I was to distract and was just too embarrassed to say anything. I felt the moisture build in my eyes, the thing that haunted me so through my teen years, as the shame continued to build. I looked away and took the time to wipe at my eyes as they were turned away. I finally turned to cut the pump off and hung the nozzle up and went about putting the gas cap back on. I tried with all my resolve to not meet her gaze but failed. As I looked up though I was surprised that she was blushing as well and had obviously become embarrassed for having fooled me.

She had most likely pulled the same routine before on various other guys at various other stations. But I would like to think that having seen how obviously I was affected by her trickery she still had enough heart to feel for me who was obviously not as worldly in my ways as she was. While it is true that there were only a couple of years at most between our ages she understood that her lifestyle had given her survival skills I did not posses. And in that moment she still had enough of those erstwhile tendencies towards compassion that she felt bad that she had so tricked me. And that was enough for me at the time. Enough that I did not protest the over pumping of the gasoline. Nor did I even ask for the difference.

She climbed back into the van with a sort of sad smile on her face. All the others except Hippie1 had already reentered and pulled the back doors closed. Hippie1 tied the dirty rag back around the door handles and turned to walk back to the driver's seat. As he passed me he gave me a sort of shrug of his shoulders and a kind of knowing grin. How many times had he seen this scenario played out with the results being extra gas in his tank? He showed no sympathy to me only the "what the heck" grin letting me know that he knew the deal. He climbed into the old van and fired up the rattling wheezing motor, ground the gears into first and jerked away from the pump island. The eight track tape deck in the van suddenly started belting out the tune Inna Goddada Vida by the group known as Iron Butterfly. And off into traffic they went. Driving possibly until the gas ran low again only to start searching for another way point in their return trip to Raleigh. As I thought of the butt chewing I would get for the pump shortage and the following deduction from my pay, I wondered if it would always be my plight to be so inept around the female animal. The ineptness would in future times emerge in me. But I slowly learned the dance between the opposite sexes. And after all these years I remember the girl with the white blond hair, the summer all over tan and the total inhibition of exposing her nude body and I smile at the lesson that she taught me. Or at least I would like to think that she educated me. But to be truthful, I most likely would be just as easy today as I once was then. And for that fact I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed. Only thankful that I could still be so naïve when it comes to a pretty face with a fine body and an angelic smile. After all if I am so still affected, does it not mean I am still vibrant and above ground? Just another good day!

John Nix, Spartansburg, SC

Man, A Free Concert, What's This?

Gene Abbitello remembers a great concert:  I was just 17 years old and from Yonkers, New York when I heard about this concert My girlfriend, Mary Ellen and I headed out to see what it was all about.

Mary Ellen climbed on my Honder 165 and we went north. I was sure glad we were on a motorcycle because it made it much easier to manuever around the traffic. Frustrated with the traffic I wanted to turn around, but Mary just had to see what was the big deal. We continued to ride as far as the traffic would allow so then I parked my bike in the woods on somebody's property who said they would keep an eye on it. ( very nice people ) By the time we got there it was a free concert that lasted for days and we stayed for about a day and 1/2 and enjoyed some great music and met some great people.

Mary Ellen and I stayed together for about 2 more years and off to college for her and to the Navy for me During the three years we were together, Woodstock had to be the best time we ever spent together.

 

 

 

Living the Early 60's Was the Best Time of My Life!!!!

 
Kandy Ewing Blankartz of South Dakota remembers the 60s.... Being raised in the Black Hills, a town called Hill City SD, was the greatest place to be growing up. Playing hide and seek with the neighbor kids, riding bikes everywhere you wanted to and never having to worry about anything at that time. We walked to school ourselves. OH yeah, getting lined up for the shots at school and worrying if someone was going to see you bend over for the booster!! HAHA Those were the days!!! 
  
 Another best memory was being a 8th grade cheerleader. How we had so much fun like building floats for our class during the homecoming parade.  
   
 The Beach Boys and Chubby Checker whom I got to see a couple years ago never ever would I have thought I would seen these guys in concert. The Beatles, the Archies, Jan and Dean, Elvis the list can go on and on of the greastest singers in that ara. The songs, "Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp," "Alley Oop. " The movie, "Blue Hawii" with Elvis Presley was my never forgotten show. We had those little record players that played the 45s. I remember especially "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot Bikini" the day I got to buy the 45 I really do remember this because there was a very bad forest fire that day. . How we wore those records out!! The school dances in 5th to 8th grade with a the jukebox. The Stroll anyone remember that?? Oh how we danced then and trying to get the boys to dance. Usually was all girls dancing and the boys was on side watching.  
  
Bazooka bubble gum and dipping toothpicks in liquid cinnamon, eating palmagrants. These were like the fad..  The roller skates that hook on your shoes with the key to lock them together oh we thought we were big stuff then!!! Those fun hoola hoops was the fade too.  
   
 My very first car was my grandparents 59 chevy I bought from them in the late 60s. Remember the Chevy with the big wings in back? Wish I still had it.  
  
We lived behind a creek and we would ice skate down to Mitchel Lake and ice skate and have bonfires. Friends would have there birthday parties on the ice. Those were the days that never will be again. . Those were the best days of my life!!!  

The Day I Saw "Jay and the Americans"

Carol Ann Cella-Kirner of New Jersey Remembers The Day She Saw Jay & The Americans:  My family and I spent all of our summers in our vacation home in Seaside Park, New Jersey. We lived across the street from the beautiful, sandy beach. When we were in high school, my sister Val and I would would spend our days on the beach, with our large group of teenage friends. It was swimming, tanning, playing cards, playing volleyball and listening to the latest hit songs on our small transistor radios. Sometimes, I would play my ukulele and we would sing around the campfire during our occasional, evening beach parties. We referred to ourselves as the "Madras Club", because we wore matching madras hats. It was a typical Beach Party movie type existence and we enjoyed it!

On most nights, after dinner, we would gather our friends together and go for a walk on the boardwalk. The boardwalk in Seaside Park, is a long, wooden, walkway, that is parallel to the beach. We would walk on the boardwalk, until we reached the wonderful amusement area. There were, and still are, fantastic rides, games, prizes and a wide selection of delicious foods. There was an area in the amusement park, where local bands would play, for free, each night. They were always fun to watch and listen to, We also loved to dance to their fantastic music! 
  
On one particular night, my cousin and I had gone for a walk on the boardwalk, to talk to two boys who we were dating at the time. They both worked behind one of the game stands. On our way to see them, we were walking past a night club on the boardwalk and heard some popular songs being played and sung. We looked at the sign on the outside of the night club and realized that the group singing, was the famous "Jay and the Americans"! The large, double , doors were opened and we could look right inside to see and hear them performing. We were happy and excited! Of course, we couldn't enter the club, because we were only sixteen years old. But, we were still able to enjoy them. To hear Jay Black sing "Cara Mia" was just incredible! 
  
They soon took a break and the group came outside of the club where we were standing. Jay stayed in the club, but the others sat at a food stand, near the club, and began to eat buttered, corn on the cob. My cousin and I stood in awe as we watched them eat! They soon started to talk to us and we had a nice conversation. After, they finished eating, they asked us if we would go to their car in the parking lot. They said that they had something to give to us. We followed them to their car, they opened the trunk of the car, and took out a box of large Hershey chocolate bars! They then shared them with us. So, we happily ate chocolate bars with the "Americans"! I then asked them for their autograph, which I still have to this day. 
  
 want to add that the "Americans" were just wonderful to my cousin and me. They were friendly and perfect gentlemen. They also gave me an awesome memory that I will never forget. 

The Ohio State Fair and the Lovin’ Spoonful

Earl Watkins of Grove City, Ohio shares a fond memory of his dad and The Lovin' Spoonful:  In the early 60’s the Ohio State Fair started having big name entertainment play the fair in the grandstand. And it was free with the price of admission. In late August 1966 the Lovin’ Spoonful were scheduled to do 2 shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I talked my dad into taking me that day. He wasn’t real enthusiastic but he did take me. I did assure him he would enjoy the concert, but he didn’t recognize the name of the group on the songs, I told him they did. He was a fan of the music of the day as he would say "it was the only music that sounded good even on the lousy little transistor radios." We made our way to the fair so we could see the afternoon show and be home in time for dinner. The timing was great to, as "Summer in the City" had just toped the charts a couple of weeks earlier.

The grandstand was originally built for the race track on the fair grounds, but was only used for racing on just a few days of the 12 day fair. So they built a stage on the inside of the track, for races it served as the inside rail. For concerts they would add an extension to the stage that brought it out over the track. Early birds could get seats on the track itself.

By the time we arrived the track seating was full so we wound up on the right side of the grandstand about half way up. Not bad seats, really.

The show opened with Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell of "The Magic Land of Allakazam" fame. Quit a good show actually. The MC then announced the Lovin’ Spoonful and out ran four guys in colorful T-shirts and jeans. My dad made a remark to the effect "These guys don’t even dress to do a show." The Spoonful opened with "Do You Believe In Magic" and my dads face began to light up. His next comment was "These guys sound just like the record!" By the time they got to "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind" he was hooked, the Spoonful had a new fan. The show went for about 45 minutes and ended with a tune they had written just a couple of days prior about Toledo, OH called "Boredom" the audience had a good laugh at that. Dad asked "Do you have any of their records?" I responded "No I don’t."

I was prepared to spend maybe another hour cruising the fair and head home as we were leaving the grandstand. My fathers looked at me and ask "So do we stay for the second show and get seats down on the track?" Heck, I was up for it, so we spent a couple of hours doing fair stuff, eating, looking at animals etc. Then we went to join the crowd for the evening show. It was 2 hours till show time but there was a huge bunch of people already gathered to get track seating, so we joined them. They opened the gates and you were handed a folding chair as you entered and you set your place on the track. We were late enough we were among the last to get seated on the track. It turned out to be an advantage as we were among the first out. Dad looked at his watch and said "If we go straight there we can get to Shopper Fair, and get one of there records." 

So off we went to Shoppers Fair to get a Spoonful album. Shopper Fair had the best prices on albums $2.98 for mono and $3.98 for stereo. We started going through the record section and it turned out they had 3 albums. So now came decision time, which one? "Hmmm lets see, Do You Believe in Magic, also has Did You Ever have to Make Up Your Mind and Daydream also has You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice, and "Hums" has Summer In the City, so which one?" Dad took a look in his wallet and said "What the hell, all three."

On our arrival home we began to remove the cellophane from the records when dad just started belly laughing. Very perplexed I asked him what was so funny. He responded "the record label these guys are on "Kama Sutra Records"" "What’s so funny about that?" I asked and he proceeded to explain that is was the ancient Asian how to instruction book on sex, outlawed in many states at the time. After our good laugh we sat back and listened to our new records. It was a great ending of a great day. My dad and I would also find some album songs that would be among our favorites. Both from Daydream my dad’s was "Butchies Tune" and mine "Its Not Time Now"

My Dad died 2 years later, and this remains one of my great memories of him and me.

 

 

Leslie Hardman remembers a special Christmas: Here is a “heart-warming” Christmas story of something that happened to me when I was 15 years old:

“Me and Old Grand Dad”

(another incident that helped make me the woman I am today!) 

 Here is a “heart-warming” Christmas story of something that happened to me when I was 15 years old:

I was in the 10th grade and my best friend was Sharon. We both lived in the same housing addition with our parents. We were always good kids…never got into trouble, and the ONLY thing that we DID sneak, was a few cigarettes when we would walk around the block. Drugs were a non-issue…..it was December, 1962, and we had never even HEARD of drugs!!!!

So one evening my parents were down the street playing cards with the neighbors, and Sharon and I were alone at my house. The Christmas tree was all lit up and beautiful, we were on Christmas vacation (yes, they ACTUALLY called it “Christmas” vacation, and we didn’t roll up into a big ball and die, because we acknowledged the birth of Christ in our school), and we were in a cheerful mood, trying to think of something fun to do…..it wasn’t every day that we had NO PARENTS to watch what we were doing! We were playing “45s” (little records with the big hole in the middle) and just talking in the living room. We were feeling “free” and grown up that evening.

Sharon and I had recently been asked to “go steady” by our very first boyfriends, she with Ronnie and I with Mike. The big, fluffy, angora-wrapped rings, that belonged to our boyfriends, on our left-hand third finger, attested to our new social status!

I went looking in the kitchen cupboards for something good to snack on when I came across a fifth bottle of 100 proof Old Grand Dad bourbon. That equates to every shot glass-full having HALF that amount of pure alcohol in it! Of course, I didn’t KNOW that little fact, back then!! This belonged to my dad, and there was about 1/3 of the bottle left. Although I grew up with parents who both had drinking problems, I had never, ever tasted alcohol before. Who knows what came over me that fateful night that made me think drinking this stuff might be fun??

I proceeded to get two big iced tea glasses (16 oz.) out of the cupboard and poured some of the golden liquid into the glasses….but what to put with it? The thought didn’t occur to me to use ice cubes, so I just poured room temperature Pepsi into the glasses to make them full. I topped this off with a soda fountain straw in each glass, and into the living room I walked, holding the mysterious treasures out in front of me, extending one arm towards Sharon. She thought it was Pepsi, until she got a taste of it! “What is in here?” she sputtered. I explained about my find and how I thought it might be fun to explore something that the adults around us already knew about! She wasn’t sure she wanted to go along with this, but I was all gung-ho to do it! So while she was nursing her disgustingly warm, syrupy drink, I just chugged mine down quickly. I figured you were supposed to “feel different” from it, so I thought drinking it quicker would hurry up the process!!!

I emptied my drink and, of course, went back and poured another drink for myself…..but this time, I put much more of the bourbon in the glass. I had NO CLUE how to mix a drink properly and just figured if a little was good, a LOT had to be better! I came back into the living room and all of a sudden, I just got this really peaceful, happy, warm feeling….a very loving feeling….in my head and heart!!! And EVERYTHING seemed to be really funny AND fun!!! Although I didn’t think much of the TASTE of the drink, I was surely enjoying the resulting BENEFITS from it!!

I just felt like dancing up a storm, and so I got up and was just dancing like a fool to the pop hits of the day, when the doorbell rang. I went over to answer the door, and who should be there but our boyfriends, Mike W. and Ronnie S! Also, Larry H., a schoolmate of ours, was also with them. Now, I was not allowed to have boys over to the house if my parents weren’t home, but tonight seemed so special, that I figured it wouldn’t hurt for them to step inside for just a couple of minutes……besides, my parents wouldn’t know about it!

I grabbed Larry, who loved to dance, and we started dancing while Mike and Ronnie sat down on the couch. All I can tell you is one minute, I was up on my feet dancing like Ginger Rogers, and the next minute, I was face down on the carpet! How did I get down there? I didn’t even REMEMBER getting down there! Why were they pulling at me to get up? Uh oh……WHY is my stomach rumbling like that and the room is spinning around and around????? All of a sudden, I wasn’t feeling so happy anymore….the warm fuzzies were all gone…..replaced by a really horrible, “car sick” kind of feeling. Mike was standing beside me laughing one minute, and the next thing I know, he is hurrying me down the hall to the bathroom where I ended up on my knees, with my head in the TOILET !!! You get the picture…..but this moment really cemented my relationship with my steady boyfriend, because the whole time I was barfing my guts out in the toilet, Mike was sitting on the edge of the bathtub….HOLDING MY HAND!!!!! OMG!!!! There is NOTHING in the world like TEEN LOVE!!!! Hahaha...

As soon as I could get up (well, actually, Mike kind of PULLED me up…..I was dangling like a rag doll…dead weight…….Sharon took over and basically “put me to bed”…..Hahaha... Everyone left, but I didn’t know it, because I was just purely passed OUT!

The next morning, oh, did I feel HORRIBLE…..I was sick as a dog, the room was still spinning, and to top it all off, my dad came into my bedroom holding an EMPTY bottle of Old Grand Dad bourbon in his hand and asked if I might know HOW it got that way????? Of COURSE, he could plainly SEE how it got that way!!! Mercifully, he didn’t fuss too much, because he could see I was paying for my wrongdoing in a far more meaningful way!!!! I ended up being sick and hung over for two whole days!!! And I can tell you…..I didn’t understand WHAT was so great about this “drinking thing”!!!!

I never drank another drop of alcohol until I was 18 and was legally able to drink 3.2% beer! And I can count on ONE HAND the number of times SINCE I WAS 15 to THIS VERY DAY, that I have ever had “too much” to drink!!!! It was a hard lesson, but it was one I learned well!! Christmas Bourbon Balls, anyone?? EEeewwwww........... ~~ Leslie Henson Hardman, Orient, OH

 

Dr T remembers a special summer in 1969:  It was a beautiful summer day, hot and dry when we left Regina for the lake. I was a newly graduated High School student who was University bound. I had a good paying summer job and a ’64 Ford Fairlane 2 door coupe with bucket seats and a 260 "Mustang" V-8. My girlfriend was a blue eyed blond who looked fantastic, had a great personality and a mind that was asking questions about questions.

My girlfriend’s parents had sent us out to their family cabin to do something which I can’t remember what it was. We spent the 2 hours listening to music and talking. Thanks to my companion’s skilful questioning and provocative perspective on the state of world affairs, the time passed quickly and most enjoyably. We arrived at the cottage, opened it up and fixed supper. Life was very good.

The cottage was an interesting structure. It was about half a dozen rooms each with a specific function. Kitchen, gathering area, wash room/ bathroom and bedrooms- and needless to say, outdoor families. It was a family cottage with memorabilia from two generations. It had a rustic approach to furnishings- nothing new but nothing in disrepair. The sofa sagged to say the least but everything was there and worked well. It was a great place to be – nobody but us and the lake 40 yards off the porch

After clean up and dishes, we dug out the Radio. It was a boxy affair that we placed it in the center of the kitchen table, turned up and adjourned to the front porch. The summer of 69 had great tunes. We spent the evening just talking, laughing and dreaming. (I admit a few brews were also consumed but don’t tell anybody). Later we went for a walk up the drive way and than back down to the lake and called it a day.

Sunday we got up went down to the Lake for a quick dip before breakfast. My girlfriend was in a hurry and would not put up with any of my antics as she wanted to listen to something on the radio. So, back up to the cottage we went and turned on the radio.

As was frequently the case, my girlfriend was right. We had a problem finding the right radio station and getting a clear sound. There was a lot of drama on that old radio that morning as we sat across from each other (for the most part) at the park bench kitchen table. One of things that was so amazing was how my girlfriend hung on every word and turn of events as they unfolded. Her running commentary suggesting that her journalism career choice was going to be a winner. It wasn’t long before we heard the memorable words: "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed".

At that point, we embraced and sat on the sofa quietly letting the radio play. Finally, my friend walked over, turned it off, and sat down beside me. She took my hands and said "The world will never be the same after today. This is an event that we will remember for the rest of our lives." I looked around the room and than into her eyes and knew how right she was.

We spent the rest of the day glued to the radio, talking about what had happened and our reactions and dreaming about – well- everything. As much as anything, we just talked. When Buzz Aldrin asked everybody to take stock of his or her situation, we were well into that thought but moved along to a discussion of how we could make a difference. The trip home was over too quickly. And I remember everything as if it was yesterday (I think).

During the two days, I realized a number of things that have stayed with me throughout my life. I also realized that being a jock wasn’t as challenging as being informed and involved. I needed to grow up and get on with Life.

In 1985, fifteen years later, I was completing my PhD. One of the constructs was a variable called social time. It referred to a time scale typically marked by social events like "after high school", "before marriage" or "after my son was born." During my thesis defence, my external examiner (who is the outside expert in your area and normally a tough S.O.B), ask me if I could identify one social system marking that almost every one could immediately use as a point of reference. He joking said "something or event that changed the world". I knew just the event and said "Yes, when the Americans landed on the moon". And from somewhere in the room I heard "the Eagle has landed". I knew that that part of my defence was over.

And I also remember her gentle perfume.

Dr T. 

 

 

John Scott-Coleman takes us back: I remember after a bad accident in 1962 the sixties seemed to be a great time to be alive. I personally met and served Cliff and the Shadows as a waiter at a hotel in Carlisle. I also went to see my heroes Freddie and the Dreamers and it was great when I was invited to the dressing room and I explained that his performance on stage was responsible for my health improving and he then gave me signed L.P.s as well as his autograph. It felt so great to be treated like a star by Freddie and the Dreamers. John Scott-Coleman

John Recalls: The 60s bring back many good and bad memories. In 1965 I was 15 and the war was going on and many guys I knew were being drafted. We lost some good people from my home town in South Dakota. The race riots were going on in the South. Being from SD they did not hit me close to home. At the time I thought everyone should know that no matter what the color of your skin you should be treated equally. I remember watching the evening news with my Dad and we would talk about the war and the race riots and how African Americans were being treated. None of this was pretty. We lost our President and Martin Luther King. I could not believe this had happened. I was really down.

I loved the 60s music and still do today. The music made you free. I always had a radio going and of course had a transistor radio when they came out. My first car at 16 was an old ugly green Dodge. It ran good though, and of course had a radio. Had some very good times cruising in my small town in that green Dodge. Sure didn't turn any women's eyes with this car but had many dates with this car.

   
In 1969 my life changed when I was drafted into the Army. I ended up staying 20+ years. Enjoyed most of the travel and course some I could have missed. The 60s was fast moving with much happening. The people that lived the 60s with the hippies, drugs, free love, race riots, and war all have that in common. We can never go back but we surely can think about all the great things that happened in the 60s. I have to say the 70s were great, also. The 60s and 70s were my years.   
John, Tacoma WA 
 

 

Nell Remembers: I recall those glorius days of getting off the school bus at 4:15 to catch Dick Clarks' American Bandstand that aired from 4 to 5:30 and watching all the young kids from Philly doing the latest dances, and trying them with my friends. The special guest stars were great. Remembering all the dancing regulars on bandstand, only wish I could get a cd of those good old days. So glad to be part of this web site. Nell Menard, Rayne, LA

First Car - 1947 ChevroletGlen Remembers His First Car:  While listening to your tunes, I found couple of photos of my first car; 1947 Chevrolet "Blue Flame 6". Paid $100 for it. Boy, I thought that car was the cat's meow. Went to work on the engine. Before long had totally rebuilt it and added three one barrel carbs and "converted" the exhaust manafold for duel glass packs. No big deal except during a time I was going to school, had no job, and had no 1947 Chevroletmoney. Was blessed to have lots of helpful friends.

Glen Teason, Garland, TX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vicki Recalls the 60s: I was born & raised until age 9 in what used to be a suburb of Tulsa, OK. So many memories come back to me. In December of '61 my dad sold our little 2 acre mini-farm and our boat and bought 65 acres, 65 miles east of there. The first song I remember well that fit into the 60s era was "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland. After I heard it, I always wanted one. My mom wouldn't permit it. Later when I could sew better, I made my own, but in another color, and with eyelet lace trim to make it a tad more modest so she wouldn't throw too big of a fit (not that I had much to hide, at the age of 13). Nevertheless, I attracted a lot of attention at Flint Creek!

Real farm life responsibilities were hard compared to feed the chickens/gather the eggs chores I'd had before we moved, and my dad did not differentiate between male and female when it came to assigning them. We drew straws on cleaning the chicken house. I slopped hogs and my brothers washed dishes. I milked the cow so my older brother could practice football and he (at times), swept the floors. We all gathered kindling, pulled bitterweeds so the milk wouldn't taste awful, picked up big rocks from the cow pasture, and stacked brush when it was time to cut firewood. Fun was swimming in the river on weekends while dad fished, or nearly riding the legs off my pony during the summer (a luxury other kids in the area didn't have). Also, unlike some kids who were poorer, we did get a dollar a week allowance because my dad had a good job at McDonnell-Douglas as a mechanic and continued to drive the 65 miles to Tulsa every day for another 8 years. It meant I got an FM radio for a holiday gift.

Oh how I loved that little battery operated "connection to the world" I could only dream about! Deep into the lonely night I would listen to WHB and WLS; Wooley Bully, Satisfaction, House of the Rising Sun, Pipeline, Miserlou,Summertime Blues (by Blue Cheer, not Cochran) Born to Be Wild, Pictures of Matchstick Men, Sunshine of Your Love, Do You Believe in Magic, Delilah- I could go on and on.

To be continued...

 


 

There was a lot of music I liked in the 1960's; since I was a kid it was primarily on the radio, but my folks were pretty liberal post-beatniks so I also got album exposure through them. They bought me DISRAELI GEARS at a thrift shop and a Vanilla Fudge poster and a buncha Beatle records. But when it comes to the 60's, what I really remember was how great radio was. The Fifth Dimension was wonderful. The Supremes were huge -- everybody in school danced to them. The Song of the Year 1969 was "Aquarius". Creedence Clearwater Revival was my favorite pop group. "Venus" by Shocking Blue was huge in 1969 too. The Doors were on the charts in 1968. And the top 40 was a complete mix of old and young pop. Frank Sinatra could be in the Top Ten with The Beatles, Smokey Robinson and Astrid Gilberto. It hasn't been like that since. I miss that. 
   
Pamela Drake  
"princess"  
08.14.09  
 

 

 

Claire Standard Remembers:  I grew up in Denver, Colorado in the '60's (North Denver to be exact) and oh, the memories! There was The Scotchman where anybody who was anybody went (or so we North Denver kids felt), there was Elitch's Amusement Park, cruising 16th Street and City Park, ice skating on Sloan's Lake in the winter. We had some very good times. And who could forget 95 KIMN The Tiger, Boss Radio...what a fantastic radio station it was. It was off 20th and Sheridan and we would walk down and talk to the DJ's. Football games were an absolute must - I went to a Catholic high school and we always followed the sports. Hay rack rides, woodsies, bon fires - growing up in the '60s was probably the greatest time. - Claire Standard

 
 
An Alabama Fraternity Memory - This is the first time I've posted anything on this great site. I, as well as most others on here too, I bet, have many, many wonderful memories of the 60's and music. The first time I saw The Stones live in Birmingham, the first time I heard Phil Spector's "WALL OF SOUND," etc etc. But this memory has to do with Fraternities. 
  
In 1962, I became a member of SIGMA DELTA, a new "Frat" at my high school in Birmingham. Local high schools there were permitted to have fraternities and sororities operate and exist in those days. Each organization competed annually to present the best formal dance or as they were called back then, "Lead Outs." Most members of the existing fraternities & sororities would attend the "Lead Outs" of their rivals, just to see who could out do who, and of course, to hear many great artists. SIGMA DELTA, being totally new to the scene, did not have the membership and certainly not the funds to pull off a great "Lead Out." We scraped up enough cash, $300 I believe, to get the then not too well known but still very good, bluesman, JOHN LEE HOOKER (Dimples, Boom Boom Boom, & Boogie Chillin) to appear at our first one. 
  
KAPPA THETA PHI was the most popular, biggest and richest fraternity in our high school. In the Spring of '62, because of their status, they were able to bring in BENNY SPELLMAN, (Lipstick Traces) ARTHUR ALEXANDER, (Anna, You Better Move On, & Where Have You Been) and the Queen of New Orleans, or as they say down there, 'NAWLINS, soul, IRMA THOMAS (It's Raining, Time Is On My Side & Breakaway). They were also able to bring in JOHNNY JENKINS & THE PINETOPPERS (Love Twist) from Georgia to be the back up band for all three acts. 
  
Toward the end of the show, and believe me, it was a good'un, Johnny Jenkins asked the crowd if it might be OK if the lead singer from his band could step up to the microphone and sing a few songs.This very handsome black man walks up to the mike and proceeds to belt out, "These Arms Of Mine" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long." Well, to say that he stole the show would be a gross understatement. 
  
Those of us in the crowd, who by then were down in front of the stage, were stunned 
and refused to let him off that stage. His name?? Well it was none other than the Macon, Georgia Soulster, the soon to be great, OTIS REDDING. And as they say, the rest is history. 
  
Semper Fidelis, 
Barney  

 

Growing Up in Fountain Inn, South Carolina - My name is Mack Kellett and I'm from a small town in South Carolina called Fountain Inn. 
  
Being raised on a farm every day my oldest brother Tommy and I would start our chores at daybreak taking care of the cows, chickens and helping our father with whatever needed to be done. We were never told about any allowance for our work but we were told that if we worked hard there would always be food on the table. We also were told that we could not take government hand outs in Fountain Inn. Child labor laws were not enforced on the farm. We shared with our neighbors and they shared with us. In the afternoons of summer, we would meet with the boys next door (1/2 mile down the road) and go swimming in the farm pond. We swam in the same water that the cows drank and cooled themselves. We never even thought that the pond water had any germs or bacteria that could make you sick. It never phased us or did we care that the neighbor boys were black and we were white. Although we lived in the south, we all were friends and still are today. We were taught to respect everybody not to use hateful language. Swearing was a cause to get a whipping by dad. 
  
On Saturday we would make money by picking berry's and selling them to the town people or cutting their grass. Enough money was made to go to the afternoon movie and skating rink Saturday night We always respected the young ladies because we attended the same church and saw them on Sunday morning in the congregation. 
  
As we got older a small kiss was alright but the biggest thrill was buying a car that we worked for was very special. Now we could cruise the drive-in and talk with all our friends in town. At times we would get in a fight with fist no guns or knives. After it was over and done and cooled off, we would go and have a cherry coke together. 
  
Maybe my time growing up was during the 60s was dull and we had it a little harder than most folks, but during my life my folks had instilled in me values that I still live by today. I don't look for a hand out, I respect ladies and people of all races. The 60's was a special time for me. I guess some things changed in 1969 when I reported to Fort Jackson and was on my own away from beloved Fountain Inn but the values I learned on the farm in Fountain Inn still remain with me today. 
 

 

A note from Carl:  During the week of May 23, 2009 I selected the song of the week Jonathan King's "Everyone's Gone to the Moon." I asked if anybody had an idea what the lyrics might mean and I think Ralph Lehrman has it figured out. You be the judge. Thank you Ralph for your input. If anybody else would like to comment please email me at the60sofficialsite@verizon.net 

"Hi Carl, my thought is that he is singing about our civilization in future times when automation has become so advanced that nobody exerts effort, resulting in declining physical fitness properties, making humans only able to use the most elementary of muscle motor skills, the earth has become uninhabitable or exhausted in resources and man has moved on to the moon, which has been made inhabitable through that same technological advancement, if you want to call it that. Just a thought." -Ralph Lehrman

Note from Carl:  Leslie Hardman, sent me this and after pondering about posting it, I thought it is worth the reflection back to a more simpler life. I know many of may have seen this before but it's worth another look back. For those of you who haven't read this, enjoy.

 

"For the "Oldtimers" 

 My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in icepack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring) - no beach closures, then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high-top Keds (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries, but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said morning prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember the school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything. The school sent home papers for our parents to sign allowing us to get our Polio shots right in the school.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played “King of the Hill” on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either, because if we did, we got our butt spanked there, and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall a kid from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.  Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive? 

LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA, AND TO ALL WHO DIDN'T - SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED. I WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!  

 

Note: This was an email that I received, author unknown. ~~ Leslie Henson Hardman, Orient, OH

 


 

 

A Kentucky Memory of the 60s -Just thinking about the 60’s makes me want to cry. There will never be another decade like it. I was born in 1959 so I didn’t drive or date in the 60’s oh but the memories I have. I grew up in Louisville, KY and lived in a subdivision on a dead end street. There was always a bunch of us kids playing baseball or kickball in the “circle”. If we weren’t doing that we were riding our bikes with towels tied around our necks driving the “Bat Mobile”. I can just see us with the towels blowing behind us and our batman mask on! We were never in the house like kids are today. Our moms had to call us in to eat supper then we were back outside!

We used to hunt for coke bottles so we could take them to the “Little Giant” and cash them in so we could buy candy and cokes. There was a liquor store beside the convenient store and sometimes we would sneak over there because they had a talking bird that “cussed” & we thought that was the funniest thing! If our moms had known that we were in there they would have killed us. We never thought about anybody approaching us or bothering us when we walked all over the subdivision. We walked about 3 or 4 blocks to school every day…even in the winter. We girls couldn’t wear pants to school so we had to wear them under our dresses and take them off when we got to school. I wore penny loafers or saddle oxfords, carried a book satchel and a metal lunch box. I couldn’t wait to get home after buying my penny loafers so I could put a penny in them! (PF Flyers)! Make you run fast and jump high!

They used to show the color bars on tv…I could never tell because we had a black and white tv…but so did everybody else. I can just sit and list things I remember…45’s, aluminum Christmas trees with a color wheel, riding in the floor board or up in the window of our car, couldn’t wait to get the Sears catalog so my best friend & I could circle the things we wanted for Christmas, knowing that when I got home from school my mom would always be there. I can remember a lot of songs because my mom kept the radio on. I can see her standing and sprinkling down clothes with a coke bottle that had a sprinkler on top. I know I have rambled on and on and probably didn’t make any sense but it brought back a lot of good memories. If you don’t mind just use my initials. Thanks! S. H. Hartford, KY. P.S. Love your web site!

 

 

 

Summertime Fun, 1961 - When I was a very young teenager, the most fun things for me to do in the summer was to be with my girlfriends, doing ANYTHING. We girls stuck together back then because we were on the cusp of young womanhood, but most of the boys in our neighborhood were still at the END of their childhood, and didn’t really pay too much attention to us girls. They were still into riding their bicycles, going down to the creek and hunting for crawdads hiding under the rocks or skipping flat stones across the creek, from one side to the other and seeing how many times they could make the stone bounce off the surface of the brownish-green water. Also, high on the their list of fun things to do was playing raggedy games of baseball in the street with whoever was around. If one boy had to leave, there was always another to step right into his place, therefore keeping the game going. Sometimes, they even let a girl play, but usually only if they were desperate for a player. A year from then, they would gladly let us girls play ball with them, but then, their eyes seemed to zero in on us, more than the ball! It’s amazing what a difference a year can make!

But until that magical time, we girls had to be content to amuse ourselves without the company of the neighborhood boys. Of course, in every neighborhood, there were always a couple of boys who were lagging behind the others in their maturity level, and they were dismissed by the bigger boys. So sometimes, we girls would welcome these little "stragglers in life" to our circle. They were like little brothers to us and they were happy to have the "sisterly" attention we paid to them.

We had many ways to occupy our time on the hot summer afternoons. One of the biggest enjoyments was a simple deck of cards. We used to play 500 Rum, Crazy 8’s, Black Jack, and the old favorite….War, on the front porch. A game of War could have gone on until fall, if we hadn’t gotten so tired of playing it that we decided to count our cards and declare a winner, just to be done with it! Another diversion was box games….Operation, Mousetrap, Monopoly, Park and Shop and Parcheesi. Another fun thing to do was to twirl a baton. Even though I was never a majorette, I got a good, balanced baton when I was about 12 and learned to twirl it really well. I would throw it up high over my head, and feel pretty fancy about myself, until I would catch it wrong and break a blood vessel in my finger. It would get a big, hard blue bump on it and it hurt like the dickens!!! But I always had other things to do if I got hurt in the line of duty!!!

 

My very favorite thing to do was to play Jacks. The ball that came with the Ball and Jacks game was never a good "bouncer", so I would take a regular golf ball, get my dad to slice the cover in half and take it off, then, it was nothing but miles of very skinny, long rubber bands wound around and around a hard black ball that was down in the very center. But the work was worth it, because that ball would bounce almost like a Superball! We’d start by throwing all 10 jacks out on the floor, then we’d throw the ball into the air, and quickly grab one jack from the group, while also catching the ball after it bounced on the floor once. It was critical to have a GOOD ball that really bounced high enough to give you the time to grab the correct number of jacks and also catch the ball in the same hand. You weren’t allowed to use two hands to catch the ball. Then, you’d move on to "twosies", "threesies", etc. After going all the way up to 10 jacks and back down to one, you would start doing "fancies", which made the game so much fun. We would play Over the Fence, Under the Bridge, Around the World, etc. It’s just unbelievable how much FUN summer was back in the early 60s. We didn’t need a bunch of fancy electronics to make days worthwhile back then…..all we needed was a good imagination and a group of ragtag friends! Leslie (Henson) Hardman, Orient, OH

The 50s and 60s were a time when I hadn't accumulated all that I have now but, was certainly a happy time, or maybe even happier than now. At least much less stressful and filled with young hope and good thoughts for the future. Nothing, then, was impossible (in our minds). Yes, much progress has been made and times now, in many ways, are better but, still we all seem to long for that special time, when it was just a little simpler, a little gentler and kinder, and linger now in a very special way, in our memories. Glen Teason - Garland, Texas

 


 

My First Car....The Year?...1963  - I was thinking about my first car the other day....I couldn't WAIT to get my driver's license and drive a car! My dad took me up and down the streets after I got my temps in a little German-made car called a Goliath. This car was like a miniature station wagon with a 4-speed on the column and got about 35 mpg, which was unheard of back in the days of HUGE chrome monsters being assembled by GM in Michigan! My dad was not the most patient man, but he was an excellent driver, being a bus driver for years, so he couldn't understand how I could NOT get that clutch to synchronize with the gas pedal....hahahah. So we did a lot of jerking and sputtering before I could get the car rolling. He used to get upset with me because I would laugh when that happened because I was embarrassed about what he was thinking, and that only made him MADDER at me for "not taking it serious".

Finally, I got the hang of driving, but ONLY after my dad bought me a membership to the AAA Driving School for Christmas, 1963. As I was finishing up my lessons, my dad decided that I needed my own car so I wouldn't be bothering him and my mom to use their cars. We looked at a few cars and finally "my baby" came into view....it took my breath away. It was a V-8, 283 cu.in. '57 Chevy Bel-Air RAGTOP....medium blue with a black top, back "glass" in pretty good condition. And the BIG thing was, it was an automatic. No more jerking for me! My dad shelled out $600.00 for that six- year-old car (new Chevys went for about $2500 at the time), and with my new driver's license, the REAL DEAL, not the "baby" temp one, I picked up my FIRST car and drove it home.

Needless to say, I was in teenage heaven. I cleaned that car all up and washed it and waxed it until it shone. I put the top down (it was April, but who cared?) and I picked up my best friend, Sharon, (she didn't have a car so this was HUGE for us) and then, with the AM radio blaring an Isley Brothers song, we proceeded to make our way down Harrisburg Pike to Green Gables, the local westside hamburger drive-in in Columbus, OH, where anybody who was ANYBODY went to "cruise", to show off their hot cars and look for cute guys and girls to flirt with. I never felt so alive in my life! It was so easy to feel great about yourself back then.....Life was just so much FUN...every day was an adventure!!! Thanks, Dad, for the memories (and the CAR)!!!!! ~~ Leslie (Henson) Hardman, Orient, OH

 I don't know if you know what Woolworth's is or I guess I should say "was". In case you don't, it was a five and dime store. There was one within walking distance to my house when I was growing up. Mom would take me up there and get a Three Musketeer candy bar that was huge for five cents. We'd go there sometimes and get a cherry coke and then blow the straw wrapper behind the counter. I'd have a passion for blueberry pie so I'd get a slice of that to go with my cherry coke. When I got a little older, I'd go and get black Maybeline eyebrow pencil and use it for eyeliner and I just had to have white lipstick. This was the late 60's early 70's. Can you imagine...white lipstick. I don't even want to think about the way I must have looked. Of course, I'd never get out of the house looking like a dead zombie so I always put on my make-up while I was walking to the bus stop. Straight dark hair that I ironed every morning and...I better stop. I'll fall out of the chair laughing. (Wanda Sears, Virginia.)

 

 

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