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Chim Chim Cher-ee Hee-Hee, Ha-Haa!


Burning BraThe Sixties started off on the wrong foot in 1960 when an enraged Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe on his delegate desk during the 902nd Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly, in protest against accusations the Soviet Union deprived Eastern Europe of civil and political rights. One crazy, Kodak, misguided missile of a moment with no credible photographs or video recordings to preserve the lunacy! No matter, as Sonny & Cher’s pounding beat goes on during that same year which birthed Enovil 10-- a birth control pill, the copy machine, Chatty Cathy, Etch-a-Sketch, and Legos.

More craziness ensued throughout The Sixties as atmospheric conditions caused the hovering mushroom cloud of the Cold War to implode into kaleidoscopic, psychedelic, lava lamp-like movements. Free thinkers acid tripped into an altered state of acid reflux agitation: Vietnam’s anti-war protests, campus unrest with student uprisings, civil rights bloodshed, political assassinations, feminism. The flames from funeral pyres of burning draft cards, bras, and Apollo 1 couldn’t get much higher!

In 1969, Hurricane Camille, the second of three catastrophic hurricanes during the 20th century, made landfall in the United States. Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips and married Miss Vicky on The Tonight Show. Half a million people trekked to the Woodstock Music Festival at a dairy farm in upstate New York. And, the decade ended on the right foot with Apollo 11’s first lunar landing. Finally, a Kodak moment witnessed by at least 500 million people worldwide on television, as Neil Armstrong mooned us, "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

"They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (Napoleoan XIV, aka Jerry Samuels)

They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa,

They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.

To the happy home. With trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket

weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they're

coming to take me away, ha-haaa!

Crazy, alright! US involvement in the Vietnam War escalated in the early 1960s with troop levels tripling in 1961 and 1962. Combat units were deployed in 1965. Our military involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. The latest statistics indicate 58,267 killed in action; 303,644 wounded in action; 1, 711 missing in action. While helicopters climbed skyward to discharge loads of infantrymen for search and destroy operations, I find it incongruous that Mary Poppins (1964) won Oscars, and in particular, for best song—"Chim Chim Cher-ee"! Supercalifragilisticexpialidoiciuos!

For all intents and purposes the Paris Peace Accords which ended the Vietnam conflict were signed January 27, 1973, followed by the withdrawal of remaining American troops. The wind had changed direction for Mary Poppins too. She popped out of the picture by taking to the air by way of umbrella, flying past trees, flowers and chirping birds. Hee-hee, Ha-Haa!

An unpopular war, its hefty toll indicated by the aforementioned statistics with body bags to show for it, a ceasefire at last! Leaving both sides to figure it out, the North Vietnamese ended up capturing sunny Saigon. Not so supercalifragilisticexpialidoiciuos, though Mary Poppins would trill, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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