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I looked back to 1967 (50 years ago), and wrote this article.  If you read it, you'll get some laughs.


“Summer Activities from 50 years ago; 1967”


Let’s take a trip back in time to 50 years ago, to the summer of 1967. It was the original “Summer of Love” where the word “trip” had a completely different meaning. Dr. Timothy Leary came up with his famous quote of “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” I was a young teen growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and ready to transition from my sophomore year to being a junior. Being born in September 1951, I was usually younger than most of my classmates. I would not reach age 17 until 9/7/68, and graduated from high school as a 17 year old. The Monterey Pop Festival was in June of 1967, and do you remember these names? The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick, Janice Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and all those bands were at Monterey.

50 years ago, we did not have home computers. There were no cell phones. We had one black and white television. Many of today’s teenagers cannot imagine a life without computers or cell phones or multiple high definition color televisions. Those of us who have a little gray hair remember what is was like, and we remember it fondly. So let’s go back to 1967, and I’ll tell you some things that I remember as a 15 year old teenager, and that may elicit some of your own memories. Hopefully, you can share with your kids or grandkids.

My brother and I were about 3 years apart. The poor guy was just overmatched in everything we did. My Dad bought him boxing gloves, so we put them on and I went down on my knees to make it “even”. I nailed him with a 1 punch knockout, and he was done with the boxing gloves. My Dad tried to persuade him to get up to continue, so Dad put on the gloves and fought me while he was on his knees. I blasted him too. He admitted it was a bad idea.

My brother and I used to love watching pro wrestling, and we enjoyed the colorful names. So naturally, we formed our own wrestling league, and tussled with each other. You will LOVE some of these creative wrestling names that we made up. From Germany, there was the fearsome “Heir Puller”. From France, we had the undefeated “Le Downer”. The best name of all was the undisputed Champion of the World from Spain, “El Bow”.

None of us were old enough to drive cars, so we rode our bikes EVERYWHERE. We didn’t care if we looked like kids, because we KNEW we were kids. We could go to Don’s Hobby Shop and buy a balsa wood glider for a dime. We could put a pin in the nose of the glider and fly them at each other. Nobody ever got hit, but it added an element of danger, and we did it for hours. We would gather up friends and go play basketball, baseball, and football.

Eventually, we all had to go home for dinner. All family would gather around the table, and we’d eat dinner together. Saturday night was reserved for watching “Lawrence Welk”. We got popcorn and Seven-up. Everybody loved Norma Zimmer, the “Champagne Lady”. But when the Irish Tenor, Joe Feeney came on, my Dad would get up and turn down the volume, and we’d laugh hysterically at Joe’s odd facial expressions.

Every weekday night during the summer, and I mean EVERY night; all the neighborhood kids would gather after dinner to play “kick the can”. Ages of kids ranged from about 5 to 17, but ALL of us were out there, and we were out there EVERY night. It’s where we learned to give the little kids a break every now and then. It’s also where I learned how to climb a street light pole using my belt, and learned which fences provided easy access to various roofs in the neighborhood. When the can got kicked, we’d get to yell “Olly Olly Oxen Free”. July 4th was always a block party, and the neighborhood Dads would supervise all the fireworks, and we’d eat 6 or 7 Eskimo Pie ice cream bars apiece.

Here’s wishing everyone an enjoyable Independence Day. No matter how much time has passed by since our younger days, we NEVER lose the ability to make and enjoy new memories.


June 16, 2017 at 1:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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