Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nights in white satin, Never reaching the end, Letters I've written, Never meaning to send.

But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose
Good Morning;

I'm sitting here at the "WayBack Machine" with Sherman and Mr. Peabody, listening to some of the 'Moody Blues' old, old tracks, interspersed with 'Procol Harum', and the very first album by 'YES', and assorted tracks by 'Cream', 'The Byrds', Joplin, Dylan, and Bowie..(in his 'Ziggy' mode), and some 'Alice Cooper' from the first album="Pretties For You", when the name referred to the band of that name, not the front man who would be known by that sobriquet, Vincent Damon Furnier.....(Bet you didn't know THAT bit of music trivia...anybody who uses it to win a bar bet, just remember you owe me 10%...........LOL).

It's amazing how timeless some of the old 'classic rock'..(personally I hate that term) is, of course some is very topical, having lost it's relevance due to social and political changes, but so, so much dealing with "the human equation" can be related in it's own way with some of the classics of literature.

I guess that this year and this summer in particular has me put me in a reflective mood.
40 years ago......I was 13, the world and Baltimore was still recovering from the shock of the dual assassinations of MLK and RFK, and the riots that followed, the war in Vietnam was raging and the country was being torn apart by the protests against and for the war. What a time of polar opposites.....

Charlie Manson and his followers committed the Tate-La Bianca Murders--/--The first men walked on the Moon.....

I was at a Boy Scout camp at Strauss Wilderness Area in the Western Maryland mountains, a truly primitive survival style experience, with absolutely no technology allowed,--/--EXCEPT, the battery operated Television set on which we watched the Moon landing, from the top of a mountain....

Woodstock Music And Arts Fair--/--Altamont Speedway Free Festival....
(I was at Camp Tahoe, in Loch Sheldrake N.Y...[a 'fat camp'..but that's ANOTHER] the foothills of the Catskills about 8 miles north east of Bethel N.Y., we had taken the horses out to see what all the noise and traffic were all about, and when we came over the crest of the ridge and saw in the distance, a huge sprawling mass of humanity, being the adolescent boys we were we said "cool!!", and promptly decided to go see....EVERYTHING!...Tying the reins to the saddle horn, we slapped the fat, lazy, old refugees from a glue factory on the rump and they waddled away toward the barn and their feed buckets. We knew they'd get home safe, through painful experience...having gone on an overnight camp out previously, no one told us these walking methane dispensers would instantly begin to return to the camp, knowing the area intimately in a ten mile radius, if left untied for even a second. So, when we had stopped at a stream to drink and dunk, only looping the reins lightly on a convenient bush, we came up for air only to find that we had a long, hot, hungry walk back to camp. This knowledge and the fact that the horses behavior was known to the staff gave us the extra safety buffer of realizing that no one would miss us for around 8 hours or so. So...3 out of 4 of us...Ricky the Righteous, as the self important wimp was nicknamed, among other less repeatable labels, said he was going to walk to the nearest farm house and tell them to call the we took his shoes and clothes and stuffed them into the saddlebag on one of the horses, the most skittish and hardest to catch, and proceeded to experience 1 and 1/2 days, we arrived the afternoon of the second day, ( and nights! ) of "Peace, Love, and Music", and walked 4 hours back to the camp, (and had the most efficient mode of transport available!!), to be subjected to varying degrees of castigation and admiration, anger and jealousy, and not very well hidden

That was the year I discovered J.R.R. Tolkien, and Alexandre Dumas; Hunter S. Thompson and John D. MacDonald; Carlos Santana and The Beach Boys; J. S. Bach and P.D.Q. Bach; Che Guevara and Guadalcanal Diary; Lady Chatterley's Lover and Cheech & Chong; National Lampoon and National Review; Homer's 'Odyssey' and Clarke's' 'Odyssey',(2001: A Space); La Boheme and National Bohemian.

This was a seminal, formative year for me, filled with events and discoveries that influenced me and helped to shape and mold some of the basic tenets of my character, (and character flaws). I remember joining some sort of 'anti-drug' education group/club, (propaganda program), that was so poorly developed and run that we were all not only amused to the point of tears by the local cops who tried to be either hard nosed and street smart, or 'with it' and street smart but only came on as totally clueless, but everyone in the group was inspired at some point by some of the films we were shown to experiment with one or another 'controlled substance', be it 'herbal', pharmaceutical, or synthetic. There was one movie in which the production values and special effect were so fine that when the 'innocent victim' watched the gas flame on the stove turn into a flower, all we wanted to know was where could we get acid like that.....(talk about reverse found out years later that it was made in Hollywood by some of the folks who partied with Timothy Leary,.......kudos guys!!!........ROTFLMAO!!

The year of the Stonewall Riots and Nixon's inauguration; Led Zeppelin I and Elvis Presley's comeback; The first scanning electron microscope and the invention of 'Bubble Memory'.

And on and on and on.......

The end and the beginning, for me it can be summed up by the phrase..

"From Boy Scouts to Bongs"

Yeah, well.....Another safe return from Memory Lane...

I am going out with Rachel tomorrow, I'm not sure what or where yet, as I do not know how much cash I'll have, but at least for ice cream cones. I'm going to get a shower in the morning...Thank the Lord!!!, I've been washing up as well as I can at the Giant and the Starbucks, but it's gotten to the point where I've been spraying myself down afterwards with the can of 'Oust' air freshener/ odor neutralizer. Just to be safe!!! So it is 5:18 pm. and I have been here since around 10:00 am. on and off the computer, and I am just publishing now.........

I guess I'll head up to the coffee shop for a while, it is too hot out to be outside, and I am both too broke and too cruddy to go anywhere else..if anyone comes to visit...I promise to sit downwind...(for a!!).

I'm going to try to stop back tomorrow, depending on when Rachel and I get finished, in fact, maybe we will stop in at the library for a while..


p.s. ..........damn computer is messing with my spacing again!!!

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