Since we last met, I have grown a year older, not necessarily a year wiser, but for sure, a year older. Trying to decide what to share this month, led me back to the summer of 1969, my sixteenth birthday. Life seemed so simple. I had my driver’s license, and from my perspective, the sky was the limit. Gasoline cost thirty-five cents per gallon, postage stamps were six cents each, and a loaf of bread just twenty-three cents. I was sixteen, could legally drive an automobile, and was feeling pretty good about life in general.
The summer of 1969, exposing the real world, proving it to be somewhat more complex, than the less complicated, kinder version I enjoyed on Nahunta Farm Road. The Vietnam Conflict was raging, and the draft was initiated. There were draft dodgers, war protests, and many of our nation’s young adults were in the midst of trying to find themselves and their place in society. They wore their hair long, loved bell bottom blue jeans, experimented with drugs freely, were sexually uninhibited, and only sought to be left alone in their own cool and groovy world. They worshiped heavy-metal rock music, to the extent, five hundred thousand of these free-spirited rockers gathered at Woodstock, New York, to participate in the concert by which all others will be measured.
I, also, remember that the New York Mets, perennial cellar dwellers, were flying high, and would win the World Series that fall. But the Apollo 11 space ship was flying highest of all, as a live audience of five hundred million witnessed Neil Armstrong become the first man to walk on the moon.
Yes, it was a summer I’ll never forget. The Mets played out of this world, Apollo 11 traveled to another world, and those who attended Woodstock were in a world of their own.
I wonder how this summer will unfold. Can it possibly rival the summer of 1969? I guess we will just have to wait and see. Have a safe and blessed month, and as always, be of good cheer.