Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Old Friends and Old History - The Late 1960's/Early 1970's

When I think back on the summers of my youth, they are painted in a hazy glow of shimmering heat, running footsteps through the park across the street from my house, and the stupidity of wearing a sweater inside my house because my Mom just HAD to have air conditioning in her home - something that was very "oooh-lah-lah" and "hoity-toity" for individual homes at that time. I suspect my general dislike of air conditioning dates from that time - the sheer ludicrous image of being cold and wearing a sweater when it was sweltering on the other side of the doorway. 

A-line skirts were the fashion rage in 1968-69. This
vintage A-line isn't too bad, it's rather typical. 

My next door neighbor, Laurie, was my best friend and we did everything together. We bounced  between her house and mine, but hers was more comfortable - more lived in. We would slap records onto the stereo in her house and sing and dance, thinking about futures as stars on stage and screen. It was my first introduction to a lot of older music including the swing music from the 1940's - that "Big Band" sound, that jazz. That's when I first heard Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. So good. 

I fell in love with Glen Miller and his band while the world
was diving into psychedelic music on one hand and
Bobby Sherman on the other. Crazy times. 

This was in the 1960's - yes ... way back in prehistory for some of my on-line friends. Laurie and I were going to form a band called "Tyme", she would wear neon pink (because it was her house, she got to choose the color first) and I would wear the darker neon green. The fact that those colors are popular once again, along with some of the fabric designs I first saw in my early teen years, is a bit frightening. OMG - the wheel has come around again - LOL. 

Those bright neon colors of the late 60's are
ubiquitous now. Every person working construction
has a neon yellow safety vest. 

Laurie and I held sleep-overs. We would read aloud to each other while sitting in a chaise on her backyard porch. We would watch her rather disgusting basset hound named "Napoleon" wander through the backyard, sniffing at everything. I loved dogs, but Napoleon really was a disgusting specimen - probably led to my general dislike of that breed throughout the rest of my life. 

Napoleon wasn't as good looking as this
specimen of Basset hound, and I still am
not fond of the breed. 

There were other kids - I vaguely remember an older brother, although I can't even remember his name. We had friends down the block - Robyn specifically was a good friend, Carol and Carol G a bit less close, but still there. We were gooey-eyed about the really cute dude just over the hill in the next group of roads who drove a black hearse with pop-art flowers stuck all over it. He was 'a lot' older than we were, but that's relative. He was in high school, we were in middle school. Age differences seem so much larger when you're a kid. 

I really wanted to show a photo of my old house, but
can't seem to get a copy of it. Want to see for
yourself? The address is 6720 East Mexico Ave,
Denver, Colorado. Apparently the house is now
worth more than $650,000. My mother would
be turning over in her grave. 

I have no idea what brought Laurie to mind this morning. Like most friends from my youth, she appeared in my life, colored it deeply while she was there, but then we moved away to a different house and our friendship didn't survive the move. School friendships rarely do. But then there's my BFF Sharon - a friendship made just a few years after my neon Big Band era friendship with Laurie. Sharon and I are still close - still friends after almost 50 years. It can happen - summer friendships can last after all. 

Enjoy your summer Tuesday because I know I will. I'll be swimming in an hour, and then I'll head to breakfast and to work. I'll do my thing - pay bills, do some pending jewelry repairs, and make a clasp for the item I'm submitting to the Minnesota State Fair. Then I'll be home with my absolutely BEST friend - my hubby. Life is good! 

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