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Hi yourself Janese!
I just read and re-read your fascinating response to my earlier "BubbleGum" entry. In a relatively short paragraph you provided a fine autobiographical sketch, and provided insight into how and why your musical and social tastes developed.
It is so true that we are all shaped by the social and societal influences -- i.e., the culture in which we were raised.
Although you knew people who were into and part of the counter culture you opted to be a "top 40 child." I'm curious as to why you made THAT particular decision...Was it influences from home? I think it's quite revealing that though you were a teenager during the tempestuousness of the '60s, you were not all that aware of what was going on in the world. -- Did you know at that time that kids your own age were becoming radicalized joining the intense and extremely large student peace and civil rights movements? As a student at that time, did you ever consider joining any of it? (demonstrations against the Vietnam War etc. )?
I get the feeling that your parents were extremely cautious about allowing you the freedom to discover new ideas. I suppose at that time, you never questioned the status quo...Understandably.
Yet, you did run away! WOW! That took guts! Your husband survived Vietnam? WOW again! Of course he had been exposed to the music and social ideas of "Our generation." Undoubtedly (and unfortunately) he was exposed to things too horrible to talk about as well. But I'm sure his experiences gave him insight that is valuable.
I grew up in New York City. My parents, especially my dad was extremely liberal in the sense that I was taught to always question pre conceived ideas--and never to "follow the crowd" just to be accepted. He hated conformity -- McCarthyism -- all that stifled freedom of thought. My dad taught me that "peer pressure" is nothing but a tool to turn young people into fascist automotons! So I was exposed to all things....The news! You betcha! TV and especially newspapers.....I could go on and on.....
I'm so sorry that there was that time you didn't see much to feel good about. I get the feeling that your home life was a bit repressive? I mea n, sure all kids KNOW that their parents are impossibly old fashioned and can never understand them--but I think you may have had a very real gripe!
My parents were overprotective--but not from ideas! My mother especially could not understand why I loved to play baseball for instance. She was positive I was going to get killed......As for music and political stuff--though my dad tried to encouraged me, my mom again was afraid for my life! Though she agreed with at least some of my ideas, she was mostly worried....worried, and worrieid.! My mother never got over the fact that I survived Woodstock! She was so afraid I was going to turn into a junky....or if not a junky, then I was going to get my head bashed in at a demonstration (which in fact did happen).
And those clothes!!! Oh my! That music! OY VAY! My poor mother always wondered why I just couldn't be more "normal" like HER side of the family--And, of course she blamed my father! However, though we foought about these things, neither of my parents ever tried to prohibit me from doing what I thought was right.
It's true that many people who liked The Grateful Dead, Hendrix et al liked "turning on" (as it was described then)...But smoking grass was seen as a tool to enlightenment--while heroin etc. and interestingly--hard alcohol were condemned for their addictive and deadening qualities. I remember we all had to do a lot of soul searching when Janice Joplin died from a combination of both heroin and booze. At the time no one could understand how such a terrible thing could happen.
And--my beautiful JERRY GARCIA--after years of abusing heroin (not so much heavy booze), cigarettes, and allowing himself to become obese finally died at age 53 with so much left undone--so much left to do. Why would such a creative person need to be addicted to chemicals??? Who knows???Jerry's struggles with his addictions were publicized and therefore well known--Cigarettes themselves would have killed him inevitably as they discovered after his death...
I could go on and on....Don't know how much AARP will allow one person to write, so I'll stop here...
Until the next time.....Thanks for giving me food for thought.
Love and Peace, Ilene
Sorry to be so long in getting back to you but I've been extremely busy getting ready for the holidays and I'm having a hard time keeping up with the posts. I'm afraid my life growing up is too long of a story to go into right now and since it's very much off topic I should probably tell you more at a later time in a personal message. One thing I will tell you is that my husband was not in Vietnam though he served during the Vietnam War he was stationed in Germany. He was ordered to Vietnam but his orders were changed at the last minute. Lucky for him. I did not know him at that time but met him several years later. My sheltered life had nothing to do with my parents being old fashioned. My step-father was very mean and treated us worse than Cinderella was treated by her step-mom. When we got home from school we had to do homework and then housework and it better be done right. We did get to watch tv but usually what my mother was watching. I did get to watch Bandstand and other music shows but when the evening news was on I was busy doing my chores and by the time the late news came on I was in bed. I know there were kids that belonged to clubs at school and were into what was going on in the world but I was not allowed to join any of these clubs. Anyway, that's about all I can tell you for now. Perhaps at a later date I can go into more detail.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll talk to you more after the holidays.