I was just sitting here after watching the news tonight wondering what I wanted to do. With everything that’s going on around the country and the world, sometimes one just wants to get away from it all.
What I would really like is to take a trip. Maybe one of these days I will get brave and buy me a motorcycle!! I doubt it though. I kind of like time traveling…it doesn’t cost anything and I can do it while I am sitting here at the computer. Today I think I am going to go back to…….1963!! Yea, that’s it!
First off, Elvis was still alive and well and making songs and movies. In 1963 he made that classic “It Happened At a World’s Fair” (Based at the Seattle World’s Fair, which incidentally was going on that year, and was a good spot for a ready made movie set…go Elvis!!) Yea, Elvis was big that year, but there was a group from England that came over and blasted us away with TWO number ones, “She Loves YOU” and “I Want to Hold YOUR Hand” were blaring away on all the jukeboxes, especially the one over at Chamlee’s Skating Rink where the skates were slick, and the girls were….well…I was 13, so I WAS interested! (Elvis did “Devil in Disguise” so that WAS a good one for him)
And talk about MOVIES my Lord…there was “The Pink Panther” and “Charade” with lovely Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant (hey they have revived Audrey Hepburn and those skinny black pants they are using for a TV commercial now!) Alfred Hitchcock gave us “The Birds” (was that the only movie that Tippy Hedren ever did…but she DID give us a good daughter didn’t she?) There was “Cleopatra” (c’mon Liz?) and Yul Brynner did some weird “Sun” movie or something.
TV Shows…now there was some really “BAD” shows back then wasn’t there? Leave it to Beaver? The Fugitive? Andy Griffith, Patty Duke, The Beverly Hillbillies? Ahh yes, now Jed Clampett has always been a really bad influence on my life, and of course I have patterned my criminal career after Andy and Barney…sheesh…what happened to THOSE kinds of shows.
Richard Scarry started writing kid’s books around 1963, and John LeCarre was big into spy novels.
1963 was big in some other ways too. Martin Luther King led 100,000 plus people in a rally in Washington D.C. that year, and gave a little speech you may have heard about…something about having a Dream…..yes I DO have a dream about all the little black and white kids Martin….I still do.
I was, as I have said 13 years old that year. What a great age. It was baseball, and comic books for me. Spiderman, and Superman and all the heroes they are making movies about nowadays. I could sit around on a Summer day…and yes we had those LONG Summers back then…those that seemed like they would go on forever…I could sit around and read half the day, and go play a ballgame, and get back in time to watch the Twilight Zone!! Mike Myers wasn’t making any Movies back in 1963, cause that’s the year he was BORN…Ha…you little squirt….!!!
In November of 1963, the year was coming to a close. I was already looking forward to Christmas!! I think that was the year I got a telescope! (always looking to the heavens you know!) On November 22, 1963 I went out of school for lunch and went over by the river. There was some rocks over there on the river bank, and we guys always tried to jump from one to another. I didn’t make it, and I jabbed a sharp edge of rock into my shinbone and made a hole in it. I still have that little scar, and a “bump” there. I had to go home from school. Later on that afternoon Walter Kronkite came on the TV and said that President Kennedy had been shot…and shortly thereafter, they said he had died.
I was a big fan of JFK’s. We didn’t know anything about his escapades with Marilyn, or any of his other sins back then. We just knew he was a young vital President, and we admired him greatly. I think when he died that day in 1963, that may have been the beginning of the loss of innocence for a lot of us. 1964 soon came along, and things just didn’t seem the same anymore. The war started getting worse, people started coming up against each other politically and philosophically, and I don’t think they have come back together since.
Yes, it was a good year…and a bad year. But I lived it, and I loved it.
As Dave Garroway would have said: Peace!!