The 60's -The best and worst of times
by William M Wright BBA, MBA (09-01-2010)
Note: We are testing Video feeds and various fonts for readability on small sceen smartphones before making a final selection.
THE SUMMER OF 1967, with its "Love-Ins," "Be-ins," and "Flower Power," came to be known as "The Summer of Love," and was one of the seminal moments of the baby boomer generation.
Well, at least that's the myth turned legend by a segment of nostalgic
Sure ever generation has their own share of colorful segments e.g. gothic and ink freaks. But while they stand-out the masses blend-in. Few recall more mildly fashionable interruptions of the times. Yes indeed, the most colorful will be the most memorable.
The 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover legitimized the style change for many more boomers to emulate. Yes, by 1968 fashion styles were shifting (as it always is) beyond bold polka dot patterns, go-go boots and mini-skirts. The hippie movement to flower power, bell bottom jeans, hip-huggers, longer all-natural hair and platform shoes. I can even recall wearing a few medallions.
False eyelashes and puffy teased hair dos gave way to more tie-dyed shirts, headbands and sandals.
Yet, even youth know just as they have their dress to impress, they have dress to shock segments. The so called anti-conformist purple haired tattooed individual is often just a conformist to extremes yelling, "hey, look at me, too".
We always tend to remember those who stand-out more than those who blend-in. Still, if you wanted to fit within the norm in my 1969 High School, as I did, you wore white oxford button down collarVan Heusen dress shirts, Arnold Palmer sweaters and Sansbelt dress slacks.Over fourty years later, we who came of age during the turbulent decade of the sixties are dismayed to wake up, look back, and hear teens talking like it was ancient greek history.
"They're just a bunch of Old Geezers with walkers now, dad..." Oh, the pain. I need to take two advils.
Take a brief moment when every you feel the pain of reality or just need a nostalgic happy moment. Relive a few minutes, right here, right now.
The "Psychedelic Sixties" broke the rules in every conceivable way from music to fashion (or lack of it), to manners and mores. Boundaries were challenged and crossed in literature and art; the government was confronted head-on for its policies in Vietnam; the cause of civil rights was embraced by the young; and musle cars were invented.
Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of times? Did America evolve as a nation and we as individuals? Are we better for the experience?
We who were there have our own answers, but it is the historians who will write the collective answers for posterity.
Sentimental Selective Memory.
Wake up my fellow 'Daydream Believers'. Aside from the benefits of no responsibilities youthfulness how much better off was the world we lived in then today? Purhaps no health issues or bill worries makes it easy to have selective memories.
Always remember those who only live in the past will never live in the future.
In any case, for better or worse, this dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth, our creation, and our legacy, and this exhibition is an attempt to revisit it, share it, and interpret it.
The future site of building expansion.Why?
Because this digital hobby doesn't cost my wife any money.
Plus, it's dust free.
The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
by William M Wright BBA, MBA
The 60’s and 70’s some say were a time of lost innocence. A simpler less complex time. Wrong! Did these people live in the same sixties and seventies I did? Is this the thinking of some old timer’s anger with the present or wishful thinking about the past?
True, in the begining of the 60's most every boy and girl looked
picture perfect. Boys spent as much time combing their hair as girls. Girls had those beehive hair hills. We watched the Andy Griffith Show, I Dream of Jeanie, Leave It To Beaver, The Bingo Crosby Show and Hullabaloo.
Let’s go back in time...back nearly 50 years to 1960. We start the 60's with the clean cut all-american music from boys like The Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson and Bobby Vee. We end the 60's listening to hippies with dazed eyes like Jimi Hendrixs and country Joe McDonald.
The Good: In the 60's Folk singersflourished led by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Motown was born. The Temptations, The Supremes and The Four Tops. They were superbly choreographed vocal bands. The British Invasion came. Bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Yardbirds. California gave birth to The surfing sound of The Beach Boys and the hippie movement sounds of the Jefferson Airplane , the Turtles and the Grass Roots.
We start the 60’s dressed like tidy preppies. We wore white shirts and thin black ties.
We ended the 60’s looking like counter-culture hippies wearing large medallions (the fore runner to Bling-Bling) with our shirts open to the navel.
Long skirts gave way to mini skirts. Detroit muscle cars, eastern religions and psychedelic drugs were all a part of the 60’s culture. The Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969 became emblematic moments for those counter-culture youth forever know as the hippies.
The Bad: A Cold war with Russia and China was escalating. Lines were drawn in Korea and being fought over in Vietnam. We’re not talking small bands of terrorist carrying cheap Ak-47’s and RPG’s. We are talking about a two million plus man China Army. And an even more superior U.S.S.R. military supported by a USA like Navy and Air force.
Massive amounts of Nuclear War Heads were produced –enough to destroy the world twice. Russian ICBM missiles containing multiply (MIRV) thermonuclear warheads capable of raining down on American cities within 90 minutes. Families who could afford it built underground nuclear bomb shelters.
Revolution was every where from Latin America to Africa and it wasn’t in favor of Colonialism or Capitalism.
The Cuban revolution and the Bay-of-Pigs leads to the coldest (cold war) October on record in 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis –the closest the world has come to self-destruction.The song “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire reflected the thoughts of a generation.
The Ugly: The Civil Rights movement for social justice and equality; the hippies; the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers, the John and Ted Kennedy assassinations; the Martin Luther King assassination; segregation and integration; Riots in major American cities.
Crimes doubled during the 60's. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse –Vietnam comes. The American draft and draft dodger.
We were torn for 10 years between those believing in the fight against communism and anti-war protestors believing it was just a waste of American money and blood which unlike WWII had nothing to do with American's defense. In the end nearly 59,000 American, 40,000 South Vietnam and over 1,000,000 North Vietnam military personal gave their lives for their sides cause. The civilian casualties’ estimates ranged from 1 million to 4 million.
The 60’s a simpler more peaceful time? Hell No!! A "simpler-more-peaceful-time" is just wishful
nostalgic sentimental selective memory thinking. It was never simple. It was never peaceful.
So much for the good old days theory. Now stop dreaming. Stop whining. Just listen to the music of the 60's.
You've Got It Tuff...
Kid, you've never seen tuff.
Long before 'Red Bull' roamed the earth we had to live with 'Blue Bull'. Schlitz Malt Liquor to you youngsters.
Long before the masses had color television our deprived baby boomer generation was forced to live in a BW (black & white) world.
Boomers were so poor, most of us first saw the Beatles in BW.
Even as America landed a man on the moon, a decade later, we had no streaming Netflix video, no iPhone TV.
We huddled around one tiny 20 inch TV screen. Even as we watch the moon landing with Commander Neil Armstrong saying, "that's one small step for man, one giant step for mankind", it wasn't broadcast in stereo.
The government didn't even give us a color transmission feed. Not one of these bands could afford TC-Helicon's 'Auto Chromatic Pitch & Tune Correction' device in 1969.
So, don't tell me about your tuff times, son.