Thursday, October 7, 2010

A babyboomer's flashback . . .

As far back as I can remember, there was music playing 24/7. My mom and dad were known in our community as "the dancers", so you can imagine.

The first music I remember was 50's rock and roll and Elvis was the King. I love his music to this day, have seen every one of his movies at least five times and even went to one of his concerts a few months before he died.

My dad met him when he was filming "Follow That Dream" in Ocala, Florida . . . they were filming the bank scene the following day and my mom and dad parked themselves outside the bank since my mom was so pissed that it was my dad who met him and not her. They were there early in the morning and as dusk approached, they had to give up and leave, but my mom did get to touch his pink Cadillac. One of my prized possessions is my Elvis concert program that takes me back to that day . . . he was visibly ill, but still put on one of the best concerts I have ever been to (and I have been to many concerts in my life).

My early childhood musical favorites were Fabian, Bobby Vee, Frankie Avalon, James Darren . . . pop music! My first true love was James Darren until Paul McCartney hit the scene. My female idol was Sandra Dee who I thought was the most beautiful woman ever and so wanted to look like her, even though my italian background had me looking quite the opposite . . . more like Annette, I guess not such a bad thing. One of my favorite childhood movies was "A Summer Place" . . . . quite the racy movie for its time and the Gidget series of movies. Of course Cinderella is way up there on my list of favorites . . . I still have the yellow plastic record 78 LP soundtrack from the movie. Somewhere along the way, I lost my Cinderella watch. :(

It was a time where families all sat at the dinner table together without the distractions of the television, video games or the computer. Even when we finally got a television, my dad restricted us from watching it all the time as he thought life was about more important things. Of course it irritated me, but now, in a weird sort of way, I somewhat understand his thinking.

We compromised for the very favorite things to watch on television, which for me included American Bandstand on Saturdays, The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights, and The Mickey Mouse Club every weekday afternoon. I was a little person in elementary school, but my musical roots were already formed. Even with the new exciting thing, the television, for me it was about the music.

It was a time when families were close, times seemed slower paced and my brother and I were quite content with the simple toys we played with . . . it occurs to me that children are very spoiled in these times with such a vast array of toys . . . and do they ever have enough of anything? I often wonder how my life would have been different and/or changed if we had all these "things".

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