Eva's Retro 60s Flashbacks
Chim Chim Cher-ee Hee-Hee,
The Sixties started off on the wrong foot in 1960 when an enraged
Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe on his delegate desk during the 902nd Plenary Meeting of the UN General
Assembly, in protest against accusations the Soviet Union deprived Eastern Europe of civil and political
rights. One crazy, Kodak, misguided missile of a moment with no credible photographs or video recordings to
preserve the lunacy! No matter, as Sonny & Cher’s pounding beat goes on during that same year which
birthed Enovil 10-- a birth control pill, the copy machine, Chatty Cathy, Etch-a-Sketch, and
More craziness ensued throughout The Sixties as atmospheric
conditions caused the hovering mushroom cloud of the Cold War to implode into kaleidoscopic, psychedelic, lava
lamp-like movements. Free thinkers acid tripped into an altered state of acid reflux agitation: Vietnam’s anti-war
protests, campus unrest with student uprisings, civil rights bloodshed, political assassinations, feminism. The
flames from funeral pyres of burning draft cards, bras, and Apollo 1 couldn’t get much higher!
In 1969, Hurricane Camille, the second of three catastrophic
hurricanes during the 20th century, made landfall in the United States. Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips and
married Miss Vicky on The Tonight Show. Half a million people trekked to the Woodstock Music Festival at a dairy
farm in upstate New York. And, the decade ended on the right foot with Apollo 11’s first lunar landing. Finally, a
Kodak moment witnessed by at least 500 million people worldwide on television, as Neil Armstrong mooned us, "This
is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
"They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (Napoleoan XIV, aka
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa,
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee,
To the happy home. With trees and flowers and chirping birds and
weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and
coming to take me away, ha-haaa!
Crazy, alright! US involvement in the Vietnam War escalated in the
early 1960s with troop levels tripling in 1961 and 1962. Combat units were deployed in 1965. Our military
involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. The latest statistics indicate 58,267 killed in
action; 303,644 wounded in action; 1, 711 missing in action. While helicopters climbed skyward to discharge loads
of infantrymen for search and destroy operations, I find it incongruous that Mary Poppins (1964) won Oscars, and in
particular, for best song—"Chim Chim Cher-ee"! Supercalifragilisticexpialidoiciuos!
For all intents and purposes the Paris Peace Accords which ended
the Vietnam conflict were signed January 27, 1973, followed by the withdrawal of remaining American troops. The
wind had changed direction for Mary Poppins too. She popped out of the picture by taking to the air by way of
umbrella, flying past trees, flowers and chirping birds. Hee-hee, Ha-Haa!
An unpopular war, its hefty toll indicated by the aforementioned
statistics with body bags to show for it, a ceasefire at last! Leaving both sides to figure it out, the North
Vietnamese ended up capturing sunny Saigon. Not so supercalifragilisticexpialidoiciuos, though Mary Poppins would
trill, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."
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