Stuck in a Sixties Groove
The stylus on those record players had a tendency to get stuck in a
groove on 45-rpm singles or 33 1/3-rpm LP’s. Seems the passage of time warps vinyl as well as our recollection
of the Sixties. Though, I embrace a fascination for the decade I grew up in, I don’t long for the groovy old
days spanning 1960 – 1969, though the complexity of the “cultural decade” tie dyed 1963 –
Stuck in my mind are recollections
The Cold War –The threat of nuclear annihilation from
the Soviet Union cast a palpable mushroom cloud over my adolescent
horizon. I wanted my parents to convert our basement into a fallout shelter.
The Cuban Missile
Crisis –A near military confrontation between
the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the presence of Soviet missiles in
Cuba, burdened my mind as I watched this play out on our black-and-white
set. Only eleven years old, I processed what I needed to know—it was bad!
Assassinations – I can give a narrative account of
November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and did so in one of my earlier
Zapruder Effect.” I also remember with vivid detail, the follow-up assassinations of Robert F.
Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Civil Rights – Downright ugliness reared its head in
America, the land of the free, as African Americans bucked legal
segregation –Jim Crow laws discriminating against “color” in public facilities. Even peaceful methods of
protest in the form of boycotts, sit-ins, and freedom rides cannot erase atrocities perpetrated by the Ku
Klux Klan or the rise of Black Power.
The Vietnam War – The Draft heated controversy during
one of our country’s unpopular wars. Conscientious objectors and draft dodgers, along with protestors
mouthing the slogan, “If you’re old enough to die for your country, you’re old enough to vote” tainted
America’s paintings of Rockwell Norms.
So, what is it about the Sixties that
prompts those of my generation to wax nostalgia? Not all of us tripped on psychedelics, burned our bras,
trekked to Woodstock, had a smooth ride in high school negotiating the
mine fields of jocks or punks in leather jackets. Maybe it was Apollo 11’s lunar landing—one small step for
man; one giant step for mankind. Perhaps it was
the British Invasion led by the Beatles in 1964, influencing our taste in music. Naaaah—can’t be. Maybe it was the last frontier for the nuclear family
gathered around the set watching The Ed
Sullivan Show every Sunday night.
Perchance we’re fixated on passing the gravy to pour inside grooves of our mashed potatoes while everyone sat
at their place around the dining room table sharing exploits of the day. Now, that’s a Sixties
groove worth getting stuck in.
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