Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Theme Week Two..

Wow..the state basketball tournament is such a high for this little corner of the county, it almost makes us forget about the nightly news… for just a minute. I take the letter off the sweater, and fold up my cheering uniform for the last time while listening to Walter Cronkite tell us about the latest battle in Khe Sanh. The politics aren’t real to my 17 yr old brain, but the pictures of flag draped coffins will never leave my head. I regularly write to friends in the Army and Navy, and pray nightly that they don’t have to go to Nam. I love the biting humor of the Smother’s Brothers, and the silliness of Laugh In. My white sneakers with nylons are absolutely The thing to wear to school…no pants allowed, and skirts must fit the “kneel on the floor” of course I wait until I get out of sight, and roll the waistband so my knees will show….Cher, the original, is our hero..our fashion maven..I try every cure I read about for my cursed curly hair…Ironing it, using soda cans for rollers, taping it down while it drys…nothing works. At this time in my history, I’ve never heard of Farrah Fawcett, and have no idea that in 10 years, my hair could be the envy of those around me….alas…I won’t be a teenager then, so what does it matter?
The summer brings more California sounds. We all want to be part of the surfer crowd... quite a feat for kids in central Maine, but out comes the “Summer Blonde” for our hair, and huarache sandals too. (they were, after all, in the song) The summer spent at the camp on the lake, drive in movies, roller skating, and dances. Listening to Janis Joplin, and the Mamas and the Papas at the submarine races. Summer ends too soon. My boyfriend leaves for basic training. Two months later, a quick trip to North Carolina for a wedding..not your Bride Magazine , maids in frilly dresses wedding, but one in the judges chambers..the groom’s best friend, also in uniform, standing beside him. The brides older sister, with her. Niece and nephew in the back of the room being fed crackers lest they disrupt the ceremony. Months later, we are so thankful that hubby is sent to Korea, instead of Viet Nam…but he lands there the day the Pueblo is seized by the North Koreans. My closet is showing more flowers, more flowing fabrics. Caught between the idealistic, ‘flower-child-wannabe’, and the wife of an MP. A cap and gown is traded for smocks and a diaper bag. My hospital stay coincides with the funeral of Bobby Kennedy. Later that summer, we watch the news again to learn the fate of Dr. King’s killer. We move to Maryland during their hottest summer in 50 years. Short shorts and flip flops..Who can believe men are walking on the moon? Going back to Maine, getting caught in a traffic jam on the N.Y. Throughway…what’s with all these hippies in long dresses and dirty hair? The only “Woodstock” I know is in Canada..How confusing! New closet…new clothes… a fringed vest and hip hugger pants…Kent State on the news …A divided country…
I go to work in a shoe factory for the longest 9 months of my life. My clothes always look dirty with shoe cement…always smelling like leather.. For years after, the smell of leather jackets in a store, will turn my stomach. When the July vacation bonus comes, I walk out. Call this my notice. I won’t be back after vacation. I spend the week working on a roadside cleanup of cans and into the environmental movement..
New suit, job interview, no time for vacation..I’m a bank teller. Shorter skirts and higher stacked heels. I can’t imagine now how it must have looked, leaning over the counter of the drive up window. The little old ladies must have clucked their tongues and shook their heads. Saturday nights spent listening to Waylon and Willie..dances at the Red Barn. The end of the 70s brought me the same fashion as the end of the 60s. I had survived a decade of polyester, and was once again pushing a stroller, and watching Sesame Street..Slightly older, wiser and far more settled. Definitely better the second time around.


Blogger johngoldfine said...

Yes, you've really hit the sweet spot on this one. This is a definite keeper.

The mixture of the personal and the historical, their interaction, is handled just right. The personals stuff has a just the right tone and perspective--wry and individual without either putting yourself down or getting sticky. And of course, the structure, following the years and the new styles of clothes really holds all the details in place solidly.

I'd love to use this on my blog as a model for future semesters--can I do that?

7:48 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Writing tip for jag: as I reread my comment, I see how gawmy I am with all my 'really's and 'right's. Gotta keep an eye on myself.

7:50 AM  
Blogger marciamellow said...

Thanks..I struggled with parts of it, so I'm glad it came out all right. Yes, you may use it.

9:44 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Which parts were a struggle? The evidence of a struggle is all cleaned up.

11:25 AM  
Blogger marciamellow said...

Once I start writing, it usually falls into place. My problem is trying to whittle it down..not drone on, but say what I need to say. I wasn't sure how to approach the wedding..guess it worked out ok. (as did the marriage!)

4:46 PM  

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