Jun 24, 2009
Old Photographs, Flower Power and Melanie
Yesterday I spent my day scanning old photographs. When my grandmother died I was given one of her albums. It was so moving to see my parents so much younger than I am today.
During the course of the day I was searching for something on the internet and I stumbled upon a website for downloading MP3’s and decided to look and see if I could find some music that was played during the time of the pictures that I was scanning. Much to my delight I found some songs of Connie Frances and when I heard them I could sing along even though it has been ages since I had heard her sing.
My trip down memory lane then brought me to the sixties – those exciting years when the air was pregnant with change. Being too young to participate I could only observe, which was quite frustrating because I wanted to be a part of it all, I wanted to wear flowers in my hair, wear hippy clothes and demonstrate against the Vietnam war, all of which my parents heartily disapproved. I think it was when I was about thirteen or fourteen (1966 or thereabouts) that we went on a trip down to Florida to visit some friends. We took a break at a gas station in Georgia and I noticed there was a sign that said ‘We do not serve hippies’ (or something to that effect). When an old car full of hippies pulled in, the owner ran out with a shotgun and started yelling at the hippies. They frantically tried to start their car but they couldn’t get it started and the gas station owner kept yelling and pointing his shotgun at them. My brother and I had been sitting in the front seat of the car while my parents were resting. I was terrified and my first instinct was to protect my younger brother so I yelled ‘duck’ and we both ducked down. It was a great relief when the hippies finally got their car started and pulled off without a shot being fired. Later the gas station owner told my father that hippies had the habit of filling their tank full of gas and then taking off without paying. I think it was then that I realized being a hippie was not all love, peace and flowers.
The music was great in those years and I was particularly fond of Melanie’s songs. They had just the right amount of irony and sometimes humor without being overly moralistic. So I was delighted to find her songs on the MP3 sight I had found and downloaded my favorites.