1969 was the year I learned to fly. The world was happening and I was part of it while everything changed.
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in July 1969. I was a new mommy with a 2 months old baby boy. Home with the baby, not working or in school. I had time to see it. We watched it on CBS. Walter Cronkite wanted to be up there too. Up there, with Neil and the rest of Apollo 11. He could barely control his excitement, almost in tears, his voice breaking with emotion. The great Arthur C. Clarke was his guest for the historic broadcast.
Woodstock was just a month away and there were rumors flying about this amazing rock concert which would happen in upstate New York. Friends had tickets and were planning to go. I was busy with the baby. I wished them well.
There were hippies giving out flowers in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. I didn’t envy anyone. I was happy that year, probably happier than I’d ever been and freer than I’d ever be again.
I was young, healthy. I believed we would change the world, end war. Make the world a better place. I was still of the opinion the world could be changed. All we had to do was love one another, join together to make it happen. Vietnam was in high gear, but we believed it would end any day. Though we soon found out how terribly wrong we were, for a little bit of time, we saw the future bright and full of hope.
I had a baby boy and I sang “Everything’s Fine Right Now.” It made my baby boy laugh. Me too, because it reminded me of the Holy Modal Rounders. Look them up.
It was the year of the Miracle Mets. I watched as they took New York all the way to the top. A World Series win. 1969. What a year. I rocked my son to sleep and discovered Oktoberfest beer. New York went crazy for the Mets. It should have been the Dodgers, but they’d abandoned us for the west coast.
I wore patchwork bell-bottom jeans and rose-tinted spectacles. I had long fringes on my sleeves and a baby on my hip. Music was amazing and no matter how many ways I look at it, today’s music is an anemic imitation of the creative juices that ran in that long ago year.
How young we were! We were sure we could do anything, everything. We would end war and right every wrong. For one year, the stars aligned and everything was good.
Decades passed. Youth was a long time ago. The drugs we take control our blood pressure, not our state of consciousness. They aren’t much fun, but they keep us alive … no small feat these days.
These days, I worry about Social Security, Medicare,and if I or the country will survive our incoming president. I am nostalgic about Richard Nixon, a true measure of just how much everything has changed. I know I can’t fix the world. I’ve lived a lifetime. My granddaughter is the age I was back then. I’ve lived in another country, celebrated a 25th anniversary. My son is eligible to join AARP. I moved from the city to the country, and partied with a President, but 1969 is still my year.
Source: MARILYN’S FAVORITE YEAR – 1969