Posted by: suek2001 | March 24, 2010

Was I really there?

  One of the great sayings of the 60’s goes something like “if you remember it, you weren’t there”.

Can the same be said for the 70’s? I was born in 1971.  My earliest years were in this decade. Yet, I have no recollection of Nixon, Vietnam or Watergate. I have only the faintest recollection of the ERA movement because my Mom was fond of singing “ I Am Woman” around the house.

Still when someone on Facebook posed the question of “What was your first concert?” I swear I had to think hard. I realized I have very few memories of the 70’s. I do recall certain days and what I was thinking.

I was five years old, sitting on a swing set and telling myself , ”I am five and I like it”. I have no clue why I did that, maybe to stake my claim in the world.  Another memory I have is a picnic in Nine Mile Creek park with my Mom because it had the coolest playground. I guess that’s what it is all about when you’re five.  Not Watergate, women’s equality but what playground has the highest slide.

Two other memories stick with me, one is my love of music. When I finally got tubes put in(or was they taken out?) of my ears, I discovered music.  Boy, did the 70’s have music.  Beatles and Beach Boys were still played poolside. I recall hearing “Good Vibrations” for the first time and this otherworldly feeling took over. I have memories of my Mom cranking up “Hey Jude” and any Fleetwood Mac tune on the radio as we hit the freeways of Minneapolis heading to Grandma’s house. Then there were the trips out to the barn listening to John Denver with my Aunt and loving it all.

 One of the musical moments that stuck with me was the Summer of ’79 and hearing song called “Gold” by John Stewart. I loved the song and had no clue who did it. I was only eight when the song came out. Little did I know, I would fall in love with the Kingston Trio years later only to discover, their banjo player wrote and sang my favorite 70’s song.

I have vague notions of other events from that decade. Sometimes, I can’t tell if they are real memories or part of oral history passed down from other family members. My feeling is that as I get closer to 40, a lot more of my history will disappear and that frightens me. Still, as long as I have musical connections to that time, they may never be lost.


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