1968

July 9, 2007



My only neice just had her 13th birthday. What an important and special time of life. It made me start thinking about when I was 13… in umm, umm 1968!

The sixties was an amazing yet turbulent time in history. And being 13, I was just starting to pay attention to the world around me. Kids slightly older than me were dying in Vietnam and I did not know why. Teenagers across America were involved in politics, having sit-ins, burning bras, enjoying “free love”. I remember thinking it was all so overwhelming for me. But I knew the power of our generation.

Time has proven that the baby boomer teenagers had a huge and long lasting impact on American politics and culture.

My memory of 1968, a freshman in high school, includes an English teacher, Ms. Rutherford (possibly the first Ms. I had ever known). She was the first to encourage the writer in me.

I remember the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. Lyndon Johnson was president and he announced he would not seek or accept presidential nomination. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, was slain in Memphis. James Earl Ray, indicted in the King murder, was sentenced to 99 years. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot and critically wounded in a Los Angeles hotel after winning the California primary and died on June 6th. Richard Nixon was voted in as President.

Record of the Year was “Up, Up and Away,” by the 5th Dimension. Album of the Year was (and still is) a favorite: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, by The Beatles. The rock musical Hair opened on Broadway in 1968.

Music was amazing then! I guess every generation thinks that their music is the best, but how does one argue with this list:
The Beatles, “Hey Jude” b/w “Revolution”
Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”
Steppenwolf, “Born to Be Wild”
Archie Bell and the Drells, “Tighten Up”
The Temptations, “I Wish It Would Rain”
Tommy James and the Shondells, “Mony Mony”
Diana Ross and the Supremes, “Love Child”
Jimi Hendrix, “All Along The Watchtower”.

And others like:
“Judy In Disguise” … John Fred & His Playboy Band
“Green Tambourine” … Lemon Pipers
“Love Is Blue” … Paul Mauriat
“Honey” … Bobby Goldsboro
“Mrs. Robinson” … Simon and Garfunkel
“This Guy’s in Love With You” … Herb Alpert
“Grazing in the Grass” … Hugh Masekela
“Hello, I Love You” … The Doors.

Not to mention: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” by Glen Campbell, Jose Feliciano’s, “Light My Fire” and Dionne Warwick’s, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”.

Top Movies of 1968
1. The Graduate
2. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
3. Gone With the Wind (reissue)
4. The Valley of the Dolls
5. The Odd Couple
6. Planet of the Apes
7. Rosemary’s Baby
8. The Jungle Book
9. Yours, Mine and Ours
10. The Green Berets
(They just don’t make ’em like they used to!!!)

Yes 1968 was an important year… the year that the successful flight of Apollo 8 made Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders the first people to orbit the moon.

Johnny Cash recorded “Live at Folsom Prison”.

The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Helen Keller died in her Easton, Connecticut home, just 26 days before her 88th birthday.

Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol as he enters his studio, wounding him.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closes above 100 for the first time, closing at 100.38.

Pope Paul VI publishes the encyclical entitled Humanae Vitae, condemning birth control.

Saddam Hussein becomes Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq after a coup d’état.

The Prague Spring of political liberalization ends, as 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia.

The Medal of Honor is posthumously awarded to James Anderson, Jr. — he is the first African American U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Police clash with antiwar protesters in Chicago, Illinois outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which nominates Hubert Humphrey for U.S. President, and Edmund Muskie for Vice President.

The Games of the XIX Olympiad are held in Mexico City, Mexico.

The United States Department of Defense announced that the United States Army and United States Marines would send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours.

Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry on the Greek island of Skorpios.

The White Album is released by The Beatles.

1968, when I was 13. The year itself has helped make me who I am. Peace.

Advertisements

around the bend

June 20, 2007



                                       

Starting Over without my father began a year ago yesterday. Liza’s Starting Over without her mom will be two months tomorrow. Just before we left Tennessee, Liza captured this image. It is impossible to know what is just around the bend.

There were times during my grief that I no longer cared what was around the bend for me. In fact, it frightened me because I knew it could be more loss and pain.

As I try now with some perspective to make some sense of it all, I have begun to understand that it is only the fearless moving ahead, the bold task of acceptance that will heal us.

People say, “Time heals”. It is true. Not because you forget the person, learn to do without them, or will ever forget the gut wrenching pain of their leaving. It is because, with time, I have accepted the fact they are gone. And there is nothing to be done about it. Nothing I can do.

So I put one foot in front of the other, understanding that only the Universe can control what is just around the bend. I can only decide to expect happiness again, to prepare for joy instead of fearing the out-of-my-control.

So today I will prepare for joy. And soon, with a passion for living and with childlike anticipation, I will again be able to embrace whatever is meant for me just around the bend.


Hometown Graduation

May 22, 2007



The Stone Castle has played host to the Tennessee High Vikings for over 70 years. With some of my own dear granddad’s labor, the atheletes there still, today, have a terrific stadium, a one-of-a-kind historic sports palace known as the Stone Castle.

Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the New Deal, the Stone Castle is currently still in use. This stadium is a reminder of the post-World War II era, another time when high school football received top billing around the state.

Situated on the campus of Tennessee High School in Bristol, the Stone Castle Stadium opened on October 8, 1936. First known as the Bristol Municipal Stadium, the Stone Castle is constructed of coarse rubble limestone from another WPA project at nearby Beaver Creek, the stadium seats approximately 6,000 and features most of the original Medieval Gothic details. Its unique corner towers, arched entries, and crenellated walls clearly make the Stone Castle the most architecturally significant stadium in Tennessee.

Seeing the Stone Castle again makes me remember my own years of high school and MY senior year. Our football team was state champ that year, I ironed my hair to make it straight and my favorite music was soul plus Neil and Eric, Bette and Elton. (Still is.) It was an exciting time. 

My grandad help build it, my brother was a starting football player within it’s stone walls, and now my keeper nephew just graduated. MVP. Soccer. Honor Society. Good Person.

Only nephew, class 2007, is product of his own hard work plus effective and loving parents, caring grandparents, hardworking great grands, and so far back that records are scarce being near the beginning of our very country.  So many generations choosing these very hills and valleys for their home.

So much of which to be proud. Like being hugged by your roots. And now only nephew will be starting over. Starting over as a graduate from a castle in Tennessee where the spirits of generations before him will forever be his support.







PS. Nephew’s graduation presents included (among others) the newest Blackberry and a hand made quilt from his grandmother (my mom). Appropriate mixture of the old and the new technology!

Warm wishes until next post!


Rebel Barn, Pride or Hate?

May 15, 2007


My Liza came home with this disturbing photo today.  What is this rebel flag suppose to be saying to us?  Is it “southern pride” or is it “state’s rights” or is it some kind of backward racial comment made by someone clearly still residing in another time?

As a white female boomer born in the south, I am very proud of most things southern. Love my Mama and my family and my southern musical heritage. Love Tennessee Pride sausage gravy and homemade biscuits almost as much as a nice thick authentic southern accent. I call everyone “Y’all”. I love the climate: the four seasons of the Applalachian mountains, the tropical flavor of South Florida, the historical architecture of Savannah and the diversity of New Orleans and Atlanta. And I like the weather too.

I decided a long time ago that I would travel everywhere, but would not reside west of the Mississippi River nor north of Virginia. I am a southern girl. This doesn’t mean I am proud of every page of my southern history book.

Having said that, I am also a product of the sixties. I beleived Mr. King. Racial bigotry is the same to me as any other hate based thinking involving discrimination. Whether against women, gays, minority races, or religious/secular groups, it is all the same. I have always beleived that a lack of mutal respect for other humans and/or a lack of education must be behind this kind of narrow (if you are not like me then you must be wrong) thinking.

I am a product of Key West’s ONE HUMAN FAMILY philosophy.

So what does this rebel flag emblem suppose to mean to me? Or should it exist at all?


10 Things To Do Without Technology

May 9, 2007


Know anyone that still uses one of these?

My Liza came home with this shot in her camera and we both giggled at this old technology.  What did we ever do before cell phones, ipods, computers, video games, and the like?  Here is a list of 10 things we could still do without any of our modern technological advances:

1. Visit a library for the aroma of knowledge and read a book.

2. Stroll through a park or garden. Or plant your own garden.

3. Take a bubble bath, complete with candles and music. (Transitor radio)

4. Visit that friend you know needs you. Just listen.

5. Study the stars on a cloudless night.

6. Kiss someone. Pass out hugs.

7. Play with your pet. Or your guitar. OK just sing!

8. Be still. Meditate. Nap.

9. Write a letter. (Remember, with pen and paper?)

10. Count your blessings.

Just a little reminder of simpler times. What else would you add to my list of technology exempt activities?

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


crash

May 4, 2007



It may not be easy for the owner of this crash to see the beauty in it, but Liza did.

Likewise it is difficult for us humans to understand why bad things happen to good people. Like my (high school senior) nephew’s good bud who landed the double leg fracture in one of the last soccer games of his high school experience. Tough to understand.

Or why babies die.

And old people don’t and sometimes suffer and linger.

And war heros (although I am not pro-war ever… I certainly am pro-hero and don’t understand how they can die with such brave and honorable motives).

How can a pianist loose a finger, or a singer loose her voice. How can an artist loose his sight or surgeon loose his nerve.

It is hard to find gratitude in these things. It makes me feel very human in the not understanding. Very helplessly human.

But Liza gets it. She is not ruling out any possible source for beauty and joy. She knows it is not about asking why, but about just going on anyway. Each time STARTING OVER after the CRASH with greater wisdom in this constant search for joy we call life.


First Exposure

February 11, 2007

anitaforweb3.jpg
Hi everyone! Welcome to my first exposure to blogging. 

 If we define ourselves in terms of how we spend our time, I have been: a college student, a department store buyer, a music store owner, a real estate investor, rehabber and Realtor, and now a want-to-be artist and writer. 

If we describe ouselves in terms of where we have lived, for me that would be the amazing blue hills of East Tennessee or the tropical sanctuary of Key West. I lost count with over a dozen residence changes since college days.

No matter how we define ourselves, whether by address or occupation, it is certain that life is not static and change happens.  Whether we change jobs, move to a new home, suffer some great loss like the death of a family member or friend, retire, start anything new or give up a bad habit, we have all had the feeling of starting from the beginning.  

For me just now, a new life cycle began with the death of my father.  We were close and the past seven months since his passing have been some of the most difficult days of my life.  I can’t help thinking in terms of B.D.D. or A.D.D., which is before Dad’s death or after Dad’s death.  I was a different person B.D.D.  A person that had never experienced the gut wrenching pain of loss. I know for me it represents one of those starting over moments.  Starting over without Dad. 

B.D.D. I could call on my father’s wisdom anytime I wanted, A.D.D. I can only guess how he would advise me.  B.D.D. I thought he would be around forever, A.D.D. I know none of us will be.  It’s a hard pill to swallow.

And now as a card carrying blogger, I wonder about the starting over experiences of others.  Let me know about your starting over experiences. Hope to update often. Thanks for visiting and warm wishes to all.

PS. E-mail me at anitamorrell at aol dot com
Also stop by our Art Blog at dailyart.wordpress.com
Please comment by clicking on highlighted “comment” at end of each blog. Thanks for visiting with me.