Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In....
Five preteens, four girls and a boy, sit in the small bedroom, playing their favorite summer game. It’s 1969. While “spin-the-bottle” has been part of their repertoire for some time, let me remind you that it is summer. Texas summer. And it’s 1969.
What this means for those of you who are younger or more economically or geographically fortunate than our five friends is that the 3BR 1.5B brick has no central air conditioning. The boy in question is fortunate enough to have a window unit.
The game is “Freezeout.”
They’ve set the Kenmore at its lowest setting, blocked the crack under the door with a JC Penney bath towel, and are just beginning to feel the first goose bumps. Someone drops the needle on an album forbidden in at least one household, in spite of the squeaky-clean family band, because of a single song, the song they all love, the song that brings them to their chilly bare feet….
“Gimme a head with hair…”
Shining. Gleaming. Streaming. Flaxen. Waxen.
I’m pretty sure I was the only one who knew – at least at age ten – that the song was from a play famous for actual naked people (did you guess that I was the one without the Cowsills album?), on stage in a city far far away. Our parents worked desperately to convince us that hippies, Be-ins, yippies, protesters, and other manifestations of malcontent would turn us into “juvenile delinquents.”
We taped our peace sign posters up inside our closets and Bobby Sherman on our bedroom walls.
In one of those great ironies only the universe can create, I now assiduously work to ensure my daughter has the kind of social consciousness my parents did their best to prevent me from developing.
Toward that end, I downloaded the soundtrack from Hair and slipped it on her iPod Monday night.
Never trust anyone over 50.