The 60s Official Site Blog

Dedicated to the memory and history of the 60s from a personal and historical point of view.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Subject: Today is My Birthday!

I was born on this day in 1948. I guess that makes me a day older than yesterday. I share the same birthday as Ed Sullivan, Ben E. King (sang "Stand By Me"), Brigitte Bardot, Nick St. Nicholas of the group Steppenwolf, and Helen Shapiro. Birthdays are suppose to be a celebration and reflection on your life. It just occurred to me funerals are a reflection of your life as well.

No great celebration for today. I am going to attend my grandson's high school football game this evening. Because of the game I will sacrifice my traditional steak dinner but hey it's not about me anymore. I never was big on birthday celebration except when it came to celebrating other people's birthdays. I guess I was just didn't like the attention when it came to celebrating mine. Now that I am older, I guess they mean much more to me now. You never know if this will be your last one. So you have to live it like this is the last one. I guess my celebration will be of course the football game but after the game, a stiff Wild Turkey and Coke.

Have you noticed as you get older, your children seem to have their own agendas and immediate families seem to take the back seat until they need something from their parents? Of course we probably did the same thing as we were growing up and took on our own families and responsibilities. I don't want to think I behaved that way especially when I didn't get to tell my Mom how much I loved her before she passed away. I shared that story with my kids and grandkids so they will always remember what is important. Will they remember that? I don't have a clue. But I wish I had that day back in September 3, 1983 when my mother died to say those words one last time before she left.

We never seemed to find the time to express our feelings in our fast paced society today. We keep putting it off until tomorrow but tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and next month becomes next year and next year is then too late.

When I was in high school I would occasionally walk with my mother and she would hook her arm in mine and of course like a macho guy, I thought I was, I pulled away from her. I didn't want any of the guys from school to see me being a Mama's boy. It's so sad because I was her oldest and she was so proud of me and never missed the opporutnity to let me know it. Don't you wish you could just go back and change something which at the time seem so insignificant? Now I wish she was still here to hook my arm. I recall vididly how my mother turned gray in a one year's time while I was serving in Vietnam with the United States Army. I bet many other mothers did the same as they watched the CBS news with Walter Cronkite hoping to catch a glimpse of their son but praying they do not. I am sure all moms all across this great country of ours are doing the same today as they watch for a glimpse of their sons and daughters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thank God for all of them that serve and pry He protects each and everyone and brings them home soon.

So as I was growing up, birthdays really never had a big impact on me. But I do remember looking forward to my 18th birthday. We all thought we became an adult when we made it to the magic number of eighteen. I also recall wanting to be 21 so I could vote. (that was the voting age then). When I turned 40, I felt depressed and old. When I turned 50 I felt old and depressed. I keep reminding myself it is just a number, so today I am a day older than yesterday.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Anybody remember crusin' the main strip or drag?

My fondest memories of summers past growing up in the small town of Circleville, Ohio was cruisin' the town. I guess from everybody's perspective it could be their home town as well. I bet all small towns in the U.S. are all pretty much the same. Everybody in high school knew one other well enough to at least wave or toot the horn. We had our preps, geeks, hoods and jocks just as they do today but it really didn't seem like anybody was left out or mistreated because of their social standing. I guess that is what was so nice about living and growing up in a small town.

We would gather a few friends together and donate fifty cents each and we cruised most of the night. Our first stop was the teen center which was located above the library on Main Street. The building the library was housed in must have been a hundred years old. I can still smell the odor of those old musky books located in the very back part of the library where nobody ventured because it was so dark and spooky. I guess that is why those books smelled so badly because they never got opened, or at least it seemed that way.. Anyways the Canteena (the teen center) was located on the second floor. We had dances there with live bands from time to time and of course there was a pool table and not much more but it was a place to meet with your friends.

After spending some time there you headed out Route 22 to make the stop at Noel's Drive in to have a coke and flirt with the newest waitress or carhop and then out the door and towards town to make the drive around at the local Burger Chef. If you didn't buy anything there the manager kicked you out of the parking lot. What a bummer. Once we made our presence known by being kicked out at the Chef we headed out Route 56 to the A& W Root Beer to check out the carhops there and if we were hungry we ordered the Papa Burger. Anybody remember those? In fact there was the Papa Burger, Mama Burger, and Baby Burger with a frosted mug of A&W Root Beer. It could't get any better than that.

Off to the other side of town to the bowling alley we headed. This is where the action was most of the time. They had the best cherry cokes and french fries around. If you didn't find who you were looking by now they were either at home or on a date at one of the two drive-in movies. You then cruised by all the hot girls' houses giving them a loud honk and then start all over again. Who said we didn't know how to have fun?

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Subject: Ghosts of the Past (A Salute to the Drive-in Theaters)

There was a kind of magic about the drive-in movie theatre. I can still hear the gravel crunching underneath the tires of our car as we entered to find the perfect spot to watch the movie (depending if you had a date or not.) I still can smell the delicious aroma of the popcorn and hotdogs coming from the snack bar. Distant memories still exist in my mind of a time when we loaded up the car for a night at the drive-in movies. I recall the time my buddies and I sneaked in the drive-in hidden inside of the trunk of a 1951 Chevrolet in which the rear seat would easily pop out from the trunk. You should have seen the expression on the faces of the people next to us as they watched as we appeared from nowhere in the back seat of the car. In those days as a young teenager, you did anything to save a buck.

Families could spend a low-budget entertainment evening at the drive-in theatre. People brought lawnchairs to watch the movies under the stars while the very little ones slept in the car with their favorite blanket and pillow. Many families would bring snacks from home to save even more money. It was not unusual to have special nights where you could bring a carload for five dollars or even less. Do you remember that? Drive-in movies were so much of the culture of the fifties and sixties. I have tried and tried to remember the first movie I saw at the drive-in but my memory escapes me, probably due to the fact that the drive-in theatre was supposed to be around forever, at least in my lifetime.

The idea of the drive-in theatre didn't really take off until after World War II. The baby boomer generation made it a hit. In the 1950s more people attended the drive-in than the in-door theatre. The drive-ins had playgrounds for the kids where they could play before the movie and during the intermission. You didn't need a baby-sitter and the cost of the family outing was relatively cheap.

The drive-in was a perfect date location with the parking for a little necking already provided. Steamy windshields were evident in all directions. I guess this is where my first love for the drive-in resulted as a teenager with raging hormones. Of course many girls' parents forbid their daughters to go on dates at the drive-in to protect them from guys like me. My date and I would attend even against her parents wishes. I do remember Goldfinger, starring Sean Connerly, was my first movie I attended with a date.

Today drive-in theatres have gone by the wayside, although there are a still a few in operation and there is evidence that they may be making a comeback.
In the town I grew up in there were two passion pits and both no longer exist as in many small towns across this great nation. Now they are lost in the overgrown grassy fields of urban America. They are friendly ghosts of the past, if only they could speak and tell us more of these drive-in memories.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

As I think back to the 60s and growing up, I really don't have a recollection of facing the same problems that our young people face today. In my home my mother ran the house and my dad brought home the bacon. Today most families need two incomes to keep their heads above water so in many instances either the mother or father is leaving for work as the other is arriving home. These children don't have much of an opportunity to visit with both parents.

I think sitting around the dinner table with all the family present offers the best opporutnity to chit chat and share that days activities and problems. (a time to talk and listen). When I was growing up, sitting at dinner table for a meal was a requirement. It was no grabbing a plate and sitting in front of the TV or video game monitor. Although the dinner time may only last 30 minutes or so, the conversation and interaction between the family was important. We as parents need to know what each child is doing at school, what is his/her concerns or needs. As far as I can tell, in most cases, this is not happening today. I think finding the time to communicate with family members is very important.

I have noticed a difference in tolerance and discipline in many adolescents of today versus when most of us baby boomers were young. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't an angel and neither were my children but the peer pressure today is so much harsher. Experimentation with drugs is higher now then it was in the 60s. You read about a drug bust everyday. You see and read about young men and women of school age selling drugs on school campuses, carrying weapons to school and killing their classmates. The drug culture has become a way of life in our neighborhoods. The problem is a serious one. Here is a story I want to share with you with a little humor on our drug problem.

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'' I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young:

I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flowerbeds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless our parents who drugged us!

Have a great day. Hurray for the 1960s!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I wanted to thank you for reading my first post for my new site, I am a baby boomer still lost and recalling the 1960s decade. The 60s decade has been described as one of the most turbulent decades in modern history. That period of history was so described as such because of our involvement in the Vietnam War, racial unrest and an assassination of an American President and his brother plus the assassination of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King. It also has been described as one of the most productive and influential periods in history.

I am a history and music buff and some say an expert on musical history and influences. I have to disagree with that. I can say however I am very knowledgeable on the 60s era of music, history and events. That is why, as a baby boomer I opened a 60s site, It is dedicated to all baby boomers who survived the decade. Again thanks for reading my post. Visit my site and leave me comments either by email from the site or here on my blog. I will always try to write at least a post weekly but writing a post daily is my goal.

Carl Hoffman has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience and his the owner of several online businesses. Visit him at or if looking to start an online business Shopping for gifts?