Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Beatles

Well here are are on the anniversary of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and I have to think about how they changed the world.  For one thing Steve Cannon grew his hair out and he looked like one of the Beatles.  At least in my mind and the worst part of it, The Beatles made it cool for the girls to like those with talent which left me out.  Of course at the time  I was too young but it never changed.  Steve Chrisco, Nate Bonham, Wiley Smith, and the list goes on and on could sing and and had that cool smooth looking long hair and the girls just were crazy about them.  The Beatles won the hearts of all the girls especially Susie Snyder who probably still has all the Beatles memorabilia and every album they every sold.  She even has them on VINYL (we called it records but now it is cool to say VINYL).
Speaking of vinyl The Beatles are also the beginning of cool for everything Vinyl or Plastic.  It became the rage to have Noggahide (vinyl or plastic) chairs and cushions.  There use to be a million jokes about all the little NOGGAs who got killed to make the Noggahide.  This absolutely proves that marketing can overcome common sense.  Everyone bought Noggahide in everything from car seats to couches.  The funny thing is Noggahide made your butt sweat as in hot.  And if you were in your pickup your back sweat as well, such a good feeling, not really.  It was so very uncomfortable but everyone loved it.  Sorry about that.

Back to the Beatles.  They may not have been bugs as in beatles but they did infest everything in America.  That Sunday night everyone (it seemed) must have been watching Ed Sullivan and it forever changed us.  I even let my burr haircut grow out although it was not until college that you could say it was long.  But let me tell you how it affected us.  One of the biggest things was it polarized people against long hair or for long hair.  I really do think the women liked it but the adult men thought you were a hoodlum or beatnik.  Does anyone remember what a beatnik was?  I dont' think I knew at the time but it seemed to fit.  Some guys who grew their hair out got free haircuts from law abiding citizens.  Just to be clear, they were forced to get a hair cut and there were no consequences or law suits. Schools developed policies to kick you out of school for hair over your ear or sideburns below your ear.  Hair on your collar could also get you kicked out of school.  Now the funny thing is we could carry our pocket knives to school and even clean your fingernails in class with a pocket knife and you could have your gun displayed in your pickup but you ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT HAVE HAIR OVER THE TOP OF YOUR EAR.  This is not directly related but it was illegal for an 18 year old person to drink or buy beer but you could be drafted to go to the Vietnam War and kill folks and the government would give you free beer.  Another thing that came out of this situation was girls started cutting off the bottom of their dresses.  In case you don't know it girls almost always wore dresses to school, not pants and never shorts as that would get you kicked out as well.  At first the skirts or dresses could just be above the knee cap.  But I will not name names or at least last names but Cindy, Shirley, Terry, Jeri, Jenni, Marsha, Denise, Chris, Diane and now that I think about it EVERY girl just kept cutting the bottoms off their dresses.  Now I will have to tell you none of us boys minded and did not understood all the fuss but Mr. Treadway and all the school board sure made it rough on those girls.  GO GIRLS was our motto.

I may be wrong about all this but I have to attribute short skirts and long hair to the Beatles.  It was a great time to grow up in America and we saw some of the most amazing changes in social norms but it was not all good and it was not all bad.

One last thing which I have told you before.  I did get to meet Ed Sullivan and it was pretty dog-gone-cool.  He was shorter than I thought and had a very dark complexion which I never realized from TV and that might be from the fact that there was no color on his show.  It was only black and white.  He was very nice and talked to me for a few minutes asking where I was from and what I was doing in New York.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • You can influence a lot of folks in good and bad ways
  • It is your choice how you look back at the past and how You  chose to use it
  • Aim to improve in something everyday
God Bless America
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com

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