Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Chuck Trimble!

Chuck Trimble wanted to recall a shared experience of those of us who found ourselves in our formative years in Lakewood, Ohio (on Cleveland’s Westside). As teenagers we were forged by that remarkable time when mid century modernism gave way to an increasingly vocal generation reacting to world events ranging from the Beatles British Invasion to a war in Viet Nam.

Our experience is amplified by the circumstances of the times.  We didn’t know that our unique existence was, in fact both ordinary and fantastic. “As part of the process of creating this group, I created a number of Blogs so that members could reference topics of discussion,” offers Chuck. Could it be that our army of boomers are simply not disciplined enough to record history as our fond memories start to lose the details? Don’t we all rewrite the nuances to suit our individual revisionist reality? After all, it was a time in Lakewood, Ohio when a stolen 10 speed bicycle was routinely returned within 48 hours.

We are a generation that consumed episodes of Three Stooges, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Looney Tunes and late night scary B&W B-movies while the likes of Barnaby, Captain Penny, Gene Carroll, Ghoulardi and others put a local/regional stamp on programming. We are Americans who shared a handful of broadcast television channels with ample local avails for advertisers. (…GARfield 1-2323, 700 fussy tailors and Spitzer’s “My dad wants to sell you a car now.” Come to mind.)

As a teenager in the 1970s in Lakewood, you couldn’t help thinking that we missed it. We were reminded by our parents that that they lived through a Depression, World War and we were really too young when the big band sound and crooners were replaced by Rock and Roll. There we were stuck in no-man’s land. Furthermore, the violence that ended the lives of JFK, MLK and four students on the campus of Kent State were punctuated by what seemed like a pattern of self destruction.   
Jimi Hendrix performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock in 1969 and died in 1970 from drug-related complications. Janis Joplin died of an accidental drug overdose in 1970. Jim Morrison left the Doors to write poetry, moved to Paris, and died of heart failure in 1971.

And all of this sets the stage for YOU KNOW YOU WERE A TEEN IN LAKEWOOD IN THE 70s IF…


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