My life was changing in so many ways that year. I adored Jason, but his arrival stressed my life and my relationship with our mother. There are so many stories to tell about all that…but not now. Of course the world was changing too: That summer at the NCCJ Institute during the social hour kids tended to gather in musical preference groups: Rock n Roll and R & B together, folkies (Dylan, PPM, Pete Seeger) in a 2nd room and Beatles fans in a third. While the British invasion is usually said to have begun a year or two later…their popularity was growing. The Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum. In November JFK was assassinated. I often think of that era as being bracketed by his murder at one end and RFK’s at the other with so many losses (MLK, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, thousands in ‘Nam) between and so much turmoil. The turmoil continued well into the 70s, of course, and our country is once again deeply divided on various issues, but I think something in the ‘gestalt’ of my generation died with RFK, maybe some hope. He was a man who like Malcolm X was intelligent enough to change his opinions and beliefs when he got new data.
I wanted to end this with a song and I vascilated about upbeat or slow? Hopeful? Joyful? I favor lyrics that really SAY something most of the time. Considered some Sly and Family Stone great beat but a lot of meaningful words too. Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On?’, maybe the ‘Playing for Change’ version as a salute to it’s continued relevance.
But I decided to make it a little more personal, and I need to look forward, there's no changing what’s past—visit it only to understand who I am now and how I got here. These lyrics speak my heart, however, and the metaphor has a lot of meaning for me.