1972( The Last Free Summer)


The summer of 1972 was a special time for me and in the coming weeks I will be writing a number of posts about that time and place. So Stay Tuned starting tomorrow for my series called  The Last Free Summer. 

Until then enjoy this montage I found on You Tube

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In My Merry Oldsmobile


From Music to Movies the car has been involved in telling many a tale and our lifestyles have revolved around the four-wheeled beasts.  Who doesn’t remember listening to Night Moves by Bob Seger and hearing the line”Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy,Out in the back seat of my ’60 Chevy”, or hearing Don McLeans painful wail” Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry”.  But for the future is the use of the car as a metaphor for everything gone? Let’s look at it, would “Drove my Prius to the levee” sound as good and bring back some great memory’s, not likely, as well would “Out in the back seat of my smart car” allow you to envision a couple discovering first love? I didn’t think so. Will we ever have a Bruce Springsteen song that could use this line”Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and stepping out over the line”? It just wouldn’t sound the same if it was about an electric car now would it. 20 years from now when this generation starts writing about their memory’s,fears and loves there won’t be songs like “Little Red Corvette”, “Hot Rod Lincoln” and a song like ‘Paradise by the Dashboard light” would never be written if the new breed of cars was around back then. The beach Boys would sound pretty silly having to sing about “My Little Flex Car” and would “Fun Fun Fun” sound as good with a lyric like” And we’ll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes her focus away”? God Help us, is all I have to say on that. Janis Joplin crying about wanting someone to buy her an “Mercedes-Benz” would be just a laugh it was about wanting someone to buy her a “Transit Connect EV” now wouldn’t it.

And what about the movies? Bullitt and its classic car chase in which Steve McQueen drove his Mustang through the streets of San Fransisco would not be the adrenaline rush that it is if he was driving a  Chevy Spark, hell my Mom in her walker would probably go faster than that. The Italian Job, Vanishing point, The french Connection all featured car chases that would seem silly if the were done today using the new breed of cars. Not that I don’t think that we need more fuel efficient vehicles but I just hope I am not around to hear my  grand children listening to their favorite artist singing a line like” I got a 2012 Aveo with 4 cylinders, a good exhaust system hooked up, tonight we are going out on the strip, as soon as I charge this thing up”  Oh, now I guess it is time to go and put on ‘I can’t drive 55″ by Sammy Hagar, perhaps they can keep that one after all maybe in the future no car will be able to go 55.

The Signs are Talking


“You need a new Alternator and a new Battery” those were the words that Dave at Ott’s Garage said to me Friday Morning when he called me to inform me of what was wrong with my car. You see Thursday night my vehicle died and what made it worse was that Friday my Wife and I were heading up to the North Bay Area for a weekend with her Sister and Brother-in-law, and despite the mayor’s flying Monkees attempts to disrupt my mini vacation The Ott’s crew were able to get the vehicle on the road and off we headed.

But that is not what this story is about, it is about something we noticed as we drove up Hwy 11 and Hwy 17, not just the beauty of our province but what each town and hamlet had to say along the way. They all proudly had their city slogans displayed and i noticed that many of them extolled the virtues of the area. Chesley had “The Nicest Town around” and who was I to argue with them, Powasson stated that they were “The Heart of Good Living” and having been to Powasson many times in the past I had to agree with that one. Burks Falls was “A Growing Community nestled within Paradise” and looking around the area it was hard not agree with the paradise part, North Bay of course advertises themselves as “The Gateway to the North” and of course that is totally correct especially if you have ever been to Wawa and mention North bay being in Northern Ontario, they will correct you on that one. Parry Sound is of Course ‘The Heart of Ontario”, West Nipissing has “The lifestyle you deserve” and The Sturgeon Falls area is “What a Vacation should be”. And of course it goes on and on and that brings me to what we have here in Cambridge “It’s all right here”, not exactly poetic is it but i guess it beats what we could have had, ” The Rivers only smell on the hot days” or “We are not part of Kitchener”, but maybe I’m Jaded, because I love the near north and look forward to my yearly trips on our highways to the towns up there and whether it is going to Bala, Bracebridge or NorthBay i always feel a little more freedom when i am there no matter what the signs say.

Ode to Billy Joe( an Evaluation)


It was the third of June,
another sleepy, dusty Delta day.

With those words, Bobbie Gentry began a debate in 1967 that still has not been answered to this day! What was thrown off of The Tallahatchie Bridge and why did Billie Joe MacAllister jump?  Now we all know it is fiction, and made a great tune that is still considered one of the great Pop and Country songs of all time, but those questions still linger for music fans everywhere, myself included. Was the song about abortion, a subject that at that time was as controversial as ever, was it about inter-racial romance that led to the suicide of the young man?  That is the theme that seems to stand out to me, for some of the lyrics do hint at that..
I was out choppin’ cotton
and my brother was balin’ hay.
…since the song takes place in the deep south and has no real time frame to it, the majority of black’s back then would have been on plantations picking cotton,
Mama said to me “Child, what’s happened to your appetite?..the use of the word child was a Negro saying more than whites, but could be also used by the real poor whites of the time, so that one is iffy. But perhaps the biggest theme running through the song is the indifference that the family has to Billy Joe
Papa said to mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas,
“Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense,
pass the biscuits, please.”
I’ll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don’t seem right….These lines lead one to think that perhaps Billy Joe was slightly mentally challenged and that his life was not of much importance, but it also comes back to the abortion angle, as perhaps rape was involved and Billy Joe forced himself on the narrator, but to protect Billy Joe she kept it hidden and wound up getting the abortion and when Billy Joe found out he jumped to his death. But it comes back to the question at the center of everything, What was thrown off the bridge? A fetus? I don’t think we will ever know as even Bobby Gentry has kept the secret of the meaning of her song.  But it has kept musicologists thinking and kept the song in many memory’s, and that is a good thing.
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge,
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.


What My Mother Taught me


Mothers are a strange breed indeed. They love us, they nurture us and they never let us forget it. And they teach us some of the strangest things. Here are some of the Things that my Mother taught me.

She taught me about death and cleanliness.
“If you and your sister are going to kill each other, do it outside, i just finished vacuuming the living room.”

She taught me religion.
“You had better pray to God that spill comes out of the carpet”.

She taught me logic.
“Because i said so, that’s why”

She taught me about Contortinism
“Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck”

She taught me stamina.
“You will sit there until that spinach is finished”

She taught me about the circle of life.
“I brought you into this world, i can take you out”

She taught me about behavior modification.
“Stop acting like your father”

She taught me about osmosis.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper”

She taught me about Horticulture.
“There’s enough dirt in those ears to grow potatoes”

Yep, my Mom sure taught me a lot, but don’t tell her i said that. She still threatens me with the circle of life thing

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Swinging babes of my Youth


One thing that no man can agree on is what makes a woman hot. some like
legs, some like figure and some like personalities. No guy can agree on
anything, what i am putting forth here,is my list of the ten
swinginest woman of my youth. They all have a little something
different and some may not be what turns others on but, it’s my list so
here it goes.

10.Marilyn Monroe–The ultimate pin up girl

9.Ann Margaret–oozed sexuality

8.Raquel Welch–Nobody could beat her in a bathing suit

7.Bridgett Bardot–Even Elton John thought she was sexy

6.Ursula Andress–Or as we used to call her Ursula Undressed

5.Aretha Franklin–Made big woman and gospel sexy

4.Barbara Eden.–rubbed many a bottle trying to find one like her

3.Nancy Sinatra–Those boots could have walked all over me

2. Goldie Hawn–Sock it to me, baby

1.Elizabeth Montgomery–Man did she make witchcraft sizzle.

So there you have it, now let the debates begin.

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