Category: The Wonder Years

Blogging The Wonders Years–Chapter VII

(This is Chapter VII of a series that I started but never really finished…let me know if you want more because there’s plenty).

Listen, I know times are tough. After I checked my retirement and college savings accounts yesterday, I had to reach for my inhaler and start playing the Taizé chants on my iPod in a continual loop.

But a little perspective is in order–I lived through the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s, for Pete’s sake. And as this February 20, 1975 political rant from the 7th grade personal journal that I kept for Ms. Fine’s class at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia amply shows, I was madder than #$%@&*, and I just wasn’t going to take it any more:

You said I could think of something to put in here, so heres the one thing I thought of [we didn’t cover dangling prepositions until 10th grade].

Read the rest

Blogging the Wonder Years–Weighing In On Watergate, Chapter VI

gerald-ford.jpgWith the recent day of mourning in honor of President Gerald Ford, it seemed fitting to revive my dormant series, Blogging the Wonder Years.

What’s the connection? Well, as you may recall, in my personal journal that I kept for Ms. Fine’s 7th grade class at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia, I not only dealt with my “touchy-feely” emotional side, adolescent angst and roiling hormones, but I also responded to the issues and events of the day. Previous excerpts included reflections and rants on my personal emotional and psychological growth during my first 6 years of elementary school, guys with long hair, so-called friends who called me “shorty,” cussing and the 70’s music scene (highly recommended since that was my highest comment post ever).… Read the rest

Blogging–The Wonder Years, Chapter V

Speaking of Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. (aka John Denver), in 1974 he was one of my favorite musical artists, along with Elton John, Steely Dan, The Eagles and Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO). I was pretty eclectic, even though I had no idea at the time what that word meant. All I knew was that I liked it loud–“Annie’s Song” was simply not the same unless it was belted out at the top of one’s lungs with the radio volume button turned all the way to the right.

Hence the problem. This was long before the advent of “personal listening devices” such as iPods, back in the stone-age when LP stereos were located in common areas and a set of headphones was a rare luxury.… Read the rest

Blogging–The (Bleep) Wonder Years, Chapter IV

In 1972, comedian George Carlin released the monologue, Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television on his album Class Clown. In 1973, some of those words even made it onto the radio airwaves when WBAI-FM broadcast, uncensored, another Carlin monologue containing the same profanity.

My parents wouldn’t even let me watch M*A*S*H or All in the Family much less listen to Carlin, but that never stopped a preteen who was determined to hear what all the fuss was about. The problem was I had the kind of mother who always had the uncanny knack of knowing when my Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was going to arrive and intercepting it before I could get home from school, so coming by critical information in those days wasn’t easy.… Read the rest

Blogging–The Wonder Years, Chapter III

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin’ great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet
Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
To live
–from Randy Newman’s “Short People”

If you’ve spent any time at all reading Ocular Fusion, you’re no doubt aware of my enduring love for basketball. If you were to go further and scan the pages of my elementary school scrapbook, you would find that I listed basketball as my “favorite activity” from second grade through seventh (there was that little “tag” business in first grade, but that hardly counts).… Read the rest

Blogging–The Wonder Years, Chapter II

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain’t no words
For the beauty,the splendor, the wonder of my…
Hair, HAIR, hair, HAIR, hair, HAIR, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair.
–from the song “Hair”

In September, 1974, it was near midnight in the Age of Aquarius and all was not well in the United States of America. Signs of upheaval were everywhere–the Vietnam war was drawing to an inglorious close, Patricia Hearst had been kidnapped (or had she?),… Read the rest

Blogging–The Wonder Years, Chapter I

Although I started Ocular Fusion in October, 2005, it turns out that my blogging roots go back quite a ways–the fall of 1974 to be precise. That was when Ms. Fine, my 7th grade teacher at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia, gave us the assignment of keeping a journal. I suppose like all good teachers she wanted us to learn to write well by writing often. Also, I’m sure that she had learned in teacher school that it was good for young people to “explore and express their feelings.” Of course, maybe she was just plain nosey too.… Read the rest