From an early age my Mother sent me to the schools, she thought, would do the best for my education. Whether or not, my Father agreed, mattered little. Of course, they were all Catholic schools, and they were all child discipliners. Learn or Die, was their motto. I guess I didn't quite learn, and, I almost died a number of times, at least it felt like it.
The transition of leaving school, and meeting up with your friends after school, was like, caviar meeting the bologna sandwich over tea. We were boys who acted course and rough. I guess it was expected of us, because that is how we all acted.
While in school, we learned the art of language, and refinement. On the street, we learned the way of the fist, and survival. My Mother never had to learn these things, although, she was one tough cookie.
We used linguistic delicacies such as, dem (them), or dose (those), dees (was another favorite). My Father was a master linguist, and highly skilled in the art of irritating my Mom. While he condoned the highest level of street lingo. My Mom, groaned in dispare as she recounted the huge amount of money which they spent to send us to the best schools.
We rewarded her with street spew, and bad manners. In retrospect, I would not pursue that course again. It seemed smart alecky back then. A early form of revolt. I was a product of the sixties, and you would hear me roar in numbers to big to ignore. (Thanks Helen Reddy)
Just the mention of the sixties, brings a whole flood of memories into my consciousness. Beatniks, how many people even know what a beatnik was. Snapping their fingers instead of clapping their hands. Beards and mustaches, most of which hardly had enough years to grow anything that remotely resembled either of those manly growths.
Most of them were just a couple of years older than us, but, that was enough warrant to be the right age. They wrote poems, some of which, had two or three words. They would all take the appropriate amount of time, to contemplate, and break out into furious finger snapping applause, much to the delight of the “poet". We just looked at each other and thought, “dumb".
Those beatniks had something going on, but, we never did figure it out. After the beatniks came the yippies. Yippies, youngsters may read this and say to themselves, “dumb". I don't blame you, not one bit.
Yippies were the radical wing of nuveau thinkers of our time. They somehow had the wisdom of the ages all wrapped up in their 20 something years, and they knew it all. That was their thought pattern anyway. To us they were just trouble makers. Snivelling and whinning about everything. In a short amount of time came the real stuff which the sixties was really all about, the Hippies.
Hippies were the cool dudes and chicks who listened to Joplin and Hendricks, the Stones, and Zepplin. They had long hair, and smoked weed, dropped acid. This was the down side of the sixties, which was the beggining, of the drug craze in America. As an ex-policeman, I abhor the use of these drugs, I have seen their dirty deeds up close and personal.
I am not sure where all the guys in my generation fit into all of that commotion, but, somehow we were a part of it. I guess we were the guys who went into the mililtary, and served our country and flag. That was probably the best choice I ever made, back then. I live my life proudly, knowing that I served four years. These were my latest thoughts on the days when we was kids in Chicago.
We were just kids thats all. . . . . . . .