13 March 2014

Times They Were A Changing


It started suddenly at fifteen,
him stretched out on the rug
his ear next to the Hi- Fi speaker
listening to a different kind of music,
it sounded just this side of dangerous- Fever,
Don't, I Beg You, Great Balls of Fire, Hand Jive-
Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry.

1958, I was twelve, on my own verge, stepped over brother's body,
his eyes closed, transported to places I'd not yet gone
but I studied him like an instruction manual
and took in the music's messages. Things were changing
in one house on Rockland Ave. with oldest son, for sure,
middle daughter alerted who whispered cautionary tales to youngest brother,
one young man shifted, one girl altered, acculturated to the larger social upset.


Posted for Kerry at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads who asked us to write about a flashback moment. This strong memory from 1958 presaged my awakening in the turbulence of the 60's.

18 comments:

  1. You created a flashback for me! I saw Jerry Lee Lewis live (pounding away on his white piano) in 1959! Almost eighteen, thought I was SO sophisticated! Great job, Mary.

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  2. That is a great flashback to a moment of calm before the storm.

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    1. Just that moment of realization that starts to change it all.

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  3. This is so well-expressed, Mary. Your lines are tight, not a wasted word, and what a turn of phrase!

    I studied him like an instruction manual.

    Such flashbacks remind us who we are and why.

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    1. Thanks, Kerry. He was two years ahead of me but I was a quick study. This was a great prompt.

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  4. What stunning imagery to catch the moment!

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    1. I can see it so clearly in my mind's eye.

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  5. just this side of dangerous...music catches the feel of the moment and also acts like gas on already simmering fires of change....i like the studying him like an instruction manual as well...

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    1. It was so different from what we had listened to up to then. Music led and documented that sea change.

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  6. What a great post this is. I resonated with it completely, although it was a little different for me. Fats Domino the cutting edge, Elvis being almost too much to believe in... you captured it perfectly for me. Thank you! :-)

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    1. Imagine Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis in one year! No wonder we sat up and took notice.

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  7. You have really brought those times to life. Music tells SO much about a generation, doesn't it??

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    1. I came of age in the sixties, so yes to your question.

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  8. How closely we watch our elder siblings when growing up...they teach us without even realizing it...love your ending line

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    1. I watched my brother realizing something was changing and it began mine.

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  9. Nice, Mary. Not hunky dory events, but nicely told.
    I remember those days, I have a Senryƫ set poem about learning sessions. The second part was in the first grade, down on the storm cellar steps at school.
    Fading Memories

    some memories fade
    barely recall Sat night baths
    with my little sis

    some thoughts can recall
    show me yours I'll show you mine
    saith first grade girl friend

    http://jimmiehov6.blogspot.com/2009/01/one-single-impression-fading-memories.html
    ..

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  10. There's so much said and so much not said and I like that...this is balanced well...the flashback and the present. Well done!

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