After experiencing the usual June gloom here in Southern California it's starting to feel like summer is finally upon us and with that we'll go with what is becoming an annual tradition in honor of one of the very first blogs we ever started following.
In retrospect, I believe I was cheated. When I was a kid, adult behavior consisted of men and women dancing close to the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, and practicing sophisticated rites of wooing and seduction. The string arrangements were lush and romantic - Dad played Jackie Gleason and Gordon Jenkins albums that fully defined the style. Then came rock and roll, freedom from parentally-imposed restrictions and the celebration of being young. (In some ways my parents became co-conspirators in the movement: In an effort to make me more representative of my generation, Mom bought me a hot green Nehru jacket that I refused to wear. She also tried talking me into wearing my hair like the Dr. McCoy character in Star Trek, and threatened to take me to a barber with a illustrative photo for guidance. "Don't you want to wear your hair like JFK?" she'd ask. I kept my buzz cut - it was easier to remove playground sand from at the end of the day.)
The pacifism, idealism, altered awareness, Eastern mysticism and the relaxed grooming standards my peers adopted during my teenage years confused me, and by the time disco arrived when I turned eighteen, I was deeply disappointed. Sure, culturally we were becoming dominant, but what we had was empty and nowhere as mysterious and promising as the postwar adult culture I had observed when I was younger. Driving was nice, of course, and signing my own cut slips from class was a liberation of sorts, but what happened to the mystique of being an adult? Where were all the other members? What's more, opposition to the war in Viet Nam puzzled me. Wasn't this part of the admission to the club I had been exposed to as a child? How on earth could one talk about their war days, as my parents' friends had, if there weren't any war days?
Read the rest of "The Adult's Club" from Wes Clark's Avocado Memories, here.