Go ahead and get it out of your system…
"Hey, that was yesterday Glazer!" But I still say it’s the times of our lives that matter most. If not, then what?
I feel kinda sorry for the teenagers of today in a way. I think they’re limited as far as what to do with their nights. Not like their older brothers and sisters, right? Remember?
I know you do. Summer. School’s out, baby.
We were 16 and badass. There was the four year old Mustang I snagged for 600 bucks (today it would be worth ten or twenty times that, but who knew?). It’s Friday night and oh brother, what a night! First we’d pick up our best buds and they’d each pitch in a buck for gas. The guy who put in the most got to ride shotgun. Yeah, we’d fill that puppy up for about $3.25 or close. Enough to do KC!
Then we’d head over to Ward Parkway. It’d be getting dark and we’d see a slower, older car. So we’d pull up next to it, go into neutral and gun that sucker. Hell, who couldn’t outrun an old Rambler or whatever that geek was driving? Besides, his hair was short and ours was as long as Mick Jagger‘s. We’d be blasting The Who on FM or maybe 8 track. Yeah, we’d run right past that punk, until we saw that KCMO cop – end of race.
Winstead’s here we come.
We’d circle that bitch a few times and pull into an open bay right next to a couple blondes from South West. They’d look over and then the brave guy – in this case me – would say, ‘Hey, wanna go to a party?’
They’d shake their heads no. Oh well, there wasn’t a party anyway. I always wondered what we’d do if they’d said yes. Then we’d get a bit tougher and hit Allen’s and Sidney’s where more middle class Missouri kids hung out. After all, we were Johnson County teens, a little more upper crust. Not much, but a little.
Hell, I got one of my worst beatings at Sidney’s.
A dude flipped me the finger and I got out of the car to fight him. but it turned out he had three pals. My carload chickened out so it was just me in the fight. I was maybe 16. Lucky I couldn’t reach that switchblade in my boots or they’d have taken it away from me and stabbed my ass. Besides it was a cheap Mexican switchblade – you know – sometimes the blade wouldn’t come out all the way and you had to help it along.
Yeah, I got jacked up that night, some friends…
Then there were the bands. Ranchmart had some nice mini concerts, even King Louie’s ice rink on Metcalf. I loved the odor of ice, girl’s perfume, and popcorn – kinda an outta town smell.
However if you recall, even we cool guys rarely picked up a girl.
Rarely, not never.
But hell, we were afraid to ask a girl to dance for fear she’d say no and our pals would laugh at us. There was a time or two I’d get one, then she’d go out with me on Saturday night. That was always an adventure. Since I had no place to take her – I couldn’t afford hotels yet – it was off to 103rd street and into the backwoods and the backseat with a blanket atop our soon-to-be-naked bodies.
Oh well, it was better than the drive-in movies with fewer people watching.
Then there was the night the cops came right up to my fogged up window on that lonely, dark dirt road. My girl was naked under a blanket and I barely had my underwear on. They opened the door, pulled down the blanket and just gawked at her – she was a cute blonde – then they pointed their guns at me while they just looked, took our names, then ran us off.
Another night I got chased down Mission Road by a group of guys wanting to just beat me up because I had a girl in the back seat. I drove 90 down Mission, naked and looking for help. Naturally, there’s never a cop around when you need one, right?
Oh, those summer nights.
There was Prairie Village Pool, those tiny parking lot carnivals all over the city – the best was at Rockhurst. And they were building a new country club in the area with several pools – wow – it was to be called Woodside.
The summer highlights of course were the BIG CONCERTS.
At Freedom Palace, Midland, Memorial Hall. Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who. Man, you had to get a new pair of bell bottoms for those puppies. Dope, that was something you needed a big brother or sister for, right? I mean at $10 a ‘lid’ or $8 for hash, it had better be the good stuff. Damn, that was some money back then. And you had to hide it while you are driving around, the cops never look in the ashtrays or under your seat.
Ah, summer in the late 60’s and early 70’s, it was a special fun time for us Boomers. We ruled the world. We were gonna make it better, more fair, remember? Legalize pot, end all wars, 10% taxes.
Yep, we were gonna make it the greatest. Then the worst thing happened….we grew up, opened a business or got jobs, got married, had kids and grew up to be as right wing as mom and dad.
Like George Brett said in his TV commercial, "Just when you need summer the most it’s over."
Kinda like our youth. One day you just grow up.
What a shame.