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Date Posted: Sun, January 01 2012, 1:35:07
Author: Don Poss
Author Host/IP: cpe-76-166-233-185.socal.res.rr.com /
Subject: 1962


Eleven days out of High School I enlisted in the Air Force. John Kennedy was president. Khrushchev wanted to bury us. Dee Dee Sharp was doing The Bird; The Chiffons sang He’s So Fine, and The Crystals whaled He’s Sure the Boy I Love. Ozzie and Harriet slept in separate beds and Ricky Nelson was wondering Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be.

School kids played duck and cover. B-52’s tag-teamed photo-ops with Russian-Bears, and half the world hated the other half. Arabs hated the Jews. The Jews hated the Arabs. Soviets hated everybody, and Americans wanted everybody to like us. The ground was still radioactive in Hiroshima. Life was great! Gas was cheap. The Cuban Missile Crisis lit the fuse to end humanity on earth. I dressed like an eskimo while freezing on Montana’s Minutemen Missile silos. Martin Luther King was marching and regularly getting bailed out on the daily 15-minutes of black and white TV news, and Mahalia Jackson sang goose-bump gospel songs just before the TV Test Pattern of an Indian wearing a war-bonnet signaled several hours of non-broadcast static.

Naïve Times. Innocent Times. Dangerous Times. Vietnam loomed just over the dark horizon, like a cancer whose twisting tentacles would embrace and rip the nation a new silo. The first lines of 77 Names destined for a distant Wall were shadows upon uncarved marble. Things would never be the same again ….

Don Poss

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