Friday, November 6, 2009

Long-Haired Freaky People

And the sign said long-haired freaky people need not apply, so I tucked my hair up under my hat and went in to ask him why. He said you look like fine, upstanding young man, I think you’ll do. So I took off my hat and said imagine that, ha, me working for you. Sign, sign everywhere a sign, blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Remember this song? Just in case you’ve forgotten, I’ll jolt your memory. Signs, by the Five Man Electrical Band.

This is the time of year when we get pinched with nostalgia, or NOS-TA-LODGE-Ah, as my daughter used to pronounce it. Old pictures are good for that, and so are the holidays. Oh, the luck, or not, to have stumbled upon these pictures right now, tucked in a dusty book put together by my mom long ago.

My daughters said I looked like a hippie. Yeah, I see it. Slap a ring of daises round my head and deck me out in bell-bottoms and you could have tossed me smack into Woodstock. My name might have been Milky Way or Sunshine Rose. I still can’t believe I missed that. Man, I shoulda been there. Cool bands. Flower power. A bad moon rising. The whole she-bang.

I would have been a fab hippie. Peace out.

No psychedelic drugs for me. I’m partial to natural highs. It’s cool, man, it’s all cool. Most likely I would have been the hippie making sure all other hippies were well fed and didn’t wander off looking for Alice in Wonderland. “Nice fro, dude, nice fro. Now get the heck back over here, you’re missing Purple Haze.” I would have said something like that.

Okay, so I was too young to go. And my parents certainly didn’t drag us there. I really do love them for that. I hated getting dirty even at a young age. Woodstock rain and mud would have given me fits. My white vinyl Go-Go Boots would have never survived it. I shined those suckers every night and propped them next to my bed, sparkle, sparkle, pretty.

So,the other picture with the shorter hair. That was a year later, and, yes,I cut my own hair! Something about my shirt screams nerd bomber. And the Monkees when they sang, Daydream Believer. Didn’t they wear tan shirts with that type of collar? Never mind, it's not important. Even though I wouldn’t have won any beauty contests, it’s fun going back in time, yes? Somewhere in the closet, or under the bed is your own box or book of memories. Maybe it’s time to blow the dust off and tip-toe back.

Meanwhile I've got to go get my membership card to get inside..Hu!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jonny Quest Moments

An adventure filled life. Don’t we all want that? I don’t know about you, but when growing up Jonny Quest was high on my Saturday morning agenda. I’d sit glassy-eyed in front of the TV watching the Quest team explore the globe, using Dr. Quest’s particular brand of scientific genius to flush out Monsters and madmen. Remember Dr. Benton Quest, ten-year-old Jonny, Race Bannon, mystical Hodji, and the extraordinary adorable Bandit? Maybe, uh hem…if you are old enough, we shared those same lazy Saturday mornings.

This cartoon never played down to children. You could sit cross-legged in heart or bunny pajamas, climbing up sharp mountains of political intrigue in places you only drooled about in history books.

Now I’m not saying you must be a globe-trotting world explorer to snag adventures. My thoughts on this are as ordinary as a summer’s day, which isn’t ordinary at all when you really experience it. Every day is a adventure as long as you’re alive.

Sigh… now isn’t that great news?

Now if you do happen to be a writer like me, who has yet to visit most of the intriguing places the Quest team frequented, the news is not horrible. We have harnessed something that doesn’t require the almighty dollar or the tick of time to claim. As kids we already figured this out. Writer or not, if your imagination is keen you still travel right alongside Jonny, holding your breath when Bandit barks at shadows. You are right down the Nile River, fighting off unseen watery forces. A blooming imagination can and does take you places. And don’t look now, but one day, when you have college tuition payed off, and if you’re lucky enough to still see, hear and walk, you might visit those places yet.

What I’m really getting at here is we make our own adventures. When we’re knee deep in dishes and laundry, kids rampaging through the house, or sassy pants teenagers claiming we know zero about life, all while spending our last dollar for clothes, flat irons, etc… it’s hard to yank up those adventures. But I swear, if you examine things closely enough, you’ll find them right smack in the swirl of activity.