All I needed was a Rock and a few Rolaids

If you are of a certain age, you will remember the television commercial in the 70s,  How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S. 

Well, thank goodness for heartburn because antacids are basically chalk and just what I needed to keep me occupied whenever the adults were doing something outside that I wouldn’t find exactly scintillating. 

I remember going to the horse races with my uncle and aunt when they were first married in the mid 70s, and as an only child, I found ways to entertain myself.

There was an outdoor area near the Meadows track that was just a simple fenced in area that you could watch the races from.  I think now that perhaps you weren’t allowed inside with a child but I’m not sure.

I remember asking for Rolaids or Tums which all the adults that I knew seemed to carry around.  I would draw a hopscotch board on the ground, find a rock and play.  A good rock could also be used to draw on concrete.  Of course, gravel surfaces were a bust and harder to make work but a kid with a good imagination can find a game or entertainment pretty much anywhere and with anything. 

There was another game I used to play with a ball.  It was called 7 Up and is a simple game any person can play.  All you need is a ball and a wall.  I would spend ENDLESS hours doing this. 

I used to read a lot too.  I mean A LOT.  During the school year and all throughout summer I read books and there used to be this MS Read-a-thon where you would read books and get people to pay you per book.  I remember all the neighbors I pestered about this were alarmed at how many books I did read.  I mean, honestly, I had nothing else to do and I LOVED to read. 

Do you remember reading and re-reading the books that you loved?   I would often finish a book and immediately start reading it again.  I wonder now if there was something wrong with me.  I must have read Heidi 1000 times, seriously.

I would take as many books out of the library as I could carry and read them all, return them and get more.  My library card was a PRIZED possession.  I love to talk with my husband about his favorite childhood books and reading.  We are 8 years apart but really in the same generation pretty much and I was and am still very glad that he has a love of books too.  Reading more and more advanced books is how I got such a good vocabulary, spelling and grammar skills.  I love reading so much!!!!! 

While these days,  I mostly read books and magazines on health, cooking, gardening and raising animals, I intend to get a few novels and biographies and do a little non-work fun reading this winter.  I am dreaming of digging in to those books, with a mug of warm tea in hand and a soft blanket plus a kitty and puppy or two all snuggled up. The Howard Stern book about his best interviews is waiting by my bedside.

I wonder if the last several generations of kids use their minds to entertain them.  I worry there is too much screen time for everyone.  I mean, I get gas at the BP and as soon as you turn on the pump you get some guy giving you headlines and telling me a bunch of crap on a screen built right in the gas pump.  Can’t we have even a minute of no digital media???

Hand held video games were just in their infancy when I was a kid.  I had a football game that I would hide with at night under the covers and play play play trying to keep the bells from letting mother know I wasn’t sleeping.  I did enjoy that game immensely.  Then of course there was Ms. Pac Man.  I indeed spent lots of quarters on that game.  I am as guilty as all the other kids of that time trying to master the games in the arcade.  I could make a quarter last a long time though. 

As a kid, I did have a Sony Walkman and I would listen to the few cassettes I had over and over and over and never tire of them.    I remember listening to AM radio late at night in my bed too.  There was this guy named Doug Hoerth and I just loved his show.  I was a weird kid I’m pretty sure.   I didn’t have much but didn’t need much and I don’t ever remember being bored. 

There was no cable TV in my house.    When MTV came to be I do remember wanting to see music videos and looking for baby sitting work that I could do so I could watch Friday Night Videos.  I have vivid memories of watching David Bowie in this banana yellow suit with his hair all floppy just rocking my world.  Those were good times and again by myself.  The kids were soundly asleep! 

My childhood in the 70s and 80s was a simpler time I guess.  We didn’t have internet or email, cell phones or I-pads.  There were only a few networks on television so we all watched the same shows pretty much and you had to actually go to the theater to see a movie.  It was an occasion to go to a show, the theater, an amusement park…. It was a BIG DEAL and I looked forward to and appreciated those fun moments. 

Today, life is full of those moments constantly for kids.  There is no waiting for things.  The kids of today experience so much more than we ever did as kids.  Is it good?  I don’t know.  I liked having things to look forward to growing up to be ABLE to do.  There was an absolute separation of children and adult activities where today, there doesn’t seem to be.

I’m going to write another blog about all that.  Today, it’s just a rainy monsoon type of Halloween and I was thinking of my childhood games.  Oh and yes, we trick or treated in whatever kind of weather we were experiencing.  There was no rescheduling due to rains, even hard rains……. What is the world coming to???? 

The Song Remains The Same

That by far is not my favorite Led Zeppelin song, but I had been thinking about the title for this blog and that sounded perfect to me. 

I am a music lover.  I mean I REALLY like music.  Most of these blogs have had some reference to music which is no accident. I walk around all day with music in my head.  

Years back there was a movie starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan and Nic asked a little dying girl what her favorite thing on earth was and she said “Pajamas with the feet.”  Well, mine is music.

While I usually stay in the 70s and 80s in my listening, my gym classes and friends with kids have introduced me to some really awesome modern tunes.  The joy of satellite radio can really keep me in my favorite tune zones with no commercial interruption but that has kept me from hearing what the kids are listening to, so once in a while I pop on over to the pop stations and give a listen.  I am definitely a fan of Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera and some others. I would say though, that modern music is NOT what it used to be.  Yes, I am perfectly aware I sounds like a curmudgeon but I truly feel classic rock n roll stands the test of time.  To me, there is just so much really GOOD music in that era that it would fulfill me a lifetime and is seriously timeless.  I plan to be 85 years old still jamming to Heart, Cream, Traffic, Jethro Tull, Pat Benetar, The Eagles, The Beatles and hundreds of other groups.

When I was very young, there was always a radio on wherever we were.  Radios back in the early 70s were small and portable with a rolling dial.   I remember 13Q in Pittsburgh before FM radio came to be popular and really loved singing along with the catchy tunes that I heard.  I laugh today when I think of the song Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band which was a hit song in the mid 70s.  I LOVED the harmonies of that song and basically would sing it at the top of my lungs not having any idea nor caring what the song was actually about.  And though I love harmony, I usually sing lead!  😊

I remember as a child going to see Sonny and Cher impersonators.  We watched their variety show religiously and I loved singing about being a vamp, another thing I could not define but caught the innuendo and loved it even as a kid.  I loved Chastity Bono, who is my same age, having matching dresses and jumpsuits as her mom Cher. Boy did I want to be Cher belting it out and being really sexy!!!I was definitely trying to grow up as fast as possible.  The kid music was never my style.  I wanted to be Sandy in Grease or even Marie Osmond.  When I watched the Donny and Marie Show, I had a microphone that I made from two plastic spoons put facing together and wrapped in aluminum foil.  That handy microphone was with me all the time.   You never know when you would be asked to do an impromptu concert. I was READY!

As a young kid, I remember the hours and hours that I spent spinning the vinyl records, reading the inserts and really pondering the covers. Those were the days, man. I think today’s kids have really missed out on a tremendously awesome experience.

I wanted to sing for as long as I remember and I have gotten the chance to sing in multiple choruses, my temples, on stage with a band and have been singing karaoke for more than 20 years.  It is still a great thrill to sing and as I write this I am planning our latest private gig.  Oh the fun I have creating and then whittling down my song list.

Mitch and I have gone to a LOT of concerts in the past 10 years and before that I have been seeing my favorite musical acts live on stage since 1982.  That concert was The Police and to this day, they are still my favorite band.  Sting, the front man and musical genius of that band is my one CHEAT if I ever get the chance.  You all know what I am talking about.  I LOVE STING and except for a few minor songs, love his entire catalog of music.  I have seen Sting by himself, with special guests like Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Shaggy and the whole Police band more than any other group.  I have travelled across the country to see and hear him and am seriously considering a stay at his Tuscan Villa where he keeps BEES.  You can actually rent his whole place anytime except for the month of August when he and Trudy are there.  You can bet I am planning for my 60th birthday……  we can save up for the next 8 ½ years for that one and ask friends to join in and share those 10 bedrooms and make it affordable, well more affordable.  What a bucket list item that would be!!!! 

So, since we are 51 and almost 60, Mitch and I have been seeing some of our favorite bands who are all celebrating 40 to 50 YEARS of being together.  That also means, they are aging and some have passed. 

We saw Gregg Allman a few years ago and I knew something was seriously wrong with him. Apparently he had cancer and did in fact pass away not long after. Same situation for Steely Dan with half of the core band being Walter Becker passing, Tom Petty, Prince.. the list goes on and on.

We recently saw the genius behind ELO, Jeff Lynne and he barely moved nor did he sing his own songs. He had a HUGE orchestra with him and I was disappointed to know his band director had to introduce the players as Jeff admitted, he just couldn’t. I am definitely worried about him. He didn’t have much energy at all but played guitar and kept giving us the thumbs up sign. Things have changed.

The last time we saw all the Eagles together about 5 years ago when Glenn Frye was still alive, we were amazed that is was such a docile show.

Phil Collins did a Still Ain’t Dead Yet tour though that we saw and he also barely moved. His 18 year old son is playing the drums for him. He did pound a bit on a handheld drum but he has become pretty feeble. He has had back surgery and was definitely in pain. Having back trouble myself I watched him carefully and sighed.

The music sounds the same, but the background and some main players are changing as these amazing rock starts are dying off. It is the cycle of life I guess.