My Personal Evolution of Growing Old

The fast-food joints were at first amazing to me

Source
Col. Harlan Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Col. Harlan Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken | Source
Col. Sanders' restaurants are still growing across the U.S.A. and the world
Col. Sanders' restaurants are still growing across the U.S.A. and the world | Source

I'm 60 now

I can remember my very-first hamburger. What a taste of manna from Heaven. My sainted mother had learned how to cook this delicacy from one of her sisters who was "the radical one," to mother. And to mother, "radical," did not mean burning American flags, Draft cards, and vandalizing. It simply meant her sister was experiencing what happens to all living things: Change.

My story today is: "My Personal Evolution of Old," and for sake of time, space, I am only going to deal with four areas of my life where I started my evolution from youth to old age: FOOD, MUSIC, CARS, AND FASHON.

These should be enough.

COL. HARLAN SANDERS (right) didn't want to retire at age 61, so he began formulating a "secret recipe of seven herbs and spices," that made Kentucky Fried Chicken famous. When one of his franchise restaurants opened in my hometown, Hamilton, Al., I asked how can a person just walk inside a restaurant and get fried chicken? I soon learned how Sanders did it, and KFC and I still have a rich relationship. Sanders' success is not why I like him or his restaurants, but his determination and "never-say-die" attitude in making a dream come true.

Sanders, before he succeeded in getting his recipe right, failed over 200 times which relates to me when I try to accomplish something new and get so frustrated that I just give-up.

What if Col. Sanders had quit? This is a horrific thought.

Two symbols of my youth

I still love VOX amps. The one remaining symbol of my now-faded youth
I still love VOX amps. The one remaining symbol of my now-faded youth | Source
Youth is not just observing, but participating in life
Youth is not just observing, but participating in life | Source

VOX AMPLIFIERS still remains as a loving-symbol of my youth, and the years that I first started appreciating another form of music besides Country. Back in these days, "we" were the "radical" ones. But I never burned my flag or Draft card. I got into rock and roll quickly. Bands like Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Who, and many more--but the common thread that sealed these terrific bands were VOX amplifiers, "amps" to the musicians. If you owned a VOX amp, you were among the kings and queens of a new way to form music from a songwriter's pen. You were it. And you were "in."

SURFERS touched the "adventure" in my soul. And now at 60, I am despondent because I never got to try this new way of youthful-expression. Surfing also gave birth to "Pet Sounds," and the band:

The Beach Boys: The music of my youth

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CAN YOU NAME one rock band who became an instant-contender to dethrone The Beatles in 1964 as "the new wave of rock and rock/" No, because The Beach Boys covered that area. With hit after hit, sold-out concerts in and out of the United States, The Beach Boys set their own tone to a style of music that spoke peace, peaceful moods, easy existing and sweet, pure love among teenagers, and some grown-up's who got caught-up in the "wave" (yes, a pun) of The Beach Boys music. I remember my adulterous-appreciation of the band with songs like "I Get Around," "Darlin," "Surfin' U.S.A.," to name a few.

Sure, and to give recognition, there were Jan and Dean, and hundreds of "nearly made-it" beach bands, but none came close to The Beach Boys. And one thing still remains, The Beach Boys still use VOX amps.

Beach rock evolves to Hard Rock, Rap

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Source
Future solo rapper, Kool Moe Dee, center, and his posse, The Treacherous Three
Future solo rapper, Kool Moe Dee, center, and his posse, The Treacherous Three | Source

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE (Jimi, front, Mitch Mitchell, back left, Noel Redding, back right), were not rock musicians. They were inventors. They took Blues and Rock and formed the result of that union into the rage of the music industry. Hendrix didn't play guitar, he became the guitar. The band was not in competition with The Beatles, The Stones, or The Beach Boys--Jimi Hendrix built his own empire and kept rule over it until his death in Sept., 1970. I always dreamed of playing the electric guitar just like Jimi. In my storage room today, I have all but a few of his LP's. And if my Sony turntable were working, I would be enjoying "Electric Ladyland," his last album, a two-record LP set to be released.

KOOL MOE DEE (center, in photo) was once a part of The Treacherous Three, a hard-rapping trio from Harlem, N.Y., Dee gets bored, or maybe tried of rapping in the shadows of other known-rappers as Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, his forefathers of this scary music. Sure, forms of rap were violent, nasty, and crude. But so is life, Kool Moe Dee once said in one of a million interviews. Then as most successful groups do, a split came and Kool Moe Dee went solo and the rest is rap history. I liked KMD. Honest. I still like 'How Ya' Like Me Now?" and "The Wild Wild West," Kool Moe Dee's signature songs. And he did it without VOX amps.

Cars: a special area of my youth

Woody Mercury wagon
Woody Mercury wagon

WHAT TEENAGE BOY born anywhere in the world has not fell madly in-love with first, a hopped-up car that speaks "Rebellious," and then hot chicks to ride with him? I dare say that (except for a small percentage) there aren't any teenage boys who do not love cars. And not necessarily new cars, but any car that will run. He can always con his buddies into giving up a lot of Saturday sports to help him work on the rusty motor and ragged insides.

Oh, how I would have loved to owned "this" car to the right. A Mercury wagon, actually a Mercury Surfer Wagon. I figured that while I featured The Beach Boys, why not feature a car that went hand-in-hand with their "beach rock."

Two older friends of mine in my youth, James Childers and Alan Coons, (real names), were seniors while I was a junior in Hamilton High School (real name). Alan's dad, Alton, gave him a "cherry" 1957 Chevy Belair hardtop, two-door with a 327 cubic inch mill that tore the highway all to pieces. Wherever you saw James and Alan, you saw this beauty of a car. At one time or the other, all of our respective friends took road trips in Alan's car. Can you blame us?

Later on, James' older brother, H.C. Childers, (real name), sold him a '69 Chevelle, four-speed, two door, with a 327 Corvette engine and after James, who was gainfully-employed, did his magic in making his car stand-out. This is what guys do. Girls do not care if their cars look better than another girl's car, but as long as "she" looks better. That's how it works. My friends and I also went on road trips in with James and his "monster" car.

I see Alan and James from time to time now that I am settled man of 60. Both guys almost tear-up when I mention the cars they owned back in our day.

I guess that you are wondering what I drove. I drove our family car: a 1964 Chevy, four-door, automatic, with a Turbo-Hydramatic tranny (transmission in car talk) with Thrush mufflers. My dad didn't like these Thrush mufflers. He said this made his car look like a "hippie wagon."

Mini-skirts: The "heart" of my youth

DO I HAVE TO REALLY WRITE A CAPTION FOR THIS PHOTO?
DO I HAVE TO REALLY WRITE A CAPTION FOR THIS PHOTO? | Source

I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST and do you blame me, guys? Ladies, I searched through many photos of pretty girls in mini-skirts, but chose this girl because she is using discretion in her photo. I will never forget the day when I first viewed Twiggy, the famous London model and film star wearing a mini-skirt. Most people in America thought that the Anti-Christ had risen. And mini-skirt-wearing blonds were his workers.

Let's get out the protest signs and mark on New York City, the fashion capital of the world, to tell them how disgusting this new fashion-trend really is.

I can still hear the arguments against girls wearing this "garment of rebellion," and how it made her look slutty. And granted, some mini-skirts were, even to my generation then, too short and too revealing. Guys, even then, like some women's fashion that forces us to use our imagination.

A few girls, those with pretty legs in my class, (sorry ladies. I just have to tell it like it was), did wear their mini-skirts to class, but had to have the length of them approved by the teachers and principal. The rule was: If the girl sits down and cannot keep her panties hidden, she will not be allowed to wear a mini-skirt to school. Did us guys protest at this rule? No. We all needed to graduate.

But I sadly said good-bye to the wonderful mini-skirt years ago when it went through an evolution of its own. Remember the "Granny Dresses," and "Maxi Dress?" Those too have all but vanished.

But a few die-hard girls of 2014 are beginning their own "Mini-Skirt Resurrection," of their own. I was watching Late Night with David Letterman one night last week and, Jennifer Lawrence, star of "The Hunger Games," was dressed in a skirt that could easily be called a "mini," and she was applauded for over three-minutes.

I didn't applaud or whistle. I needed to be allowed to live in my own house with Pam, my discerning wife.

Seriously. These are just four areas of my faded-youth. My wild, explorative, seeking and living life uninhibited youth. I would have presented a touching-piece of poetry here, but why cry over something you cannot change.

The certain-evolution we all are making from a simple youth to wise old ages.

The only photo I am running that is in my old age

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THE DIGITAL TABLET and it has taken America, and the world, by storm. Or should I say, "touch?" You can touch things on its screen and move them, delete them, or save them. Some have iPads, and tablets by other companies, by they are all just a multi-gig computer in tablet-form.

No, they are not a "sign of the anti-Christ." They are just another fad that with time will evolve into another "new and incredible" thing or gadget that will take our breath.

Then a representative, a 60-year-old guy or girl, from their generation will be writing a story like this.

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Comments 14 comments

ThoughtsWriter profile image

ThoughtsWriter 2 years ago from America

That hamburger looks phenomenal...


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Nice to reminisce along with you. I saw a broken knickknack on its way to the landfill the other day. Guess what? It didn't say "Made In China"! It said "Made In Occupied Japan"! How is that for a good ole oldie?


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

I just saw a video on youtube of these kids who were given a walkman and had no idea what it was for, and they had never seen a cassette tape. Made me wonder what they would think of an 8 track. Time goes by fast and it is nice to remember.


Anita Saran profile image

Anita Saran 2 years ago from Bangalore, India

Very interesting hub Kenneth. It's always nice to read about what people are really like. I will never let go of my Led Zeppelin. Or watching sunsets, or skipping across the street. I'll be 60 in a couple of years and I look forward to it.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Well, we seem to be the same age as everything you mention, I remember. More so, because my husband is a music lover and he listens to old music all the time.

I laughed when you ended with the digital tablet and you're right, 60 years on, someone with a digital tablet will be considered a freakazoid, while something completely different with new with better competencies (as if there aren't enough) will take over. Life.


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 2 years ago from the South

What fun! Sometimes I read about things I'd totally forgotten about and it amazes me that I could forget them...but then that happens more often in our older years...haha. Great hub!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, ThoughtsWriter,

It sure does. Wish I could take a run at it.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back often. You are always welcome.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Perspycacious,

"Made in Occupied Japan," Wow. You should have grabbed it and seen what would have sold for on EBay. That one "is" an oldie for sure.

If you run across anymore like this one, please share it with me.

Have a good day. Deal?


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Truthfornow,

That is scary stuff. How do we bridge the gap between these kids and our generations who have contributed much to society?

A plain sit-down, roundhouse discussion. I said roundhouse discussion as opposed to roundtable due to the kids not knowing anything about King Arthur, and I wouldn't want to confuse them anymore than they are already.

I happen to have a few 8-tracks in my house right now. What a trip those were. Then came the cassette.

I better stop before another hub pops up.

Thanks for your friendship and comment.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Anita,

Firstly, thank you for your warm comment.

Secondly, me either, the never turning loose of your LZ. I own a lot of their LP's and they are as rich in sound now as some of the "junk" that some FM stations are jamming down my throat.

And may I say that you do not look your age. This is a pure-intentioned compliment.

Sunsets will always be a favorite time of day for me. An ending to some and a starting over for many.

Anita, thank you for your understanding and sweet friendship.

Now put on "Whole Lotta Love," and drift-away to a peaceful place where people actually listened to what they were hearing.

Thanks for the sweet comment.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, grand old lady (who is not old),

Thanks for your sweet comment and yes, we may be at the same age level. These things in this hub are special memories that I will always remember.

Like the first taste of the Original Recipe KFC. Wow, was that a treat.

And my first Big Mac, well needless to say, I loved it.

And the list goes on and on.

Thanks for the visit. I enjoy your comments.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest Catgypsy,

Thanks for your poignant comments. Sure we are going to forget things in our ages, but I had rather forget the bad stuff and let the good memories refresh over and over just like a computer page.

I hope you are having one good day. The sun is shining up here and there is a cool breeze coming through the house.

Ahhhh.

Come back anytime you like, Catgypsy. Say hi to your little ones.

Festus and his cat friends say hi to you.

Love, Kenneth


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Sixty isn't old. Not really. Older that under-sixty, yes, but also younger than over-sixty.

I loved the Beach Boys. My husband loved Jimi Hendrix. Now our kids love the music we used to love along - with their own new stuff.

Our elder son wears Wranglers, just like his Dad did when I met him, and our daughter wears mini skirts, just as I did.


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

When I am overwhelmed, Trish, I use Wow, to express that moment. Wow! To all of your comment. It is the equivalent to me waking inside a toy store--actually reading something from someone I have not met, but I hope so one day, who knows Jimi Hendrix songs, Wranglers, Beach Boys and mini-skirts.

Trish, have you ever thought of yourself as living history? Wow.

Kenneth

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