Growing up in the late 50's, early 60's were the greatest years of my life. I was just finding out what life was all about. I had strict parents, and that was okay, and the teens in my day weren't anything like the teen years of my teenagers, or the teens now days.
I don't remember anyone using drugs, at least none of the kids I ran around with. We had sock hops, the jitterbug was the in thing, and my big brother taught me how to dance.
High school was fun, I started three months into my freshman year, and I was the new kid on the block. I wasn't old, wrinkled, and chubby then. My big brother was one step behind me all the time. He watched out for me. Sometimes more than need be.
We had a car club where all the boys would get these old cars, and fix them up. I remember the words pleat, and roll. Then they'd have car shows, and have judging. Once a month, the car club would give a dance, and it would remind you of "Happy Days," and the jukebox. It was all so real.
They actually had country road drag racing back then, Sometimes, we'd all go out in the country, circle up the cars, turn all headlights on, synchronize all radio's to the same station, and we'd have a street dance.
We use to get a car full of kid's, and go to Fresno, to a place called Rodings park. There, we would run through the sprinklers in the heat of the summer. We never did anything bad, just good clean fun. It all seems so childish now, but life was great then.
When I left Calif. I felt like I wanted to die. All my friends were gone, going somewhere new, I was seventeen then, High school was over, and I felt like life was to. I hated life, sometimes I felt like I hated my parents for turning my whole world upside down, and why?
But life goes on, I got a job, met the man that I was to marry, settled into what I thought was life as an adult. I have to admit, as much as I loved this man, I was not ready to be married. I just wasn't ready to give up my teen years. I loved my life, and becoming a woman. But I wasn't ready to be a wife.
I remember the days of the Cuban Missile crisis. I thought the world was coming to an end. I was so proud of President Kennedy when he backed them down. It was a very frightening time, especially when you're so young, and you don't think of these things happening.
Several of the boys in my graduating class got called up to the Vietnam war, and so many didn't come home. I didn't find out how many, until I went back to California for my ten year reunion.
In 1963, my husband was in Highway patrol school, and my mother-in-law came home from town to tell me that President Kennedy had been killed. For a minute, the words went right over my head.Then the reality hit. That was the first tragedy I had to deal with as an adult. It was unbelievable. I remember His funeral procession, and that little boy standing there, saluting his father's casket.
Those were the days when we lost Martin Luther King, President Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy. By then being grown up didn't feel very good. But those years were fun while they lasted.
I look back on it now, and I wonder why I wanted to grow up so fast. All the good years were back then. I hear the old songs out of the 50's and 60's, and I just feel sad sometimes. I miss it to this day.