And Gutenberg Lived Here: Welcome To 1968

Yesterday, while doing the usual

“Midwestern Living” approved

Saturday ride the trolley,


errands bit,

I had one of those sudden brainstorms-

that’s fancy talk for

there was this flash of lightning,

and a piece of the sky fell on my head.

No, we weren’t headed for Kansas in a balloon.

I was in a small outdoor strip mall:

drug store, dentist, photographer, copy place,

O2, two bakeries,

a Chinese,

small grocery store,

and a teller machine-

for paying the mid-month bills-

when it hit me:

Hey, Toto.

I’m back in 1968.

Which I surely should have seen coming-

what with a group of students of mine,

in a short break during a rehearsal this week,

asking me what my “Stripper Name” is-

(that’s your pet’s name,

and the name of the street where you were raised.)

In my case:

Mitzi Sunnyside.

Which could be left open to a looootttt of interpretation,

if it weren’t for the fact that it also

would be my brother’s “Stripper Name.”

Do the Chippendales do “Mitzi?”

And then, of course, we were off and running.

Astrological sign-

hey who huh,



Chinese sign?


(good hands for playing piano)

Hippy Love name-

Morning Starshine?

House on the beach, in the woods, in a city?

Anywhere except a practice room.

In fact, even a large dog house,

as long as it is sound-proofed,

and has no other musicians as neighbors.

Vampires or werewolfs?


Stones or Beatles-


Then yesterday, I saw all the posters-

the theater here is doing “Nunsense”

And “The Adams Family”

The new “spring collection-”

at the Gutenberg equivalent to Wal-mart,

is pure sixty-eight.

And lots and lots of Indian influence.

The new VWs all have just a smidge of-

who am I kidding?

in my opinion,

they all look exactly like-

Herbie The Love Bug.

(Anybody else notice that the Fords have fins?)

And on TV,

instead of The Lion In Winter,

and Rosemary’s Baby,

we have….

fill in the blank with anything you find seven nights a week

between about seven and midnight.

So what exactly does this signify,

Bill Nye the science guy?

That we are all insecure and wanting to go back to the future?

Or longing for a time again when the music was

really truly cool,

and the future didn’t consist of fat Korean dictators

and neighbors spying on each other with spyware.


like asking what your hippie name is?

So how about,

to confuse everyone,

we invent a new set of questions of our own.

Not asked by data collectors.

How about-

what is your Will Rogers name?

Mugwump Whipplewhite?

Or Mark Twain

Dewberry Deuteronomy?

Or favorite murder mystery character name?

Agatha Raisin,


Hamish McBeth,

Tom Barnaby.

And, of course, the fantastic Jessica Fletcher.

Just take them from anything that has been filmed in the last few years.

And wear them with honor.

Welcome to the sixties.

copyright 2017

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