Monday, March 12, 2007

Once upon a time.....


It was 1975. Hot. The highway melted, woven like a braided leather belt and in the rear view mirror, the trails of where we were yet to travel streamed behind us endlessly...... like those fluorescent tassels Skinny had on her new bike. We were piled into Christian's Impala, blazing down the interstate, Jethro Tull on the 8 track, and I can't count how many of us piled onto the shiney blue bench seats. I picked at the cotton peeking from a burn mark on the seat under my knees. Mesmerized by the sheer endless quantity of it. Sure that if I was really quiet, I could syphon it all out of the seat and the driver's side would slowly deflate, leaving Christian sitting on the floorboards. I giggled to myself. I could wad it all up at my feet, take it home on Sunday and put it on the spinning wheel. Yup........

My Mom had given me the dime. Not the nickel-dime bag, but the customary, traditional, "put it in your shoe" dime. We were headed to Tampa for the 24 hour fest.....KISS, and I wish I could remember all the others, but....it's hazy....24 hours of nonstop music, towel tents pitched in the sun, beer and Strawberry Hill, naked babies, peace......
The dime was to call home if I needed to.

I didn't .
The temperature rocked 100 by Saturday afternoon. The port-a-lets were full, the beer was gone. We were hot. The sun gave up and began to fade, giving in to the pyromaniacs on the stage. And then.....the water main broke. A giant upside down waterfall in the middle of thousands of sweaty, stoned, day-drunk hippies. We charged it. Bodies everywhere dancing in the make-shift rain. Lapping up the miracle falling from a hundred feet above our heads.....
It made the11:00 news...

"Throngs of youth out of control as heat and drugs, rock and roll, descend on Tampa Fairgrounds....." My Mother sat on the vinyl leopard skin couch, scooching closer.... "She's there"....

She watched as Eddie-wanna-be-newscaster-live-on-the-scene-in-his-three-piece-suit spelled it out for the audiences at home, as channel 9 flashed pictures of bare chested chics and bare bottomed guys with the tutorial black rectangle emblazoned on their privates danced across the screen....

She cringed.....

The 3 minute "Live from Tampa Fairgrounds" ended with a frozen shot of the ambulances..... dozens of them.....parked in the dirt......

She waited.
I had a dime, afterall....

She finally fell into a fitless sweaty sleep on the vinyl couch......"My God, they're naked....doing all those things" "What if someone put something in her drink?" "How many babies were born after Woodstock?" "Maybe they had enough sense to leave, but then.....why aren't they home, did they get in a wreck?" "Surely,the sheriff would have called me".........waking on Sunday morning to the Preacher on channel 9..... "You can be saved....."

We stopped at IHOP on the way home and laughed. "It's all good"..... We rolled in on Sunday night, sunburnt and kind of dirty actually, but fine.

I saw her face the minute I fell through the kitchen door.....

"You could've called".....


15 comments:

Bardouble29 said...

I remember those times of making my mother worry, it was always so bad! Thank God for them having so much patience!

skinnylittleblonde said...

LoL, Bless her heart! No wonder she never got mad when I called at 2 am to say I would be late coming in!

Matt said...

I remember when phone calls cost a dime. 'Course, I was too young to go anywhere.

A few years ago, Phish played a huge concert in the rural area where my parents live. My hippy mother was aghast that locals were charging the "kids" for rides when their cars became bogged down in the mud and the local chapter of the Eisenhower Interstate System shut down due to traffic.

Hippies never dye. They just fade away.

Oh, that's their T-shirts.

singleton said...

BD....And surviving it!

Sweet Skinny Sib.....Look at you! Riding on my tailfeathers! Paved the way for you, baby!

Matt....Ahhhhh,yeah.....Butterfliesand rides are free!
And ummmmmm...LOL! we don't die or fade away.....we just find peace!

psycho-therapist said...

i am smiling from ear to ear- remembering all of those summer concerts at charlie b arena and other concert grounds nearby. wish i could actually remember the music but getting wasted was the order of the day. still, it was all fun-stinky teenage boy bodies, warm beer and ringing ears for days. you bring back so many fun memories. thanks!
p.s. i don't know why, but my link to you keeps vanishing- kind of like my memories.

Angela Marie said...

Ahhh Singleton~ you have made me remember all of my summer and not summer concerts!
*We were at a "Mountain Air" concert. The mountain slightly sloped down to the stage, well by the middle of the third band, drinking strawberry wine and munching on carrot sticks (healthy) everyone was slowly sliding to a stack of happy people at the foot of the stage! LOL!!

I loved your memory! I, on the other hand did not have my mom worring about me. I lived with my dad, he was pretty much busy doing what he wanted... which means, so was I.

singleton said...

Sweet psycho-therapist...We were probably wandering around barefooted in the same places.....just can't remember! LOL Silly soul sister, I've been trying for a year to do links and only got up a handfull one magical night under the margarita spell....Can't remember for the life of me how that happened and can't seem to add anymore!

Angela Marie.....you were the girl with the carrots?

Dan said...

What an absolutely wonderful story. Moms are great, aren't they? When no one else could give a rat's ass whether we're doing OK or not, our mom seems to always be there for us.

I lost my dad right before Christmas (and he also cared) but I find it extraordinary that whenever I visit my mom (who now lives alone), all she can do is ask how I'm doing.

vicci said...

Memories.....I posted a few photos of a concert back in 75...I was at Mountain air also (Angela)...and my poor Mom...God Bless her...she never got much rest worrying about us kids...I use to call...not all the time...but I tried! History repeats itself!!! Same thing over again with my Son...I could never sleep unless he was home safe!

Bardouble29 said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Angela Marie said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Singleton....
Happy Birthday to youuuuuu.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

you are so lucky that you can NOT hear me sing that! LOL!

Happy Birthday Sweet Soul you!
((((BIG hug))))

mindy said...

i love that story!! i worry about my son and can't imagine him doing to me what i did to my mom... i feel awful for the things i must have put her through!
by the way!! happy birthday!! my son is turning 3 on sunday!! yay pisces!!

Fuzzylogic said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SINGLETON!hope you had a wonderful day!

singleton said...

Dan....they are wonderful! I am so sorry about your Dad... I can't even imagine....Peace to you....

Vicci....isn't it amazing how history repeats itself? And we are always given something to remind us that they were right all along in spite of what we thought when we were 17!

Angela Marie....I can hear you, girl!

Bardouble....Today is Sunday, Happy Birthday to your little man!

Fuzzy....Thank you so much! everyday we live and breathe is wonderful, but laughing that's the ultimate high! Its been awesome!

singleton said...

Ooopss.......I typed too fast!

BD....Thank you sweetie....

Mindy....happy Birthday to your little Man!