On Decades, a Melancholy Introspection

That 70's Show

The seventies are over and I guess I’m free, … kind of, perhaps for a moment, except it’s September 30, 2017, late in the evening so it’s September that’s going to be over, and I’ve just finished a marathon of all the episodes of “That 70’s Show”.  What a mean bunch of kids!  Xenophobia ruled, was it just a parody?  What does it say that the program was so popular, a favorite of at least one of my sons.  I liked it as well, probably had a lot to do with Donna, hot indeed.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties so the seventies seemed almost an afterthought but many of the things we credited to the sixties bloomed in the early seventies.  I remember the floral shirts and bell bottom pants, the leisure suits and long hair.  The short-lived antiwar majority following Vietnam.  The times a’ changing until MBA’s and law degrees replaced eclectic studies in never ending graduate schools and hippies morphed into yuppies.  Almost gradually, everything back to normal as Carter faded to Reagan.

Seventies.  Started with Susan and ended with Vicki, filled with personal triumphs and heartaches, the EMA days, not as a student this time, and St. John’s and NYU; life in a castle for most of the decade, then the battlements abandoned, the troops dispersed, stored safely in bittersweet memories that come a’ visiting in dreams.

The Castle


Who’d have thought as 1969 came to an end, then the seventies, just memories too now.

I can’t really recall that midnight, almost thirty seven years ago when the seventies ended.  I know I was with Vicki but have no idea what we were doing, something special though, I’m pretty sure of that, she always planned special things that came off well.  We’d left New York and had started living in Florida so her parents may have been with us; Irv and Lucie, amazing people.  All in the distant past now, Irv and Lucie gone.  And Saul and Alyssa and Melissa and “Fred”.

Vicki 2017.jpg

I wonder if we made a big deal about that change in decades.

There’ve been a lot now, the forties I can almost recall, and the fifties and sixties.  I recall the transition from fifties to sixties because the Pope was supposed to open an ominous letter, a Fatima prophecy, but nothing much came of that.  I was attending St. Gerard di Magella in Hollis then with a huge crush on Patricia Maher; she never knew, my crushes were like that then, well actually, they’ve almost always been that way.  I rarely do the choosing, I rarely have and when I have, things have never worked out.  Come to think of it, they’ve never lasted regardless of who did the choosing, at least not yet.

“Marianne oh Marianne, won’t you marry me ….”


Anyway, ….

The seventies flowed into the eighties and Cyndi, the nineties and the millennium, although there was a lot of confusion regarding whether the millennium and the century ended at the same instant or a year apart, the old “0” b.c. problem, but “b.c.” is no longer politically correct, it’s the common era (ce) now.  And the end of times apparently shared the confusion and once again failed to show.

In Colombia 12-1986 1-1987

The first decade of the third millennium, the twenty-first century in the Common Era, although the quarks that comprise us all are approaching their fifteenth billionth birthday, at the very least, or so we’re told.  Another marriage bit the dust, two down, hopefully none more to come, though old habits die hard.

But the seventies, when Joan Baez sang mournfully about Bob Dylan reminding us that the sixties were over so we ought to set him free, but how to be freer than Bob Dylan, now Nobel laureate and all.  Wonder what marriage he’s on?

Baez and Dylan

Then 2010, in Colombia.  Wonder where 2020 will be?  It’s coming up quickly.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

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