So the past several weeks has been filled with reading obituaries and people passing and snow and more snow.
Just when I thought it was safe to read things on the internet, Peter Tork dies. Now some of you will know who that is, and some will not have a clue.
Some will wonder why should I care?
Well just like scents and sounds, names tend to whisk me back to a time of long ago. In a town that doesn’t really exist anymore.
There are really dated pieces of music, that when they come on the radio, I see summer in Gardner. Right around 1966 or 1967. It would have been hot, and bright.
If we were outside we probably had a transistor radio in our hands. The sunglasses of the day were called “boywatchers”. They were a wrap around style. They were cool. Kids were riding skateboards and bikes with tall handle bars.
Kids in my age group were kind of gawky. We were growing out of shoes and clothes and styles were changing fast.
Playing on that transistor radio, very possibly on WHB, was a group called the Monkees. They were the American version of the Beatles or so we thought. They were as the times dictated, groovy.
In the long gone, two story brick building – Annex 10 – , which was our junior high school, we danced to The Monkees. We danced in our stocking feet on wooden floors. We were cool.
My very favorite Monkee was Peter Tork. He reminded me of some of the boys I went to school with.
So I see now that he has passed, and a little bit of the crisp sound and feel of that time has gone with him. Our music made way for the next generation and the next.
My kids shake their heads and wonder what we were thinking. I have to explain to them about “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother,” and other sayings from the time. I tell them about watching Robert Kennedy get shot on live television. About the boys in the military caravans going through town and off to a war that was unpopular.
Just another sign of this generation getting older. I never understood about my folks speaking about being kids with the look of longing in their eyes.
Now I know.
I am sorry you are gone, Peter Tork. But you will always be in that little town where I grew up. A tune on a transistor radio.
Wearing love beads, and singing with the Monkees.
Good bye Peter Tork, the Summer of 1967