This is the second post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one from 2014 because I think most of us have a favourite, stand out year. For me it was 1985 when the two of us headed off to Texas with a couple of suitcases and several misconceptions, to spend an extraordinary two years, meeting great people, traveling the country and spreading our wings. I am sure that Marilyn would love to hear what about your favourite year.
Marilyn’s Favourite Year – 1969 (2014)
1969 was the year I learned to fly. The world was happening and I was part of it while everything changed.
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in July 1969. I was a new mommy with a 2 months old baby boy. Home with the baby, not working or in school. I had time to see it. We watched it on CBS. Walter Cronkite wanted to be up there too. Up there, with Neil and the rest of Apollo 11. He could barely control his excitement, almost in tears, his voice breaking with emotion. The great Arthur C. Clarke was his guest for the historic broadcast.
Neil Armstrong died last year. He had a good life. Unlike so many others who fell from grace, he remained an honorable man: a real American hero. How I envied him his trip to the moon. I always tell Garry no man will ever take me from him, but if the Mother Ship drops by to offer me a trip to the stars, I’m outta here. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, but if they could do it on Cocoon, maybe there’s hope for me, too. Maybe we can go together. To paraphrase Wendy in Peter Pan, “That would be a very great adventure.”
Woodstock was just a month away and there were rumors flying about this amazing rock concert which would happen in upstate New York. Friends had tickets and were planning to go. I was busy with the baby. I wished them well.
There were hippies giving out flowers in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. I didn’t envy anyone. I was happy that year, probably happier than I’d ever been and freer than I’d ever be again.
I was young, healthy. I believed we would change the world, end war. Make the world a better place. I was still of the opinion the world could be changed. All we had to do was love one another, join together to make it happen. Vietnam was in high gear, but we believed it would end any day. Though we soon found out how terribly wrong we were, for a little bit of time, we saw the future bright and full of hope.
I had a baby boy and I sang “Everything’s Fine Right Now.” It made my baby boy laugh.
It was the year of the Miracle Mets. I watched as they took New York all the way to the top. A World Series win. 1969. What a year. I rocked my son to sleep and discovered Oktoberfest beer. New York went crazy for the Mets. It should have been the Dodgers, but they’d abandoned us for the west coast.
I wore patchwork bell-bottom jeans and rose-tinted spectacles. I had long fringes on my sleeves and a baby on my hip.
Music was wonderful. How young we were! We were sure we could do anything, everything. We would end war and right every wrong. For one year, the stars aligned and everything was good.
Decades passed; youth was a long time ago. The drugs we take control our blood pressure, not our state of consciousness. They aren’t any fun at all.
I worry about Social Security and Medicare and I know I’m not going to fix what’s wrong with the world. I’ve lived a lifetime. My granddaughter is barely younger than I was then. I’ve remarried, lived in another country, owned houses, moved from the city to the country, and partied with a President … but 1969 remains my year.
Please let us know what your favourite year is and why…
About Marilyn Armstrong
I’m a blogging anarchist, a blogger without goals. A writer, photographer. I don’t have a primary focus nor do I want one. I have a lot of interests and write about whatever catches my attention or is most on my mind. Or in the news.
I’m a bit of a geek and I love my high-tech toys. I enjoy writing about computers and other high tech devices. Especially cameras!
Serendipity is about everything. What I think about. Read. Big and little stuff in my world. It’s what I hope you’ll like to read about. Think about. Laugh about. I will show you pictures of my home, my valley. I will do my best to capture the seasons and how sunlight filters through trees.
About the book
Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.
One of the reviews for the book
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve been following Marilyn Armstrong’s blog “Serendipity” for a couple of years and figured any book written by her would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong. Admittedly, this book is hard to read in spots because it deals with Marilyn’s long-term struggle to exorcise the demons of her childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, she tries to forgive her father, and at times her mother, for the abuse she and her brother suffered. After surviving such a childhood, she was then beset by ill health. Many others would have simply given up at that point, but Marilyn fought her battles.
Years later, she decided to build a teepee so that her granddaughter could have a private place, but that teepee became Marilyn’s temple instead. I found myself rooting for her at each step of the construction of the teepee, which had become Marilyn’s symbol for inner peace. Marilyn also deals with her decision to leave the Jewish faith and convert to Christianity, a heavy subject indeed, but one she handles beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book – and should any producers be reading this review, can also envision it as a thought-provoking screenplay.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ
Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21228963-the-12-foot-teepee
Connect to Marilyn
My thanks to Marilyn for allowing me access to her archives and I hope that you will head over to explore them further. Sally