the times they are a changin’

29 07 2008

In the early 60’s, listening to WLS radio in our house was a misdmeanor. Good Baptist kids didn’t listen to that kind of music, but my sister was six years older and apparently quite savvy to the ways of the heathen. Sharing a room and a 3/4 sized roll-away bed where a line was carefully drawn down the center, I remember a small beige transistor radio being stuffed under a pillow and with the volume barely above a whisper, we’d be carried away to where we’d never be caught dead in the daylight…only to dream of being able to dance to those tunes. Dancing was, after all, a crime punishable by death.

Clark Weber and Larry Lujack were two of that era’s DJ’s who were our hosts on the forbidden airwaves. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the best of Motown and so many more. God help us if we fell asleep without first moving the dial to disguise where we’d been wandering around in the dark.

So it really caught my attention the other day while at the house, walking by the garage to hear the “oldies but goodies” playing on a radio tuned to WLS/Chicago. I laughed out loud to see my parents now oblivious to the fact that it was the same music once deemed an anathema. And the real kicker is that the radio was there for their dog – may she rest in peace – who apparently was a classic rocker in her last days.

It may be that old habits die hard and her presence with them for 17 years can be evoked with the hook of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”- but it plays on. For noone. This radio comes with a special set of instructions – written in my father’s distinctive block print… it’s own tell tale sign that the times they are a changin’. Just like the old house rules about what music was acceptable …there are certain things we just let slide ‘coz the “button” really has 2 “t”s.

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