A Wall is a Wall–Or is It?

Houses and buildings have walls, it goes without saying, and and thank goodness bathrooms have walls because Lord knows, walls come in handy for those moments when privacy is what’s needed.
And then there’s Trump’s wall. The wall to end all walls, if you ask me. Continue reading

My Birthday Week–Fun, Frivolity, Madness & Sir Paul

My Birthday Week–Fun, Frivolity, Madness & Sir Paul

From an ant infestation on Sunday to Sir Paul McCartney eight days later, my birthday week ended with a bang and a whole lotta cashola spent.

Why a “Birthday Week” and not just a day, you might ask?

Because one day won’t do, no sir! You gotta have an entire week to celebrate with mirth and merriment! Here’s how the eight days went down:

Sunday: Attack of the ants. Continue reading

Lightning in a Jar: No More Fun & Games

Lightning in a Jar: No More Fun & Games

As the blistering, muggy heat of summer gave way to autumn, I felt a choking sensation in my throat. The one that comes with dread. Dread of senior year and what it meant. The goodbyes and moving on. Except, where would I be moving on to? Hadn’t my guidance counselor already determine I wasn’t prepared for much? Continue reading

Boomer Anthem

baby-boomers

BOOMER ANTHEM

by Monica Medina

I am a Baby Boomer,

Marked by autumn leaves turning to gold,

Sputnik, Bay of Pigs,

JFK, Camelot,

Uncle Milty and Your Show of Shows,

Dinah Shore singing, See the USA in your Chevrolet,

And Rod Serling scaring the bejesus out of me,

The medium is the message.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Forever waiting for the Good Humor man—not Godot,

Licking the cup of cola ices dry,

November 22, 1963 is seared on my psyche,

And later, the first landing on the moon,

One small step for man, one giant leap for–

–Ms. Magazine,

Caught up in the revolution of,

Women’s Lib, Feminist Mystique and Fear of Flying,

Burn your bra, burn the flag, Civil Rights,

Wild in the streets, NEVER trust anyone over 30.

I’d rather fight than switch.

You’ve come a long way, Baby,

But then so have I.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Celebrating Earth Day, a day we created,

While smoking grass, believing we could be

Anything we wanted,

My Generation, unique and unfettered by the Generation Gap,

Life’s a gas. Everything’s groovy,

Adam West perennially disguised as Batman–Pow, Bam, Whack!

Bob Hope playing golf and Soupy Sales getting another pie in his face,

Sock it to me, Baby!

That Girl–what girl?

My girl,

She’s in living color, Technicolor, playing the hits on the Hi-Fi stereo,

Has anyone seen my old friends, Bobby, Martin and John?

Can you tell me where they’ve gone?

I am a Baby Boomer,

Drinking the Kool-Aid, wearing culottes, hot pants,

Go-go boots that were made for walking,

Bell-bottoms and crazy hair down to there,

Nehru jackets and give peace a chance,

Good Morning, Starshine,

Vietnam, the draft and the fears

In the eyes of the boys I danced with,

In dark rooms at late night parties,

Getting stoned in the basement,

In the backseat of your Impala,

The protests and moratoriums,

The sit-ins where we,

Turn on, tune in,

Drop out, Drop acid,

It’s Psychedelic, man.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Who wasn’t here for Woodstock and Yasgur’s farm

Didn’t see Hendrix or Janis Joplin,

Nor your plastic Jesus riding on the dashboard but

I sang off-key to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,

And rocked the night away with Loggins & Messina,

Holding hands with you, basking in the moment,

Our Age of Aquarius,

Cut short by the rumor, “Paul is dead,”

When you played the White Album backwards,

Help, I need somebody.

Anybody.

I was a girl on the verge, after all, terrified of what awaited us.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Enduring the gasoline shortage, the meat boycott–Wheres the beef?

Dear Abbey ragging on a husband, a cheater,

What else is new?

Everything, nothing,

Outer space and the Russians are coming,

You took me to see the One on One concert at the Garden,

And smiled when you said, Who cares about Yoko?

We hated the Beatles’ breakup,

The end of an era, you said, and I nearly lost it.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Twisting, evolving, moving through time,

Wishing it to stop, knowing it’ll end,

The best is yet to come,

Disco dancing, feeling the beat,

Riding our bicycles at top speed,

Baby, we were born to run,

Exploring empty mansions then,

Downing chocolate Fribbles at the local Friendly’s,

Amid the blistering summer of Watergate that came and went,

John Dean testifying led to Nixon resigning and

Good, old Ford stumbling into a pardon.

The end of an era you said, and I knew it to be true.

I am a Baby Boomer.

Facing the 80’s with padded shoulders,

Greed is good, and the Me generation,

No longer the Pepsi generation,

Mesmerized by the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion,

And the forlorn teacher fulfilling her youthful fantasies,

Whatever happened to, Ask not what your country can do for you,

Ask what you can do for your country?

We miss you, John Lennon.

I am a Baby Boomer,

A product of my generation,

Drove my Chevy to the Levee and got lost,

Paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

Express yourself, respect

Find out what it means to me.

But I didn’t, and closing my eyes,

I sealed my fate,

Living together, tying the knot,

There was superstitious writing on the wall,

Like a ticking time bomb,

Stop the world, I want to get OFF!

Too late,

How easily we swapped

The marriage certificate for a divorce decree.

We are Boomers, forever young.

Wrapping our dreams in our backpacks,

We took off to see the world,

Time was on our side,

We saved but not enough,

We consumed and swore we’d be different–not like our parents,

We drunkenly kissed, making love not war.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Shell shocked by September 11th

Mourning loss and a world never to be the same again,

Grieving for the sense of security we never really had,

Playing Mother, May I? on the streets with friends until dusk,

Sometimes later,

While something ominous lurked, waiting, simmering, stalking,

Like a beam of light, cracks in the ice,

Hands extended, you let go.

I am a Baby Boomer,

Hearing the silence echo through the school halls,

The empty lockers that once held textbooks,

The notes passed between us,

Our secrets safe, the loneliness growing within,

Like a crescendo, it wails, it haunts,

Chewing gum stuck under classroom desks,

Elmer’s paste and inked-out hearts,

Laurie and Mitchell Forever,

Meaningless now.

Erasers on chalkboards,

Whoosh, it’s all gone.

I am a Baby Boomer,

We were going to change the world

And the world changed us,

We were going to explore new frontiers,

And scrapped the space program instead,

Fighting to end the Vietnam War, we traded it for wars in the Middle East.

Where are they now? The dreamers, the visionaries, the believers,

The ones with hope, the rebels?

Where are they now—the hippies, the hipsters,

The flower children, the skeptics?

I am a Baby Boomer, the product of my generation,

Commercialized, pasteurized, homogenized,

Crystalized and vacuum sealed,

Displaying my small pox vaccine–like a badge on my forearm,

Not ready to give up on Our Town,

Or throw in the towel,

There’s still a kick to these old legs,

There’s still bite to these teeth,

Not ready to say goodbye to Miss American Pie,

Yet knowing I once came close.

No longer thinking we’re going to live forever,

But still believing in that can-do spirit,

Love, compassion and goodwill to all,

Wrong from right,

Knowing you can’t go home again,

Unless you click your ruby slippers three times

And repeat after me,

There’s no place like home,

THERE’S NO PLACE AT ALL.

Now it’s your turn:

What does your generation mean to you?

Lennon’s Wall

I was eight years old when the Beatles entered my life, jolting me awake from my childhood stupor of playing games like, Hopscotch and Simon Says.

There they were, in all their mop-top glory, introduced to America by none other than Ed Sullivan himself, on his highly popular variety show. Overnight, it was as if I grew up and fell in love. Besides the longish hair, there was the Liverpool accents, the spiffy suits and cool boot wear. Oh, and those dreamy eyes. I was smitten–hook, line and sinker.  Here’s more proof that I love the Beatles:

I saw each of their films in a movie theater in Queens with about, 1,000 screaming girls. My brother and I were the only sane ones in the bunch.

I wore an “I Love Paul” button the size of a moon-pie.

I shellacked my black lunch box with pictures of the Beatles that I had ripped out of Life and Look magazines.

I played my Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album over and over again, feeling as if “She’s Leaving Home” was written with me in mind. I listened incessantly to the album, until I knew exactly where all the scratches on the record were and precisely when the needle would skip just before the end of the song, thus giving “A Day in the Life” the feel of a never-ending anthem.

I went to see John Lennon in concert at Madison Square Garden, and put up with the screechy singing tones of Yoko Ono.

I love the Beatles. I heart the Beatles.  Paul, the cute one. Ringo, the funny one. George, the quiet one.

And John, the smart one.  I remember where I was when I heard that John Lennon had been shot. Sitting at the kitchen table with my ex (we hadn’t yet married), having just finished dinner. It felt like an earthquake had hit us, but it was only the intense shock waves that the incomprehensible news had brought us.

I love John. Which is why, when we traveled to Prague this summer, we crossed the Charles Bridge to visit the wall.

The John Lennon Wall, that is. Once used by Czechs to write their grievances, students took it over and began to write messages of peace, love, as well as song lyrics, and tributes to John Lennon.  The wall is a never-ending work in progress. Visitors to the wall can leave their own messages, graffiti or doodles. As a Baby Boomer, it was humbling to be in the presence of such beauty and celebration of our youth ideals of, “Make love, not war.” A reminder we can all use today.

With my trusty camera in hand, I tried to capture the wall, and its visitors, in all its technicolor brilliance.

And one more:

And, what did I write on the wall? Well, that’s a no-brainer:

“I Love Paul.”

So tell me, given the chance, what would you write on this wall?