boatman view

dust   view   thought















million years ago


it was twenty million years ago today

caveman taught his sons to play 

scratching all their lyrics on the wall

songs of life, love and peace for all


An American small town 4th of July celebration is always great.  Parades with clowns and politicians in review, and I know that is being redundant.  We get to see shiny new cars and old cars, and spiffy green tractors pulling floats decorated in red, white and blue.  We see veterans marching proudly in the streets and kids waving their flags as we hear the cheers of patriots on the curb.  Everyone enjoying a moment in the sun, on a peaceful walk, heading to a picnic in the park this afternoon.


Celebrating this independence in July, it is beautiful early summer weather each year.  Give someone credit for such good scheduling.  Feeling good about the freedoms.  No display of the blood and death spent. Do not want to think about that.  Scare the kids.  Cotton candy today and fireworks tonight


Now visiting friends on this other American coast of New York City, staying at the Waldorf, my agent friend comes by unexpected and undesired before the crack of noon.  To her credit, she has some good coffee and apple fritters with her.  She is very excited, asking me if I am interested in going with her to a concert.  This group of musicians had been rehearsing all week, as she puts it and today is show time.  She is inviting me to this thing, a concert for Bangladesh, whatever that is, at Madison Square Garden.

She knows everyone in the social scene and is what I think of as being cosmopolitan. Certainly always more tuned in than I am and up to date on world events.  I get the story on the way over.


A country called East Pakistan has fought a war with a country called West Pakistan.  General Tikka Khan’s three hundred thousand- man army has won.  East Pakistan is now liberated and to be known as Bangladesh.  This is news to me, and certainly okay as far as I am concerned. 


I have not heard the news today oh boy since probably the summer of love in 1967.  This particular summer opened a bit early in San Francisco with the Human Be-In at Golden State Park in January.  Hey, it is California with twelve months of summer every year.  People seem to like it this way and by May every radio station is playing “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”.  Life in Pasadena and Palm Springs is as always beautiful and sunny eight days a week.


The authors of what is good these days, The Beatles release their eighth album on June 1 in the United Kingdom, a studio thing called “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.  Like a comet blazing across the ocean, it hits us in the United States with full impact two days later. 


Dizzy with lonely hearts, many wanderers arrive the next week to a little get together over at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Performers at The Monterey Pop Festival include a group called Buffalo Springfield that is in flight and plays good.  Some others here are The Who, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Big Brother & The Holding Company with a new girl singer named Janis Joplin.  It is a fun time. 


A couple years later in mid August, more people than were actually there remember going up to Max Yasgur’s farm in Woodstock, New York for an aquarian exposition, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, billed as three days of peace and music and it is. 


Beginning in the 1950s, the Newport Jazz Festival is a favorite multi-day outdoor venue of music makers and music lovers.  These social gatherings arriving in the late 60s are the first to feature the elements of rock music and flower power. 

Waves of people in harmony seem to be singing the same tune. 

It’s my party and I’ll do what I want to. 

Just was not any real concern to bother ourselves with a social conscious. 

Most of us do not even know we have one, and really do not even know we need one. 

The times are as always about to be a’changin.   As is memory in part