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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Drive: Summer of '69

Atlanta skyline, 1969.
Click to enlarge.

Though strange and fateful things were happening around the nation and the globe, August 1969 in my corner of the world was a golden afternoon of slow time and drifting thoughts - a calm before the storm - brilliant sunshine over the green fields of the South, the sultry summer heat, electric fans, and open windows - airports, railroad stations, and zipping through Atlanta at freeway speed in a Mustang convertible, top down, no seat belts, no worries, no fears.

Like the chambered nautilus, our lives advance from one compartment of experience to another, and another. Then, in that bright season, there was yet a mystery and a glamour about the larger world, as yet unexplored by me - and naïve faith that somehow the future would always be bigger and brighter still, unblemished and sweet as a fresh peach from the Georgia orchards.

Or so I thought.  I was 14. It was another time, childhood's end, a land unreachable now by any means - but sometimes I remember that August in the heart of the South, my beautiful, tragic homeland - and feel again the thrill of youthful hopes vibrating in the air, hear again the sounds of tunes that made me smile or sigh - and think bittersweet thoughts of home, where I can never go again - where none of us can ever return.

Perhaps you can relate. Take your pick, if any of these mean something to you.

And one by the late, great Joe South - an Atlanta boy made good, he was immensely popular across the Southland during his all-too-brief recording period - handsome rascal, too:

1 comment:

Tim said...

1969, I was still doing the Beatles and the Beach Boys. We'd had our summer of love and flower power in '67.
Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Box Tops made it across the pond, but I don't recall the others.

'69 and '70 were the last 2 years of freedom. Pretty intense at school, but in the summer it was 'hit the beach!' My brother was a hippy in Chelsea, I had the best suntan in my life and Steve McQueen was on at the movies. Ah yes, I remember it well!

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