Not far from our grade school was a huge hill that would magically become covered with inky purple violets in the spring. We used to pick all these pretty flowers in our chubby little kid hands and take them home to our moms and/or grandmas. We would clutch them as we walked down the hill, over a creek, and down and up a huge, black-topped hospital parking lot. Those poor little wilted bundles of purpleness were gasping for vases of water waiting at home.
The other constant I remember was unpeeling the wrapper from a Tootsie Pop. Seemed like we always had one as an afternoon treat on our way home--victory after wading through new spelling words, cursive writing, and complex "greater than" and "less than" math problems. Freedom was marked by these sweet treats. And we'd always re-enact the Tootsie Pop commercial. Anyone remember it?
"How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?".
Isn't it just so innocent?
Things did seem so much more innocent when I was a kid. And, I know I'm not the only one who thinks that. I think something good was going on in births in the mid- to late- '60's. See, look at the big four vocalists from that era.
Kurt Cobain - Nirvana 2/20/67 - 4/5/94
Chris Cornell - Soundgarden 7/20/64
Layne Staley - Alice in Chains 8/22/67 - 4/5/02
Eddie Vedder - Pearl Jam 12/23/64
And please don't forget other huge "grunge"/alt lead vocalists:
Mark Arm - Mudhoney 2/21/62
Mark Lanegan - Screaming Trees 11/25/64
J Mascis - Dinosaur Jr. 12/10/65
Buzz Osborne - Melvins 3/24/64
Andrew Wood - Mother Love Bone/Malfunkshun 1/8/66 - 3/19/90
ANYWAY, I remember Kurt Cobain saying the following in AJ Schnack's 2006 documentary, "About a Son":
"I've always felt like my generation was the very last innocent generation, ya' know. When there was television that wasn't violent. We didn't have cable, we had "Sesame Street," and "Speed Racer," and "H.R. Puff 'n' Stuff" and that's it. Everything was a total fantasy. Everything was just very basic and just medieval compared to things nowadays. Kids are just so advanced and expected to be so much more advanced than they are."
My friend Shelley's husband, Dan, says that when we were kids, everyone would watch the same t.v. shows. He's right. I remember when we would all come to class and everyone would talk about "Laverne and Shirley" and what happened on "Happy Days" and Jimmie Walker saying "Dy-no-mite" on "Good Times." We all watched the same shows and all related to them together. So many choices now...Dan says that the only thing remotely resembling that bonding in school the next day is when kids ask, "Did you see such and such on YouTube?"
O.K., sorry for this long stroll down memory lane. I just find myself tasting a cherry Tootsie Pop and smelling the lingering scent of violets. They stayed with me longer than I thought.