The year of 1960 was ushered in to our life with a brand new powder blue Chevrolet, you know the one with the wings on the back with double antenna's and AM and FM radio with front and back speakers. The new radio introduced me to the rock and roll music other than what I continuously played at home. I discovered the disc jockeys and dedication music that I had not been to aware of before. I was young and a newbie to transistor radio's and could see this new vista on my future horizon. I soon realized that if you called the station you could ask for the particular songs you wanted played. It was the day of party lines, and that in itself was a new discovery. It was a nuisance when I wanted to call the radio line but was quite an eye opener when you covered the phone and listened to conversations that you should have never been privy to. It was those conversations that would serve me well later as I kept the information secret and on some occasions I was prone to get out of situations that might have caused me problems just by recalling tidbits of what I had heard. Yes I know that sounds so devious but I needed an out at the time and played my hand and we both folded.
I was a challenge to our hometown disc jockey "JOHNNY REBEL " as he grew to know the exact times of day that I would call and always request Brenda Lee. He always surrendered to my insistence and thus began a long term friendship and one that would surprise me later in my life. At this time Brenda was riding high on the music charts and my life was so completely engulfed in her music. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship. It would make for wonderful daydreams and childhood fantasies. These would become amazing realities in the future but it was so far away at that time, or so it seemed. I would stay locked in my room for hours playing the her records over and over until the parental statute of limitation had been reached.
Around this time I began to notice the fractures in our family foundation and became aware of the personal unhappiness between Mother and Dad. It was much like a volcano, that takes it's time to build up the pressure and when it comes time the pressure explodes and out comes the hot lava that pours down over everything and changes the face of the surface it touches. The changes would come explosively. Most eruptions took place away from my brother and I but there were times when the eruptions would happen in front of us and I would briskly retreat to my room and turn the dial on my record player and with each click of the dial it would take me further away from the chaos just feet away from my door. Thus began my silent acknowledgment to not involve myself with people only I was unaware of how deep this would exist for me until much later. My brother began to show signs of puberty and with it began my days of sibling rivalry. His every yen began my yang to the farthest left. Whatever he liked. I wanted nothing to do with, and whatever I liked he would use it to make fun of me and it would always end with a slug to the arm. My Dad would come to my resque and insist he leave me alone but it was all in vain. I began to show signs of fear and emotional stress. As my mother would tell me, that around my eighth birthday she could see signs of the stress appearing. I remember waking up in the mornings to wet pajamas and knowing that my day was already crashing before it even started. This made great fodder for my brother to use against me and in front of the neighborhood friends. These kids were cruel and I was to be their torture boy. I was the little brother who was forced to tag along but as soon as possible, I slipped quickly back to my safe haven. My Mother insisted that I go along but I could feel his resentment. I can now fully understand how irritating that must have been at his age to have your little brother tag along. I used to think that Mother preferred him over me but have later realized that she was just protecting him from himself. His sun rose and set with my Mother and being the first born it does seem to reason out. With me she knew instinctively that I did not need her as much as my brother did. I was self sufficient, reliant and did not want or need her approval.
It was the holidays and Santa Claus that would bring my brother and I together for some peaceful times. It was those Christmases that are indelibly inked in my heart forever. Even still to this day, when the holidays are near, I still close my eyes and capture the feelings that move me so.
I didn't know what was happening to me as my eighth birthday approached, I just knew that I did not fit the plan for the average boy. I did not relate to the boys in school and around our neighborhood. I kept to myself most of the time and looked forward to the next Brenda Lee album or 45rpm and my Saturday trips to the record store. These things kept me focused but time soon began to be my enemy. My patience was not to be found. The reality of not being able to control everything began and would take hold for a very long time. The subconscious is a powerful thing and being unaware of what I was asking the universe for I had set up my future without having thought about the details. But at the age of eight you would never know the silent fears that make us who we are today. I kept my engines revved up and was always preparing for the take off but life kept pulling me back for the groundings I needed to learn before my I began my ascent. I absolutuely was not ready to fly, at least not yet.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
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