Since everybody is going on and on with all these “It was 50 years ago today” stories — as we wind our way through that utterly fabulous decade that was “The Sixties” — I thought I’d celebrate the 50th Anniversary of when I was 10 years old. Or, as it’s more commonly known in legend and lore, the Summer of Backwords.
It was June 27, 1967. And, needless to say, I was 10 years old. I had just graduated from the 5th grade. And this would be one of the best summers of my life. I still felt normal back then. A feeling that would last for another year. And then never to return.
My favorite TV shows were “Batman” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E..” My favorite band was the Beatles (“Penny Lane” was their latest hit). And my favorite comic book was Spiderman and MAD magazine. My favorite sports team — oddly — was the San Francisco Warriors basketball team (even though I lived in a little town in the middle of the cow fields of New Jersey, the church league basketball team I played on was the Warriors, which is why I rooted for the Warriors — Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond would battle Wilt Chamberlain and Hal Greer and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals later that year).
I had a big gang of friends that I ran with back then. And I was somewhat the leader of the gang (at least that’s how I remember it). And we roved all over town on our banana-seat bicycles like a pack of wild animals. I was the smallest and youngest in my class. But I was generally respected by all (at least that’s how I remember it). My childhood was like a cross between “Leave It to Beaver” and “Spanky and Our Gang.” And I loved every minute of it. I was at the peak of my joy. By 1968 it would mostly be all downhill after that
What can I say? I peaked early.