THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

By CLARK HICKS,

A half century ago, Earth entered the dawn of the age of Aquarius.

At least my five year old self believed so, as my tiny transistor radio blared The 5th Dimension song through its distorted speaker.

I thought that 1970 was a sign of love and light and groovy humanity, not realizing that lead singer Marilyn McCoo and the gang were tripping on astrological zodiac constellations and myths of hippies.

I loved the melody, still do. That’s why the song, for me, conjures memories of Baptist picnics, Mom’s skyscraper hairdo, and vinyl faux wood grooved wall paneling.

Yes.

Way before people wanted to paint or tear down the stuff. I’m talking about that brown, slick wall coating stained with your parents’ nicotine from cigs deposited in colorful and swirling blown glass ashtrays.

Life was magical for my little world. I had my thick white belt, Hushpuppies shoes, Sears Toughskins jeans (with Mom’s knee patches), and my very own custom embroidered denim shirt.

With my floppy blond straight bangs, a leather marble bag, and button collection, I had a sacred fortress - my home. Beyond those walls, I looked forward to back yard baseball toss with Dad (in his blue jeans), Gilligan’s Island on the black and white TV, and playing family Yahtzee.

Man. What a normal, ordinary middle class American life I had.

If I needed information, I had two choices. Ask Mom or Dad (for their likely skewed version) or the trusty World Book encyclopedias (for their likely skewed version).

I did not know anyone’s telephone number, so landline calling was out. For current events, Mr. Cronkite told me the same thing nightly - the USA was at war in a place called Vietnam, with people dying every day.

That was way across the ocean, and since my Dad failed the military health exam (asthma), all was hunky dory.

Shoot.

The only bad memory of 1970 was each Sunday night when I had to go to Sunday night worship, missing the weekly Disney TV movie. Oh how I dreaded leaving home, at least until I got warmed up in youth choir singing an Up With People! song at the top of my lungs.

Well, I wish I had a lightning-like life changing moment to tell, but the whole 1970 year was glorious. Young parents, new little brother, living grandparents, and stacks of Topps baseball cards.

I often reminisce on those days, mostly monotonous, and give thanks for having just enough to enjoy life and not enough to be a spoiled little punk.

Thank you Mom, Dad, family, friends, and yes, Marilyn McCoo. Peace will guide the planets.

Love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.

Clark Hicks is a lawyer who lives in Hattiesburg.  His e-mail is clark@hicksattorneys.com