Returning to my roots of being, I’m streaming stuff from the nineteen sixties today.
I was a big motor-racing, science-fiction and baseball fan then. Mario Andretti, Jackie Stewart, Mark Donahue, Dan Gurney, Peter Revson were among the racers I idolized. The Can-Am, Formula One, Indy (called USAC racing back then), sports car racing, with the Ford versus Ferrari battles at LeMans…I watched them all.
My baseball team was the Pittsburgh Pirates, and I followed them faithfully. But my emerging loves were reading and music. Although my reading tastes were — and are — eclectic, I tore through the works of Asimov, Bradbury, Zelazny, Clarke, and Heinlein. Besides my racing magazines, I bought science fiction magazines every month, and devoured the short stories.
The rock explosion was in full strength and the Brit Invasion was underway. Protests, demonstrations, riots, the Altamont Free Concert and Woodstock were part of our news cycles, along with Vietnam, political assassinations, civil rights and the cold war. The threat of nukes was a constant. Bombers and fighters remained on alert.
Consumerism, television and advertising were gaining strength. What a time, what a time, for a teenage boy in America. Into this maelstrom of my existence came Jimi Hendrix. Wow, his playing amazed me. He died young, just twenty-eight years old, but, man, what a legacy he left. What an impact he had.