Tag Archives: memoir

What Easter Means to Me. I Think.

009SPECIAL “STORIES FROM MAYBE BOOMER” EASTER EDITION

To me, Easter has always meant Ben Hur. Raised Lutheran, I’d heard a million versions of Christ’s life and death stories by age eight, but I didn’t relate to him. At all. Being a visual person, if I couldn’t see Jesus, he didn’t exist. Hollywood, working in such a visual medium, fixed all that for me with just one viewing of Ben Hur. I loved the movie.

Unfortunately, I was so blown away with the Hur character – far more than the Holy Messiah – that I got Christ mixed up with Ben Hur. Even to this day, when I think of the Chosen One, I think of Chuck Heston. And why not? Wasn’t the movie more about Hur? Wasn’t Hur a great man, too? And wasn’t Charlton Heston a hunk? After all, it was Hur who rode in the chariot race, not Christ. (Anyway, Christ would have been disqualified since it’d been rumored he could perform miracles and would might be tempted to rig the Chariot 500 in his favor.) To a young boy, chariot races ranked over feeding a crowd of people with just one loaf of bread any day.

Unfortunately, I’m a man now and still have trouble seeing Christ as anything but Heston. Every Easter weekend, I resurrect  the movie and watch all three hours of this film classic. The religious feeling comes all over my body just like it did many years ago, especially when I hear Hur say, “With my cold dead hands!”

But the tingling sensations are fleeting and completely wiped away the second I think of Charlton Heston at that NRA rally, holding a rifle high over his head, proclaiming his right to own guns will be taken away only “from my cold dead hands.” Just that quickly, all the uplifting, spiritual, goose pimple feelings turn cold.

Religion has been a double edge sword for me from the beginning. Read more about it in the introduction to Chapter 4, “Religion,” from my memoir, Maybe Boomer.

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Baby Boomers, Exclusion and Ex Lax

Quote of the day: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.–– Thoreau

Welcome to my blog. This is my inaugural post, and thanks for being a part of it. I want my blog to be a place where you and I share our thoughts and creative endeavors together.

Diner2 1200 BLOG res 48 bit color thumb003I took the photo of this billboard on a chilly winter night in Bethesda, Maryland, sometime back in the eighties. Whenever I look at that large piece of nostalgia now, with the smiley, happy family sitting in the front seat, I say how phony. Life wasn’t really like that back then, was it? It wasn’t for me. In fact, “There’s no way like the American Way” came across more like, “It’s our way or the highway, young man.”

The billboard scene was not too far off from my own family experience. (After all, if you look closely, you’ll see it’s not me sitting cozily between Mom and Dad in the front seat, but my sister, forever the middle child, with her own set of problems. I was probably stuck in the back scrunched between my two older brothers – twins – with their own matching set of problems.) From the very beginning of life, I felt excluded and different from everyone. It was like I wasn’t even in the car at all, left behind at High’s Dairy Store after we’d gotten our weekly allotment of milk, Wonder Bread and Ex Lax.

With all this angst, I had to write a memoir. It’s called Maybe Boomer, my story of what it’s like to not fit in, and not just with my family, but the entire baby boom generation at large for many reasons.

When I took the photo of the diner on that cold night thirty years ago, I was just beginning to let creativity click into my life. More and more “clicks” went off: from the camera shutter, my chalk pastels hitting the drawing paper, my guitar pick tapping upon strings, and most recently, the computer keys clicking away day and night. They’ve all been essential stepping stones to lead me down a path that is mine, truly mine. Art was my salvation. Read more about my thoughts on creativity in Excerpts, “Chapter 7,” from Maybe Boomer. You can also see some of my creations (works on paper, music, photography and film) in My Art.

I invite you to check my blog regularly where we can explore our stories together. What kept you from feeling a part of your generation?  Are you a baby boomer who didn’t fit in with what was going on around you? How did you come to peace with that, if at all?

And, if nothing else, does anyone else remember seeing those billboards?

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