We continue to take a look into our protagonist's life growing up in small-town Papersville, New York. You can read the entire beginning of my novel here.
Even though my dad – and mom, as well, for that matter – were more than happy for me not to start working in the life-deadening paper mills, they were both pretty unhappy about the Universal “predicament.” Many characters that dominated music news in 1973 were unsavory to small-town folks like my parents.
My dad constantly asked me questions like these: “Led Zeppelin? Kiss? Lou Freed? They’re all drug addicts. Whatever happened to the classics like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin?”
“Dad, I think those guys had their share of addiction problems. And besides, I’m cutting grass at a record-making factory. I’m not on stage with makeup and I don’t even know how to play any instruments. So I don’t think you have much to worry about with me. I’m more worried about what I want to do with my life. I would love to start my own lawn business.”
My dad’s friend and our next-door neighbor, Ernie Snimes, always nearby and never failing to chime in, was still dwelling on the current music scene. “Even that Paul McCarterney seems to have gone to pot. Them Beatles seemed like they might be onter sumpin for a while there. But I don’t know now. Seems like juss a lotto noise mostly.”
I usually tended to agree with them, simply to end what could quickly deteriorate into an argument about even larger societal and generational issues. It was clear that Woodstock and everything that was quickly happening since then in the youth cultural scene completely jarred their senses and worldviews. It clearly wasn’t something they would easily succumb to, and I think it was this way for most people in small places like Papersville. I don’t know what the big-city transitions must have been like, but they couldn’t have been nearly as close-minded at the time.