Thursday, April 20, 2006

Out of place, out of time

I was born too late.

Or so I've been told and I think it's true. Driving to work this morning, I heard a classic, the Platters' "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."

Every time I hear that song, I think back to the movie "American Graffiti." And it makes me wish for a few minutes that it's the late 1950s, I'm driving a '59 Ford Thunderbird, am decked out in a ducktail and sporting Elvis sideburns.

After grabbing a burger and Cherry Coke at Mel's Drive In, I take the T-bird over to pick up my girlfriend, who has to have two names (like Mary Beth) and look like Kate Bosworth did in "Beyond the Sea." She's gotta be back by 10:30, so we go some place pretty on a spring night and hold each other for awhile. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is on the radi-o, daddy-o.

This myth of the 1950s as an idyllic shangri-la is just that --- a myth. I know that. And I'm thinking all this while listening to the Platters on my iPod and cruising into Halls in my SUV. So, yeah, life here in the 2000s isn't all bad.

But still I think about that line in the Jimmy Buffett song --- "Yes I am a pirate/200 years too late/The cannons don't thunder/There's nothing to plunder/I'm an over 40 victim of fate/Arriving too late... arriving too late."

Sometimes, even if it existed nowhere but in fiction, I'd like to go back to a time when rock-and-roll was new (and still good), Ike and Dick were in the White House, Marshal Dillon ruled over Dodge City on Saturday nights, and the cars were big and cool.

The stars are always out, she's always got on her poodle skirt, and the smoke is always in our eyes...


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