If you are of a certain generation, I think you will relate to this.

As I get ready to start my 63rd year, like many of my generation, I think back to my teen years.  That is the benchmark of our YOUTH.  I think the passage of 50 years since I became a teen may be an excellent time to reflect on those days…and things I never got on my birthdays.

Our family never did without the essentials of life.  But Mom and Dad were not extravagant and did not cater to my desire for the latest fad.  Bass Weejun shoes and a Madras wallet, shirt or pants showed that you were in style, also Wellington Boots.  No, you have nice clothing and you don’t NEED those.

The Beatles and Herman’s Hermits were two of my favorite groups of the day and I wanted all their 45’s and LP’s.  Earn the money and you can buy a couple….But Mom!!!! I NEED them!!!

By 16 I just HAD to have a car.  No, you can walk any place you need to go or use the family car on occasion.  Now that I think about it, Dad’s 1965 Bel Air did have a big back seat!  Although I did get a used VW when I left for collage, although I probably didn’t need it.

Skateboards were becoming popular in the 60’s.  I think not getting one was more Mom’s knowledge that I would surely fling myself off a cliff or into the path of a car.  Although I did get a Daisy BB gun and never put my eye out.

I loved everything about the race to the moon and the space program.  My parents didn’t see the need for us to move to Cocoa Beach Florida so I could get closer to my heroes of the day.  Although while in collage, my roommates and I went down and saw the Apollo 13 launch!

Lava Lamp.  I always wanted one, blue or green.  Nope, you have a fine lamp on your desk that actually gives you light you can use.

Well a lot of things have happened since my teen years.  All in all, I’d say it’s been a wonderful life, with putting into practice the teachings of my parents.  I didn’t get all the records from my favorite artist, but…I got to spend a day photographing Paul McCartney and later Peter Noon (Herman of The Hermits).

I did get down to Cocoa Beach several times.  Most memorably, that is where I proposed to my wife.  And in years past, I got to meet and photograph astronauts  Alan Sheppard  (first American in space and Apollo 14) and James Lovell (Apollo 13).

I hope my children will share these stories with my grandchildren when they don’t get what they want on their birthday.  You just may get those gifts a bit later…when they mean much more.

I still want a Lava Lamp.


2 thoughts on “What I Wanted On My Birthdays”

  1. Meeting Paul McCartney was probably much more memorable as an adult vs. seeing The Beatles in concert as a teen. All the hard work you put into your business and learning your craft which brought this opportunity to you made it even more cherishable.

  2. You’re right Jad. As you have found, age brings a maturity and appreciation that is not always recognized when we are young.

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