quiet nights of quiet stars
In 1965, the Old Guard mourned the passing of many notables – Sir Winston Churchill, Adlai Stevenson, Albert Schweitzer and T.S. Eliot among so many others – while the assassinations of Malcolm X, Hassan-Ali Mansur and James Reeb underlined the dangers of being an activist. December saw the waning of year-long clashes between many factions – Bloody Sunday, the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, the 35,000-strong march on Washington and the burning of draft cards by Anti-Vietnam protesters. Civilians as well as countries were declaring their right to independence in a world that was quickly becoming politically intertwined.
Nostalgia would have us remember this month as one filled with suburban cocktail parties where women in tight-fitting, heavy satin dresses with matching heels would circulate among their men, sampling a now-regrettable spread of cheese balls, devilled eggs, Chex mix and jello molds. Multiculturalism wasn’t even a word in the urban dictionary then but an exotic undercurrent was infiltrating rec rooms with the sultry strains of the Bossa nova. Their parents kept busy imagining the pleasures of far-off Brazil left young ladies free to pull on Mary Quant’s mini-skirt, listen to the Rolling Stones or any of 4 new Beatles albums and sigh over the rugged looks of Omar Sharif in Dr. Zhivago or Sean Connery in Thunderball.
The child in all of us still marvels at how Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang stole everyone’s heart forever with their very own Christmas special – here was cartoon art at its finest that remains as fresh as the day Charles Schulz first put pen to paper. Slightly kitschier but with his own track record of pop-culture longevity, the Pillsbury Doughboy was created luring generations to the oven with his siren call of easy, poppin’-fresh baked goods.
What’s not to love?
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