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Baby Boomer And The Brain, part 2

Little Rock High School 1957 With Help

If Baby Boomers live up to current predictions, one in eight will get Alzheimer’s.

Is there a better reason for it than eating too many modern TV dinners cooked in aluminum foil?

Or was it the uncertain times they lived in?

Boomers, the early ones, felt the country shift under their feet.

They saw National Guardsmen going to high school in 1957.

They saw National Guardsmen on a college campus in 1970.

They saw friends turn into National Guardsmen, or Marines, or soldiers, or sailors.

Some grew their freak flag, others wore a uniform, but most fell somewhere in between.

It was very confusing to know what to do.

The 1969 numbers for military in Vietnam and music fans at Woodstock were both around half million, rounded off.

That’s a million people on the road at the same time. What the heck was going on?

Not all the half million attending Woodstock were stoned-out, acid-eyed, trippers. Not all the other half million attended the My Lai Massacre.

It just seemed that way for both groups.

Take those thirteen years between 1957 and 1970 and try to make sense of them.

Go ahead and try.

Think of the Kennedys, MLK, and a rocket to the Moon. You’ll get dizzy. You think it’s an acid flashback, but then remember you never ate the brown acid.

It’s not Alzheimer’s.

Instead, it’s a time-warp sensation where you realize how much changed in such a short time. A Beatle song hums in your head, something from Rubber Soul.

It’s Nowhere Man.

You feel numb and read the paper and turn on the news and it seems like nothing has changed. If it has it’s only worse.  War, political assassination, Middle East conflict.

You sit and flip channels. A new commercial promotes an anti-depressant for people not pregnant or nursing, who don’t plan to be pregnant or nursing, not for anyone with suicidal thoughts, and you remember mom laughing and saying, “If you kids don’t mind, I’ll kill myself.”

The next ad pushes pills for ED, which once stood for education, not wood.

Nowhere Man dials up in your mind. You’ve never known the lyrics, but now you do?

It plays like an Alzheimer’s anthem.

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view
knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Trust in baby boomers to get this figured out sooner than later. They know it’s late enough.

About David Gillaspie
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