This week’s trivia question is, What song was about someone’s daddy being president, and who recorded it?
One of my earliest childhood memories is being stung on the tongue by a bumble bee at about the age of two while chewing Juicy Fruit gum. I can still see myself standing on a country dirt road in a blazing summer sun, screaming in pain. I also remember being attacked by bees while sitting on an empty coal box. The original Tennessee flat-top houses, thrown together in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project days, burned coal but had been converted in the 1950’s. The cleaned-out coal boxes made great club houses for kids and homes for bees.
For my first election, I remember my mother and father and me at someone’s home. The other children and I were playing in another room, but we could hear the radio as it barked out the election results. Dwight D. Eisenhower was running for his second term against an opponent he had already beaten in the first election, Adlai Stevenson. I didn’t know this at the time, but I’m sure the adults were all for Dwight Eisenhower, the general, the war hero, the Republican. I couldn’t have known or cared about the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, but what I did care about was this was an event filled with great excitement, and we kids got to stay up late as the election results continued to crackle across the old radio.
Since those days in 1956, I have been able to avoid bee stings, and I have seen a lot of elections. None of those battles for this country’s highest office has hurt as much as this one. Even Richard Nixon, during the election process, did not sting me as much as this current circus between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I never thought it necessary to drag someone’s spouse into a political debate. It occurred to me that if people held my first wife against me I would probably have no friends and possibly be in jail. Many Americans admired John F. Kennedy, who one time remarked, “If I don’t have sex every day, I get a headache.” Kennedy would say this to anyone who would listen, from British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to a lowly senatorial aide. It’s pretty well believed that he did have sex at least once with Marilyn Monroe. An article in the New York Post, “All the President’s Women,” available online, chronicles quite a list of partners and possible partners, but no one has ever held Mr. President’s adventures against his wife. The biggest differences between Kennedy and Trump was Kennedy’s partners were more than willing and Kennedy was a gentleman. This year, a part of Donald Trump’s strategy to demean Hillary Clinton is to rehash Bill Clinton’s affairs and possible affairs, even to the point of dragging women onto the political podium and into a debate that should have been focusing on issues, not turning the political process into a carnival sideshow. It’s obvious Trump wants people to forget what a slime ball he is by trying to make his opponent look like a bigger slime ball, even if that means dragging her spouse into the fray. Now even a majority of his own party, including major leaders, is jumping off the coal box trying to avoid being stung.
I’ve been missing the days when my family joined their friends and gathered around an old radio, unafraid that their children would be victim to hearing a candidates’ vulgar debates, and I feel like that two-year-old child standing in the middle of a country dirt road, screaming in pain
The answer to the trivia question will be in the podcast as well as some rock and roll news and events. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.