MCMLiVe - Poem by Doug Stewart
It was the Year of the Radio Flyer, it was the Year of
The Braves, we rode with the Cisco Kid and the Lone
Ranger, travelled the Solar system with Captain Video,
Tom Corbett, and Tobor. Just another year of seasons.
It was a year of confusion, it was a year of distress,
Some fled to Europe, some hid in Illinois, but
We were eleven and hadn’t a clue that it was 1954.
In any other way but just another year, another circle
Of the Sun. It was the year before death of Emmett Till,
Brown versus the Board was just something on TV.
Sputnik was a doodle on a Russian page, J. B. Lenoir sang
The Eisenhower Blues, while we dammed a creek and swam.
The news was intermittent, in 1954. John Cameron Swayze
Had Camel News 15 minute Caravan, less cigarette commercials
And assuming no dead air. Newspapers ruled the Newsbiz and
No upstart radio with pictures was going to grab a share.
Now Elvis was about to drop the Rock and Roll Bomb,
But in ’54 he cut two sides of his first pressed recording.
The Enola Gay sat peacefully at Andrews, Korea was over.
As we rode our bikes to the park, we knew that all was well.
Of course, it was not, but 1954 was filled with the peace of
Ignorance, the calm before the rip tides. It was the year we
Discovered the future, tasted beer, and tobacco, and girls.
We were 5th Graders, the city and the world were ours!
Saturday afternoon at the Forest Home Library, we drifted into
Sci-Fi and made a major find. Robert A. Heinlein’s Revolt in
2100, the first of millions of pages and billions of hours spent
In mind and far from the churches of our parents, in the future.
A year of peace, a year of conflict, a year of prelude and nostalgia
For The Good War. We beat the NAZIs, we beat Mr. Jap. Enemies
Becoming friends. One kid from Berlin had a U-Boat Captain dad.
But that’s another story, for another rainy day, another dream.
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