From When Your Host Was A Lad

The photo project continues. Mom and I spent some time yesterday with pictures from 1967-68, my freshman year, when I was fourteen. And I thought I’d share a few of those here today along with some era-appropriate music.

One of the long-term projects Mom and Dad had over the years was to take pictures of my sister and me on our first days of school. From my sister’s first day of Kindergarten in 1955 through the first day of the fall quarter at St. Cloud State in 1975, Dad and his cameras captured the moments. There were times, I admit, when I wasn’t always that delighted to be posing, but that first day of ninth grade was a little different. For the first time ever, Dad was letting me wear my hair in a style other than very short.

The first day of school that year happened to be my birthday as well: September 5. So, here’s the song that was No. 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 that week: “Spreadin’ Honey” by the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band.

The high point of ninth grade for me was the spring musical. The plot of On With The Show was simple: Three crooks on the lam from the cops take refuge in a circus. One of them, the male lead, falls in love with the baton twirler. I don’t recall what happened to the female lead.

As to the the comedy lead – your host here – well, he ends up finding fulfillment in the circus as well. Along the way, he dons the wrong costume and does a turn as a veiled dancing girl, a set-up always good for laughs. (The costume mix-up also brought me some joshing by a few of the other ninth-grade guys, as I had to wear a bra stuffed with cotton – I never knew whose it was – underneath my hot pink harem girl outfit.) Eventually, I ended up in a more gender-appropriate role and costume.

And the record that was No. 53 in the Billboard Hot 100 during the first week of May when we gave our two performances was “Goodbye Baby (I Don’t Want To See You Cry)” by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.

These days, the Texas Gal  and my doctor  lecture me on regular occasion about several aspects of my diet.

One such aspect that attracts more attention than most is my love of hot dogs. They’re my lunch choice at least twice a week, sometimes more. But my wife and my doc will have a difficult time dislodging me from my franks. It’s an appetite – an addiction? I won’t say so  – that goes back more than forty years. Here I am preparing Saturday lunch on May 18, 1968. (Dad’s notes on the slide indicate that we were dining on Tom Sawyer brand wieners that day.)

And here’s the tune that was No. 18 in the Billboard Hot 100 on that particular Saturday, May 18, 1968, Arthur Conley’s “Funky Street.”

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6 Responses to “From When Your Host Was A Lad”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Great pictures, and definitely vintage 1967! The fruits of victory were seldom sweeter than when The Battle Of The Longer Hair was *finally* won.

    How would you compare the Tom Sawyer dogs to Nathan’s? I don’t even remember that brand.

    “Goodbye Baby (I Don’t Want To See You Cry)” is such sublime Sunshine Pop. One can only wonder how many hours of studio time went into its creation. It definitely warranted a better treatment than it got on that tossed-off TV appearance.

  2. Deadguy says:

    Do I see a pocket protector in the top photo ?
    And where’s your book bag (AKA Brief Case)

  3. whiteray says:

    No, Deadguy, that’s a notebook or a piece of paper behind my (purple) pen, although there were years when I used a pocket protector. As to the briefcase, that came in grad school. In ninth grade, once we got our books, we carried them around one-handed, with the pile of books resting on our hips.

  4. Mitch Lopate says:

    Hot dogs?! Didn’t you ever read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? (LOL)

  5. Andy from San Rafael says:


    Jeez, I had the exact same outfit back in ’67 or so — slacks, madras shirt, clunky black horn-rim glasses. I was a little taller and skinnier but just as, um, “stylish”. Ah, those were the days…


  6. […] sports, I know that I was already looking forward to the school musical in spring, and I was watching from a distance as a young lady whose attentions I desired made her […]

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