This morning I am thinking about what life would have been like on the first day of December, 1963. The president had just been murdered nine days earlier. The country was in shock and in mourning. "Leave it to Beaver" Americana was about to evolve into Woodstock, the Civil Rights movement, and Haight Ashbury.
My father and mother (eight months pregnant), lived in a duplex a couple of blocks away from world-famous Churchill Downs. My sister was 11 years old. During horse race season, and Kentucky Derby time, my parents would make some extra money by parking cars at their house. People would pay them money, and my sister would hop in the car with the strangers, and guide them around the block, to the alley that ran behind our house. She would show them where to pull in to our backyard. Of course this seems inconceivable today, but in 1963 I guess it seemed fine.
To gain a feel for what life was like in 1963, here are some statistics:
Gas cost 25 cents a gallon.
The average yearly income was $5,623.
Postage stamps cost the same as a Hershey bar, 5 cents.
Popular songs were "Blue Velvet", "My Boyfriend's Back", and "Sugar Shack".
Popular movies included Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds", and the James Bond flick, "Dr. No".
This year we talked a lot about my friends turning 50, but there were some other people born that year. Some pretty famous people:
The Beatles released their first album in 1963, Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his "I have a dream" speech.
The world was changing and evolving, rockin' and rollin'. This is the world my friends and I were born into.