Suburban Blues: Memories of a Late Baby Boomer

When we were kids, we drove with the car windows wide open, the hot breeze tight against our faces.

We slept with our bedroom windows open and our blankets at our feet. We heard the conversations of passing teenagers and lovers through the windows, and we heard the drone and swoosh of the occasional traffic. The neighbors could hear my parents argue. We could hear the ballgame on someone else's radio.

In the winter, our radiators clanged, jarring us out of our sleep and making our hearts race for a short, wakeful second.

Everybody shared a room with his brother.

There was nothing on TV. We watched reruns of "Superman" and "Gilligan's Island" and washed up celebrities we'd never heard of on "The Mike Douglas Show."

The wipers were loud back then. The rhythm of the wipers put us to sleep.

Our parents didn't care what we thought, and they didn't know what we were doing. We didn't tell our parents anything.

It was much hotter then.

On hot days, we invented games. On rainy days, we invented games.

Our third grade teacher was really smart; much smarter than the principal. She should have been a lawyer.

Our second grade teacher was really pretty, like Marlo Thomas. She became Mrs. Lubitz, and then she disappeared. Her husband looked like a boyfriend on a TV show. He wore a turtleneck and a sport coat and he had a part on the side.

When we were kids, our moms seemed sad and envious.

We bought baseball cards.

When we were kids we rode our bikes... because we had to, and because we didn't want our parents to know where we were going.

When we were older, we loaded all of our friends into that long Ford Galaxy wagon. We drove to concocted destinations or to abandoned mansions and asylums.

We didn't want to be like our parents. When we were kids, our parents' life seemed like a bummer.