The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Idle Musings On a Summer's Day


  The temperature outside is 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer is officially a week away yet, but this is Sacramento. We have a different calendar here. The air conditioning is out and musing seemed a good way to pass the time while waiting for the maintenance person without generating undue additional body heat.

     Around forty years ago I was newly married. We had just moved into a third floor walk-up in Mid-town. It was 114 in the shade. Up on the corner there were two mom and pop grocery stores on opposing corners. These were rather like the mini-marts and bodegas of today, except that they sold actual food instead of just cigarettes, liquor and salty snacks. They sold those too of course, but there was also a meat counter where I could buy a couple of 2 inch thick pork chops for dinner and fresh fruit and vegetables. On this particular afternoon the owner of the better of the two establishments had run an extension cord out the front door and was sitting in a chair next to a refrigerated case full of beer handing icy bottles of Michelob to every passer by that seemed to be close to being of age, (I was not at the time. He gave me one anyway.).  The police never bothered him even though I am sure he violated at least a dozen ordinances. This was as it should be. An act of mercy ought not to be punished.

     My apartment in a good part of town cost $90 a month. One person earning minimum wage could easily pay the rent, all of the utilities and groceries for two and still see a movie or go to a concert on the weekend. The month after I moved in the landlord from the previous apartment arrived at my door to hand deliver the cleaning deposit refund...In cash.

     Banks paid 5% interest on savings accounts.

     A concert ticket for a major act like Jethro Tull and a record album were almost exactly the same price.

     Junior college was free except for books. State College tuition was around $500 a year, mostly because then Governor Ronald Reagan had caused drastic increases of around 40%.

     About 60% of all workers belonged to a union.

    The price of a new home was about $35,000.

     Nixon was President but there were investigations into a failed burglary attempt that seemed to lead to highly placed members of his staff. Eighteen year-olds had just been given the vote. The war and the draft appeared sure to end soon.


     What the fuck happened?


  1. Jimmy Carter tried to make good on the promise of those years. It's a wonder he didn't take a bullet for his trouble.

  2. Sadly, it was too good to last. Greed and and moral corruption in Corporate America is turning the U.S. into a third world nation.