I couldn't clip the whole article from my online library edition of the Kansas City Star because it was in two parts and continued on a different page, but it isn't that important anyway. All I needed to see was the headline, and it was 1964 again. Civil rights was a big topic, one that fed right into folk music.
The folk craze had just begun, conveniently happening at the same time I was teaching myself guitar chords from a book. It was convenient because those simple folk songs often required only 3 different chords per song; sometimes I only needed two chords, as in "Down in the Valley".
I was living in a shady neighborhood (I'm not talking about trees when I say shady) on 11th Street in Kansas City, a block from the old Genova's Chestnut Inn, where I waited for the bus that would get me downtown to board another bus that would carry me on to work in North Kansas City. I waited for my second bus in front of Emery, Bird, Thayer. To pass the time, I'd gaze in the windows at pretty things I could never afford to buy. That window was a wonderland during the Christmas season, but so was all of Downtown. Waiting for a bus in winter, I needed that diversion to keep me from thinking about how cold I was, because the bitter, stinging, January wind blew down those streets without mercy.
In winter it was often dark when I got home to my apartment. When I arrived there, the first thing I'd do was put a record album on the stereo. I had Bob Dylan's first album, every Kingston Trio album I could afford, a couple by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Oh, and I can't forget Joan Baez.
The Kingston Trio sang "I Want to go to Andorra", an anti-war song. That was rather unusual for the group because they normally kept their distance from controversial topics.
There are many YouTube videos featuring the Kingston Trio, but I couldn't find their version of Andorra. So I had to settle for Pete Seeger's version, which wasn't difficult; I have always been a fan of his. Pete was controversial with a capitol C: he was a registered Young Communist.
I'm glad that headline painted a picture in my mind that took me back to my youth. As I write this, I can see myself in that first apartment. I should have been lonely; except for my parents, I never had a single visitor in two years' time. But that's where I found out how much I liked being by myself, able to read and listen to my music and watch the news each evening: Nobody was telling me what to do or how to act. I was in heaven, all by myself. Freedom!
And that's your Daily Drivel from Donna.