Friday, November 27, 2020


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.


  1. I couldn't help thinking how ironic that anyplace is on our quarantine list. We can't even get in most places due to our "handling" of the virus. Andorra looks like a pretty place.

  2. I had never heard that song but I’ve always liked Pete Seeger.

  3. I had a lot of Peter, Paul and Mary music!

    1. I actually went to see them in person.

  4. It has been a long time since I've had the luxury of alone time, and now at 63, I am finding I enjoy it very much. One of the benefits of these awful days. It's just that someday, I hope to have the chance to use my passport. We were supposed to go to Georgia in January to spend my daughter's 30th birthday with her. She talked us into waiting until the weather was a bit nicer. Maybe March, she suggested. So we decided to do that. Biggest regret of my life.

  5. Memories are a wonderful thing. I never lived by myself until all the kids left home, but I have learned to enjoy it too.


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