Sunday, March 8, 2009


On the way to and from Costco this (Saturday) morning I listened to my FM radio hoping to hear some of the good old songs to match with the pretty day outside. The results were mixed but I did manage to hear Don McLean's American Pie (which is still part of my all-time top ten), Jimmy Ruffin's What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (which, since I was in my car on the noisy freeway I could sing along with and not be self-conscious) and The Jaggerz' The Rapper.

Back in 1970 when that song was popular, the word Rapper had a whole different connotation.

A big part of an oldie is the memory that comes with it. I always associate the teacher's strike with The Rapper. The first day of the strike we all wondered if we should attend class. Or rather, we wondered if we had to attend; there was really no clear answer on that one so then that led to the next question, should we attend.

My natural inclination was not to attend. It had nothing to do with solidarity with the teachers, it had to do with my hating school and being happy for any opportunity not to be stuck in the classroom. But we worried about it; would we be penalized for not going, since there were substitutes conducting classes and the official party line was that it was business as usual?

Common sense said that with our regular teachers walking around with picket signs and so many students staying away from class, how could we really be held responsible for what was covered by the subs? They had no lesson plan to work with and I'm sure the striking teachers didn't care - if they refused to teach class, how could they expect us to attend it? Besides that, our class co-valedictorian wasn't going to class so that was reason enough to follow his lead.

Phillip also had the distinction of having not only his driver's license, but a car. Kurtis, Keith and me piled into his green bomb and drove up to Hollywood Boulevard where we spent some time walking around.

Pretty much the only thing I remember from our sojourn was Kurtis wanting to hang around the Broadway department store stairwell so he could watch the girls in their miniskirts walk up and down the stairs.

I'm not sure how long the strike actually lasted but I am certain that I was sad when it ended.

That's what comes to mind when I hear that Jaggerz song. Oh, and as for today's visit to Costco, I have nothing to report. There were some good samples of refrigerated Mexican food entrees like carnitas (the real thing, not those bogus pakkai-like fried and battered chicken nuggets that El Pollo tries to pass off as "carnitas"), barbacoa, chile verde and salsa. But what I actually bought was uneventful and not worth showing any pictures.

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