Saturday, October 17, 2020

"Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think"

Two years ago,  The New York Times  published my piece below. It remains relevant.

October 1962, my parents mood was grim. Lot of whispering between them.The newspaper headlines were bold and twice their normal size like World Series headlines. All I heard from just about everybody, "The Russians are coming." This raised the hair on the back of my neck. The Cuban Missile Crisis commanded television and radio's full attention. I tried to shut it out of my mind. I was eight years old in third grade at St. Stephen of Hungary on East 82nd Street. Starting our music period, our teacher, Mrs. Francis, put the needle on the record and said, "class, sing along!" The worried mood, still here.

"Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink."

At the time, I was oblivious to the meaning of the lyrics we were singing.
I liked the tune. Thinking back, it was not a prudent selection for young children to sing in fall 1962 when their world was in peril. No mystery as to why this memory came back to me.