Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?
Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

This Week with The Chicowitz:

Memories of the Sock Hop

Last week: “A Letter to Miss Busek

I would take my sandwich, milk, and Oreo cookies into the office next to the gym and talk to my friend Roger Pryor while he played the records. Roger taught me to start with a song with a strong beat, but not too fast a song... something like “Quarter to Three,” by Gary U.S. Bonds. After that, I could go with a slightly faster one, but then I should slow the tempo down. Every third or fourth song should be a slow one... “Theme From a Summer Place” by Percy Faith or “A Summer Song” by Chad and Jeremy.

print this email this rate this talk about this

OK, I admit it; right up front... I am not much of a dancer. But I love the music, so I always participated in the sock hops.

They were called sock hops, of course, because they were usually held in the gymnasium, where shoes would mar the floor. So we had to take our shoes off and... dance in our socks.

 HMC then Each week our Boomer-in-Charge, Hershel Chicowitz, has something to say about life, society, or what’s going on... from the perspective of a baby boomer. This is what’s on his mind the week of November 13, 2017.  HMC now

Back at Byron Junior High, they played records in the girls’ gym during the lunch periods. (Periods four and five were lunch.) The girls, and a few guys, went to the girls’ gym, took their shoes off, and danced to the new sound of rock and roll. Not I. I kept my shoes on.

But when I write “they” played records, I really mean “we” played records. In seventh grade during lunch, I would take my sandwich, milk, and Oreo cookies into the little office next to the gym and talk to my friend Roger Pryor while he played the records. When Roger graduated in June, I was a natural to take his place the next year. (That’s Roger, over there on the right, in a highly atypical pose.) Roger had to be the role model for the Fonz; he was just too cool. Roger had taught me to start with a song with a strong beat, but not too fast a song... something like “Quarter to Three,” by Gary U.S. Bonds. After that, I could go with a slightly faster one, but then I should slow the tempo down. Every third or fourth song should be a slow one... “Theme From a Summer Place” by Percy Faith or “A Summer Song” by Chad and Jeremy:
        Treeeeees,
        swayin’ in the summer breeze
        Showin’ off their silver leaves
        As we walked by....
        Soooooft,
        kisses on a summer’s day
        Laughing all our cares away
        Just you and I.

Oh, how I love those slow songs! We had a collection of about 200 45s, and we played them over and over and over again. There were no warning labels, no offensive lyrics... it was just good, clean fun. Everyone had a good time.

I played songs from the room next to the girl’s gym for two more years. Then I handed the reigns over to another would-be DJ. High school awaited me. At Shaker Heights High School, I polished up my diction as a public address announcer; I did the morning announcements twice a week, and worked behind the scenes the other three days. In the meantime I “talked up” the songs to the radio in my mother’s car.

In college I worked at the campus radio station, WAMU, in Washington, D.C. (That’s me, on the right.) Yep, it’s the same station that Willard Scott and his buddy Eddie Walker – the Joy Boys – (on the left) had started a decade earlier. (“We are the Joy Boys of radio; we chase electrons to and fro.”)

What a blast! I still would love to be a DJ at an oldies radio station. There just cannot be a better job on earth!

Unfortunately, the DJs don’t get the girls; my days in the office playing records instead of dancing to them retarded my ability to get the girl. That is a weakness that has hung over me like a dark cloud for my entire life.

I still have some “air checks” – radio tapes – of my disk jock days in college. I generally play them on a first date – which may explain why I seldom get a second date. But that’s another story.

The junior and senior high sock hops... what great memories!

Another moment in time... gone forever.

A couple years later, Roger took me for a ride on his motorcycle, and I was hooked. One ride was all it took. I got a paper route and woke up at 5:30 in the morning seven days a week for two years to earn enough money to buy a motorcycle when I turned 16. My parents were dead-set against it, of course. But they offered a compromise: a scooter, not a cycle. And no leather jacket.

Deal.

Thanks, Roger!

So, decades later, when I think back, I remember most fondly... my motor scooter, the music, and the sock hops.

Next time you’re at a sock hop, look for me... I’ll be in the adjoining room... playing the 45s... with my shoes on.

        But don’t you know, that it hurts me so
        To say goodbye to you-u
        Wish you didn’t have to go
        No no no no...

        And when the rain
        Beats against my window pane
        I’ll think of summer days again
        And dream of you
        And dream of you.


A BBHQ Pop Quiz: Name That Tune: 1970 - A classic boomer-era song from a classic boomer-era group. Name that tune:  

Your final answer is....






 


Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

If you want a reply from us, include your name
and e-mail address:

(Your message will not get to our staff unless you include your name and e-mail address.
But we will never share your e-mail address with anyone.
Our statement on privacy is here.)

Name:
E-mail:

Hershel's kinda-like-a bio:
 Click here for a quick explanation about the philosophy behind these essays

BBHQ Boomer Stories

essays available
      to everyone

We're Not the Bad
Guys!


 Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)
"Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," 55 songs: 2 CDs and a DVD from their last concert tour.
Click here to order this great collection.



Printer-friendly version is available here.

  Hershel will have something else to say on November 20. Mark your calendar
to remind you to come back to BBHQ every Monday.

Wanna’ send this essay to someone? Enter your name and up to three names and e-mail addresses, and we’ll send each person the essay. No spam; we won’t even keep their e-mail address. We just want to spread the word. (For more information, read our Statement on Privacy here.)

      Your Name:

    Name:     E-mail:
    Name:     E-mail:
    Name:     E-mail:
      (You can also use our blue INVITE button to invite friends to BBHQ.)

Terrific boomer memorabilia!!

Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs



Did you miss last week’s essay, “A Letter to Miss Busek”? You can still read it here.


The Boomer Essays - On Being a Boomer:

The BBHQ Freedom Series

(Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

  Declaration of Independence
        What is Says; What it Means

The Boomer Health Care Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The Midlife

Crisis Series

Middle Age &

the Mazdamobile

The Teach, Preach and Nag Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)




    (Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

Hell No; We Won't Go!

    What Will We Do?

    Do Not Go Gentle

The Boomer Money Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The BBHQ Vacation Series
(Mouseover to preview each story)



We’re open to offerings from visitors to BBHQ. If you have something to say of interest to boomers, write it as well as you can in 700-1,000 words, and send it to us. We can’t guarantee we’ll publish it, but we’ll surely give it a good look.




Please help us by buying stuff through our link to Amazon.com:

Search:   All Products   Books   Videos   Toys   Electronics
        Popular Music   Classical Music  
Amazon.com
Amazon.com... a whole lot more than just books!
Enter keyword(s):
Please check our Library or Video selection, or use this form to buy stuff from Amazon.com. We need all the help we can get! Thanks.

The BBHQ Feature Album is "Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," by Simon & Garfunkel. If you were fortunate enough to see them in concert in 2003, I do not have to sell you. The concert was terrific! This album collection includes 55 songs, plus their new recording, "Citizen of the Planet," and one of the songs sung by the Everly Brothers during the concert. The DVD was recorded during their concert in Madison Square Garden in 2003. For any S&G fan, this is a must have! But then, you knew that already, didn't you?  Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)

The BBHQ Feature Book is “Bobby Rydell – Teen Idol on the Rocks.” This is a “behind the scenes” story of one of the boomers’ first rock n’ roll stars. Told in the first person, Bobby chronicles his short ride to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his glide through the 70s and 80s, and how he nearly lost it all. Relax; it has a happy ending. Bobby was (and is) a “normal” Philly guy... with an absolute love of music and an amazing gift. For any fan of early rock n’ roll, it’s a wonderful story. And yes, Bobby Rydell is still on tour, playing to boomer fans all over the world. Click here for a closer look at the book.

  Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?











Copyright © 2017, Baby Boomer HeadQuarters — WWW.BBHQ.COM — All rights reserved._
contact the Webmaster
11/12/17