How 50 years ago can seem like yesterday

02/23/2014 12:00 AM

02/20/2014 5:51 PM

Remember when you marveled at how your grandparents and parents could recall in detail things that happened many, many decades ago? Granny told me exactly how she met Grandpa more than 50 years earlier. I was amazed. Then there are the Beatles on a recent television special, showing them performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” 50 years ago. No way. Yes, it is true. It’s been a half-century, and I remember it well.

Everyone at school thought the Beatles coming to America was the coolest thing to ever happen to our country, and the show would be by far the best thing ever on television.

The magic of television brought the Beatles into our living rooms. While the skinny guys from England with the long hair sang, I glanced at my mom, who seemed amused. Dad simply looked puzzled. “If they’re so popular, can’t they afford a haircut?” That comment was met with a collective “Shhhhhh!”

For the next several days Dad would spontaneously sing “Woooo” and shake his head imitating the Fab Four. Of course his hair didn’t move one bit because it was slicked down with Brylcreem.

His opinion changed, however, when we were driving to church and “Do You Want to Know a Secret” came on the radio. He let me know that he thought that was a good song and those guys could sing. I was so delighted to tell him it was the Beatles. All he said was, “Well, they still need haircuts.” I shook my head and sang “Woooo.”

Speaking of heartthrobs, remember Fabian? Many of you won’t because you’re too young. Darn you. Anyway, he had a birthday Feb.6, and the man is 71! By the way, I don’t think that’s old because in my opinion 70 is the new 40. The older I get, the older the “new 40” is.

I guess his age came as a shock because we have watched other performers, Paul McCartney and Ringo, for example, age as they’ve continued to perform.

Just like the people you haven’t seen since high school are the ones that make your jaw drop at the 40th reunion. Those you’ve seen from time to time don’t seem to have changed that much.

Unlike classmates, when the very handsome teen heartthrob Fabian Forte left the public spotlight, I assumed he flew off with Peter Pan and never grew up. Searching the Internet for him proved me wrong. Just like the rest of us, he’s aged.

But here’s something I bet you didn’t know. According to Wikipedia, Forte “was drafted, but rejected, for military service during the Vietnam War.”

“According to U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Arthur Eppley,” reads the Wikipedia entry, “Forte was declared 4F (unfit for service) after presenting a doctor’s note stating that induction into the Army could cause him to develop homosexual tendencies.” Wait. What?

By the way, if you can’t relate to this column, save it for a few decades and read it again. Then it will make sense, just like Granny’s stories.

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