HN NOTES: I remember downtown Hyannis in 1972, long before a lot of HN readers were even born. Richard Nixon was still President of the United States (facing impeachment, he’d later resign late in the summer of 1974… everyone was glued to their televisions then, just like today…). The government was still conducting draft lotteries for the ongoing war in Vietnam. A lot of young men weren’t very happy about being forced to fight in what was a very unpopular war at that point. The late 1960s and early 1970s was also a time of civil unrest and riots just like we’re seeing today… and for very similar reasons. Downtown Hyannis was a different place back then. The 1970s were Hytown’s heydays. The streets were always packed with people simply trying to relax and enjoy themselves. We had our wonderful hippies then and I cannot even begin to describe how different the culture was in those days. It was a time when people valued freedom and openness at all costs. Looking back, it was a time of innocence..
… but I need to stop right here because I could go on boring everyone all day about how much things have changed… and I can also go on about how much some things have remained almost exactly the same.
To make a long story short – and coming back to the present – it was simply splendiferous yesterday, waking up to the sound of neighborhood children laughing and playing together outside in the streets again, albeit under the much more cautious and watchful eyes of today’s parents. But it seems like forever since I’ve heard the wonderful sound of children laughing together. Chasing one another with the hose, yet otherwise playing nicely. I don’t know why I’m suddenly hearing the laughter of children again. Maybe it was always there and I was too busy to hear it. Maybe the sound of children playing means much more to me after what we’ve been through in recent months. Who knows – but I have to say it was good hearing those benign sounds again. It was also good seeing the downtown area making a comeback during these very difficult times.
Overall, it was a great day!
And it’s nearly impossible to fully describe one’s journey from the 1960s and 70s to the present, however I believe I’ve personally managed to gain some important insights during that time period. While some things have come full circle, meaning there are events that are so much ingrained in the human condition they seem to return every now and again, like the cicadas that show up every 13 to 17 years or so… and while some recent troubling events seem very cyclical to me, and are to be expected in my opinion, others are most definitely a first for me, as well as those much much older than I. All this to say that troubling times in history are a little bit easier to endure when they have seemingly repeated themselves (we somewhat know what to expect)… while other unheard of things, like the world nearly grinding to a halt because of COVID-19, are more difficult to deal with because it’s a first for everyone.
And nobody really knows what tomorrow will bring… but I do know these present times need to be documented no matter what.
My current job as a photojournalist is to document as much as I can, both good and bad. Today was a time for documenting the good. And it was also likely a good time sometime way back in 1972 when I first heard the following simple repetitive lyrics by singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson,
“You can climb a mountain, you can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire but you’ll never be free
You can shake me up or I can break you down
We can make each other happy
Oh, we can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
Oh, we can make each other happy…”
Simple lyrics. So simple they almost don’t make any sense. “We can make each other happy?” What the hell was that all about? What were they thinking way back when? Is it even still possible these days? To make each other happy?
The following random HN photos were taken yesterday. They’re simple. Nothing too special. But they made me happy… and who knows, maybe they’ll do the same for you… 😉
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette music is brought to you by Harry Nilsson… *** CLICK IT/CRANK IT! ***