Dick Clark stood as an avatar of rock ‘n’ roll virtually from its birth and, until his death Wednesday at age 82, as a cultural touchstone for boomers and their grandkids alike.
Dick Clark was a huge part of the boomer culture. This might, after all, be the day the music died.
To be honest, I was not all that familiar with Dick Clark until later in my teens.
because, growing up in rural America, we either couldn’t pick it up or we didn’t watch all that much television.
The latter is probably the case. My television watching was limited to “I Love Lucy” on Monday night and “The Hit Parade” on Saturday night.
We skated on the street, rode our bikes all over town, and ran in the poison-spewed by the “bug truck” that circled the city at dusk, trying without luck to control the mosquito population. Television had yet to become a favorite passive pastime for my generation.
If we weren’t doing homework, we were out playing Hide and Seek or down at “The Ditch” telling ghost stories.
The aforementioned “Ditch” was not a bar or coffee house. It was a plain old dirty ditch that ran beside my house and had a big concrete detention tank at the street. It was surrounded by rails conducive to summer saults and handstands. The neighborhood kids were gather there each day.
The brave could even shimmy under the street to the other side. When a big rain came, we had our own white water to float on. Many plots were hatched and many dreams shared while hanging around that ditch.
Somewhere in my late teens I became aware of Dick Clark who would become one of the more enduring personalities of the 20th Century and he’s been called America’s oldest teenager. He did almost as much for rock and roll as Elvis because he brought it into our homes and our hearts where it would forever live.
And another door from the Boomer past closes.