In April of 1971, I lived in Munchweiller, Germany with my newly drafted husband.
My sympathies were with the love-children and hippies of that zeitgeist (another ‘Z’ word). But my husband received his draft notice on our wedding day in ’68. I worked a double-shift at the phone company in Red Bank, New Jersey during Woodstock while my groom received Army training at Fort Mammoth. Life got in the way of my political leanings. I was all late-night talk and impassioned arguments and hoping to make it to the end of the month without going hungry. Again.
So, after narrowly escaping orders for Vietnam, when my husband carried the newest Rolling Stones’ album home from the PX in Parmesan, Germany, it was an event of some magnitude.
And the album’s cover!
A man’s crotch, penis bulging against the pants and a real, honest to God, zipper. A zipper that opened and closed. After you paid for the record, carried it carefully home and removed the plastic wrapper. Like so many things in life that work too hard to titillate and tease, the zipper was a disappointment when I actually got my hands on the thing.
I’m willing to bet most everyone out there over sixty remembers slowly lowering the zipper on that album cover. Under all that promise and sexual innuendo there was nothing but white briefs. Tightey whiteys as they became known.
It was a different time. Now we have nipples and pole dancing at super bowl half-time. The internet has made erotica the most profitable book genre and the producers of Tiaras and Toddlers are rich instead of imprisoned. Different times, indeed.
This morning, at dawn, watching the sun return color to the world, I couldn’t help but smile thinking about that innocent zipper that promised so much. It’s been a long road since that April day in ’71. I have three sons. Two grandsons. Two published books and another two coming out this year. It’s been a nice glide down the teeth of time to reveal a plain, ordinary, absolutely wonderful life. A tightey whitey of a life. I wouldn’t take a million dollars for any of it and, parts of it, you couldn’t pay me a million to live through again.
‘Z’ is for zipper and zeal and zany and zipitty do da.