East-West Crazy

East-West Crazy is about growing up in the ’60s in a dysfunctional family. Been there, done that?  Not with this family, you haven’t.

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Mom didn’t object to the Monkees, who were more clean-cut than the Beatles. The Beatles had seemed like such nice “lads,” but now were putting out the kind of records that made grownups nervous. My big sister Daisy listened to songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” sitting on her sofa in her bare feet. Nobody could make her stop, because she had her own apartment, which she called a “pad.” I referred to it as the “Daisypad,” wishing my sister’s name were Lilly, which would make the joke better. Hey, it would have been a great joke coming from an eight-year-old.

Everybody knew “Lucy in the Sky” was about drugs. I had only a vague notion what that meant, gleaned from listening to what adults said when they thought kids weren’t listening, and TV news.

Hippies were druggies who did drugs and were dirty and didn’t work. They shouted a lot while waving poorly-lettered signs, like the girl on the news last night with the sign that read “Fascist Imperialists out of ‘Nam Now!” She’d run out of room, so “imperia” looked all right, but “lists” ran down the side of her sign, turning her message into “Fascist Imperia Out Ofli ‘Nam Now!ts.” She was screeching red-faced at a policeman who shifted his weight back and forth as though his feet hurt. An equally red-faced man in a suit, his tie flapping, was shouting at the “nam nowts” girl. I wasn’t sure if he was on drugs, too, but it seemed like a good bet.

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