When I was growing up my parents were afraid I might become “one of dem Beatles,” except they said “those” instead of ‘dem. (Remember? Mama was an English teacher.) Bub the barber worried the new haircuts might set a trend and run him out of business. I remember I was so excited they were gonna be on Ed Sullivan. I told my uncle the farmer the Beatles were coming and he said he hoped they didn’t eat up his crops.
Over time most of us got used to the fact that even Harvey County might change some. Of course there are always a few people who hold onto things they shoulda turned loose of a long time ago. Believe it or not this even applies to the Beatles.
I saw a fellow at the Billiard and Bowl the other day who was like that. He had on a bright orange hunting cap that had this huge peak on the front and wore a camouflage jacket. If he’d had a shotgun over his shoulder he’d been a ringer for Elmer Fudd gone to shoot some ‘wabbits.’
“Hey Doc how come you let dem Beatles come to North Carolina?”
“Whatda you mean?”
“Dem Beatles. They was over near Charlotte at that new Don Gibson theatre.”
“The Beatles? I think some of them are gone, my friend.”
“Hell no. They wuz there. How come you didn’t stop it?”
“Hm. It must have been ’64. They’re a tribute band. But brother I gotta tell you, I ain’t in charge.”
“Well you shoulda been.” He grumped around a minute and put some salt on his liver mush. “I tell you what’s the truth. When dem Beatles came out I didn’t put me a radio in my new car. Still don’t have one.”
“Lordy man, that was near a half century ago. You’ve missed some good music. They’ve got bluegrass on the radio nowadays.”
“Yes sir, no kidding.”
“Do they still got dem Beatles?”
“Well, yes sir, at least some stations do.”
“Then I’m agin it. Hmph.” He sipped on his coffee a minute. “At least they didn’t put ’em over at the new Scruggs place.”
“I reckon. Maybe so. We don’t want no riots.”
“You tell ’em, Doc.”
I didn’t know I was in charge of so much.
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