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  Tuesday January 27th, 2015    

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True confessions of a baby boomer (11/23/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Even the best of intentions can be burdensome. I interrupt my "serious series" to take a pause for the cause with this laugh-o'-gram. I was born on the far end of Baby Boomerdom, right after World War II in 1945. That's a long spell to be hangin' around. Regrets and lessons learned, or ignored, have stacked up.

Baby Boomerangs: I must confess, I got mixed up with the wrong crowd in grade school, or was I the wrong crowd? We were the snooty darlings who stuffed our training bras with tissue and smoked those chalky candy cigarettes, actually lighting the ends (tasted just like roasted marshmallows). Kid's, don't try this at home! We altered Mother Goose rhymes to our off-plumb amusement.

The Young & The Restless: I have harbored some deep dark secrets from my teen years. I admit it, I had a crush on my high school teacher Mr. Polus. Pictures of George Gobel and Pinky Lee graced my bedroom wall along with all the heartthrobs. I had a duck tail, and wore white buck shoes and poodle skirts, three or four crinoline petticoats deep. I murdered Kitty Well's "Honky Tonk Angel" and gyrated to Chubby Checker's "Peppermint Twist."

Regrets of a Boomer: I never followed up on my promising career as a stand-up comic. I did a classic impersonation of Louis Armstrong's gravelly voice and handkerchief, never mastering the trumpet part. I regret that I can't remember any of those Burma Shave limericks, which graced highway signs. It's a bummer that I was never abducted by aliens. What a trip!

Oddities of the Lewis Family: My family had some wingdinger mannerisms and pet words. Every so often, one pops into my mouth: nixnuts, peterboopinhymer, dinglefritz, sardeenit, fiddlesticks, ignoramus. Schimmle and obber (which means naughty!) could be German. And holding up the rear - it's "Beetlebong!" Utterances from our eerie, helium-like voices scared off several suitors and freaked out little sister Jean. Mother was best at it!

Old Before My Time: I missed out on Woodstock in ‘69 because I was pregnant with my third child Joel, but, between you and me, I wouldn't have had anything to wear anyway. When everyone else was swooning over the Beetles, grooving out to heavy metal and hard rock, and passing out flowers, I was changing cloth diapers (lots) and kissing boo boos at my daycare. I melded in with the Tupperware and home decorator parties crowd. I had rubber fruit on my coffee table, for crying out loud.

No Feather In My Hat: Chucks! I missed out on the Victorian 1890s, and the "Woman Club" movement. It was an outrageous time in female fashion, when the high-classed lady wore actual stuffed birds on her lavish hat, each one attempting to outdo (doo) the other. History has it that the millinery trade in the 1880s and 1890s cleaned out tern, heron, gull and egret rookeries up and down the Atlantic coast. Outraged Americans across the country founded state Audubon Societies, in a conservation crusade, launched by flocks of newly committee-minded WOMEN.

58 & Holding: I am an arthritic, aging, granny, duff-timing, bookkeeper boomer now, leaving my mark on reams of paper passing across my desks and my computer strokes. The future is up in the air when one reaches that fuzzy age, between "Cheers!" and the last hurrah; between "just one more for the Gipper" and a to-go cup from Kwik Trip.

Dance like there's nobody watching: Us golden years earthlings are no longer inhibited from speaking our minds or doing what we darn please...we've already impressed everyone we care to. Let sleeping birds lie, but spare the endangered from annihilation! I know that's not quite right, but who cares?

A Common Language: Laughter rises to the crest of invisible vessels, overflowing...and the merging together is a place each heart longs for...if only in that incidental moment.

Consider laughter. 


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