Not Pic of the Day 6-28-08 It was twenty years ago today...

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Not Pic of the Day 6-28-08 It was twenty years ago today...

Postby jgh » Jun 28, 2008 11:35 am

'Sargeant Pepper'

Actually, it was June 4, 1967… a sunny Sunday in my little Lake Wobbegonish-hometown in Minnesota. I was one of five grandchildren graduating from high school during the coming week, four of us from the same little school, so the family clan was gathering at Grandma & Grandpa’s house to fete the scholars. I was looking forward to the gathering about as much as I would a dental filling without novocaine.

That little town wasn’t big enough for me. I knew it… and what’s more, they knew it. I was heading off to MIT in the fall, leaving behind rural Minnesota and all the parochial nonsense of small town life. Like a baby switched at birth, taken from his sophisticated, urbane parents – perhaps William Holden and Myrna Loy – and placed to be raised by rubes in the sticks, I was about to be restored to my real cultural heritage. Surely wit and wisdom would follow me all the days of my life.

But first I had to get out of Dodge, which meant a summer of working in the pickle factory. Heavy, dirty work, stinking of vinegar brine… nine and a half hour night shifts… $1.70 an hour… but my ticket out of Hicksville.

All of this was running through my head as I hopped in the family Pontiac to make the three-block journey to my grandparents. In driver’s training class we had learned that the first step in preparing to drive was adjusting the mirrors, but I knew better. The first step was adjusting the radio… getting it off WCCO (an old-foggies AM channel that broadcast farm reports to five states) and onto my rock-n-roll channel. The second step was adjusting the volume to a level just below eardrum-bleed.

As I rolled away from the curb, I heard the words “It was twenty years ago today…” roll from the speakers. A half-block short of my destination, I pulled to the curb. I knew I was hearing something special. The station was playing the whole first side of the new Beatles album, uninterrupted. I sat, mesmerized by the music.

When people started to question my absence from the party, others reported seeing me sitting in our parked car in the shade next to the funeral home. My little sister was dispatched to check out my delay.

I waved her off. She didn’t know what to tell my parents. She couldn’t tell them, in front of dozens of relatives, that Jimmy was sitting in the car a half-block away laughing and crying and listening to the radio. She just said that I’d be there “in a minute.”

It was a transformative moment. Mine had been a life of rules. Strict parents, strict nuns, strict teachers, strict religion – everything was rules, all of them designed to constrict and limit. And here were the Beatles, constricted in their own ways by their fame and success, breaking out. They didn’t just break the rules – they threw them away and started over. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band spoke to me that day. I wasn’t sure what the message was – but I knew it included “Go Go Go!”

I think I was a little reluctanct to add H 'Sergeant Pepper' (note the different spelling) to my collection. Given the profundity of the experience of the music, the hosta almost had to trivialize it. But I did obtain a couple of them – and was surprised to find it one of my favorites.

It becomes a medium-sized clump of subtle yellow-to-chartreuse margin, light-to-medium green centered foliage with good substance and corrugation. It is a Bridgewood release and is not registered. I have been unable to find out anything about its heritage.

When I had to select a mature plant to move into my redesigned planting area next to the stairs into my main gardens, it was Sergeant Pepper I chose as the focal point.

Here are pics of two different SPs, same age… one gets direct sun from 10 AM to 3 PM… the second gets no direct sun, growing much more slowly in heavy, dry shade under mature spruce trees… and please forgive hail damage…

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Sergeant Pepper in sun…




Sergeant Pepper in shade


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Not Pic of the Day 6-28-08 It was twenty years ago today...



Postby newtohosta-no more » Jun 28, 2008 1:35 pm

That sure is a pretty hosta. I had heard of it but was trying to remember if I had seen a pic of it on here before. :???:
I enjoyed your trip down memory lane. :wink:
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Postby FreakyCola » Jun 29, 2008 12:42 pm

You should be a writer! I so enjoy your stories. I also loved the Beatles, but the album that stopped me in my tracks was Spirit's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Wow, I haven't thought of stuff like that for years. I'll have to go dig out my old music! Knowing my husband, he probably has all this on CD's and now that I think about it, I don't even have a turntable anymore. Well Jim, now you got my hopes up and dashed them in two seconds!

Heck with the music, lets talk of our new loves, HOSTAS!
I have seen SP pics before but never one in person. I really like your shade one, it's much more subtle I think.

So can you think of a hosta for my album choice?
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Postby jgh » Jun 29, 2008 4:22 pm

Dr. Sardonicus... don't know about Dr... but Mr. Sardonicus was a classic black and white horror film from 1961... the guy digs up his father's grave and goes into his coffin for a lottery ticket and ends up with his face frozen into a horrible grimace... and there is the scene with the leeches all over... yuck! My wife still talks about that movie with horror...

Don't have a hosta in mind for that... we could name one H. 'B Movie" I guess!
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Postby playinmud » Jun 30, 2008 11:54 am

Wow, that's why I bought 'Yellow Submarine'. Wonderful fond memories Jim, thanks again!! :D

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