The film “Good Ol’ Freda,” shown at the recent Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, was an insider’s view of The Beatles as they came into worldwide prominence. The movie focused on the massive Beatlemania Fan Club that many of our generation were part of, sometimes to the point of frenzy.
There was not an empty seat at the Firehouse theater. The boomers attending were treated to a vivid reminder of the music and the innocence of those times, a piece of history unfolding and foretelling of the coming changes. As the cultural revolution swept in during the ’60s, many, but not all, were transformed.
Those were the days when the music rocked our souls, opened our hearts or freed our minds. The drugs of choice were marijuana and, for some, psychedelics. Hopes were high, sex was not thought to be a bad thing and love was more freely given. We questioned authority; we honestly believed we could make a real difference.
Women organized, wanting more personal choices ... better-paying jobs, reliable birth control, abortions for unwanted pregnancies and affordable day care so mothers had the option of finding paid work outside the home.
The civil rights movement forced important changes that were long overdue. We marched and sang and sat-in. We wanted fairness and justice for all people.
Vietnam left deep wounds for us as individuals and for our nation. So many of our young adults did not return from the war, or returned deeply traumatized. The Peacenik Movement rose up to express themselves, challenging military intervention. Should not this be the war to end all wars?
Much of our optimism was taken from us when some of our greatest heroes and spokesmen were violently cut down by bullets ... John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon.