Tag Archives: Annandale Virginia

School’s out

In about a week, the schools in our area will close for the summer. Where you live, kids might already been out. Here, it’s always the latter half of June.

I no longer have a kid in school, so I don’t keep track any longer; yet, the fact that the last day of school is just around the corner is acutely evident, for two reasons. One, the ice cream truck is coming around in the afternoon. Two, Alice Cooper is on the radio. A lot.

It was the summer of 1972; I was in my final days of elementary school, when “School’s Out” hit the charts.

Don’t pretend you don’t know it. I bet you can tell me exactly where you were on your life’s road or where the song takes you when you hear it today.

For me it was Annandale, Virginia. I felt so grown up, saying good-bye to the school with the little chairs, and facing junior high with excitement and anxiety. Mostly, “School’s Out” meant spending seven days a week at the Wakefield Chapel pool and having sleepovers where we listened to music and called our requests in to WPGC radio.

By 1972, I had outgrown David Cassidy; Alice Cooper was a real rocker. He sang rebelliously about the fantasied obliteration of school (not such a realistically dangerous notion back then) and we could relate to it. I understand that, in 2004, Rolling Stone named “School’s Out” one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. I never owned an Alice Cooper record, but if I had it to do over, I would have snapped one up at Rainbow Tree.

I confess, when that song comes on the radio, I still crank it up and sing along. Belted it out it just yesterday, as I pulled out of the grocery store parking lot, after stopping for Activia.

To this day, while far from poetic, my favorite verse is:

Well we got no class
And we got no principles [play on words, perhaps?]
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

Please don’t think less of me.

So, where were you when you first grooved to this song? And hearing it on American Idol doesn’t count.


Filed under Family and Friends, Movies, Television and Radio, Music

Feelin’ groovy

A few weeks ago, on my way to brunch with friends in Georgetown, while walking along historic and charming M Street, I had a childhood flashback.

The year was 1969 and Georgetown was where it was at. We lived about 15 miles outside the city. One Saturday, my mother took me in to Georgetown to go to what she called the “psychedelic shops.”

Regardless of what psychedelic meant in 1969, I imagine Mom wanted us to see things that Annandale, Virginia’s Mademoiselle dress shop or G.C. Murphy didn’t carry. I assume she wanted to see bright colors, wild patterns in shocking pink and lime green, big hoop earrings and bead necklaces. After all, she was only 34.

I don’t remember everything we saw, but I do remember buying a diary with a brightly colored, flashy-designed vinyl cover.

There was an energy in the streets and storefont windows that we didn’t get in the suburbs. That day might have been what later inspired me to apply to Georgetown University, as if I had a prayer of being admitted.

It might have also jump-started my fondness for flashy bright colors and big dangly earrings.

Yesterday, a friend commented to me about the traits we get from our mothers.

Today, I’d like to say: Thanks, Mom, for that day in Georgetown, for passing on the shopping gene, and for my taste in groovy clothes. And of course, values and all that.  Happy 75th Birthday!

Peace and love.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Family and Friends