Always Uncool? I Skipped Beatles On Ed Sullivan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Considering my un-hip reputation, my sons shouldn’t have been shocked at my confession. Yet they gasped in dismay Sunday that I did not watch the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 when The Beatles came to America.

I preferred the TV show “Bonanza.”

Farmington Elementary School boys largely considered the British mop-top band as something of a girl sensation. The constant squeals from the girl fans hurt my ears, and I didn’t understand why anyone would swoon and faint over a band.

The Beatles’ early hit song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” wasn’t that good … was it?

I was in 5th grade.

Girls in my class divided sharply over their allegiance to their favorite Beatle — George, Paul, John or Ringo. My older sisters, likewise, were enthralled by the Liverpool lads with funny accents and odd haircuts. Not me.

Elizabeth, then a Mocksville Elementary student, confessed to the boys that she was a Ringo kind of girl. She certainly did watch the Ed Sullivan Show.

During the 50th anniversary tribute this week, it occurred to me that I have been uncool all my life. Even as an 11-year-old I was on the wrong side of culture. Back then I thought country crooner Eddie Arnold was a really good singer.

It’s a challenge being so far out of the cultural loop.

For what it’s worth, in my 60s and with the advent of iTunes, I have finally come to appreciate The Beatles. My top five of the band’s songs: Let It Be, Penny Lane, Yesterday, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby.

In 50 years, will we still be humming the words to any songs produced in 2014 by the stars of this generation?


John Barber

A wave of memories swept over me while reading of the death this week of former Davie County manager and good guy John Barber. He was Davie’s first county manager.

He had good sense, a gentleman’s manner and calmness that brought civility to commission meetings. He cared as much about Cooleemee as Bermuda Run, about Fork as much as Farmington. His kind has become rare.

He also helped get my Spillman Road out of the mud in the 1970s. The bumpy dirt road had never bothered me until I reached driving age and tried to keep the car clean for Saturday dates.

I went to see John Barber about getting the road paved. He gave me a petition and sent me out to meet my neighbors.

The road pavers arrived … as I left for college.


Snowmageddon? Storm May Be Big

 Depending on the timing and movement of the clouds, we may get the newspaper delivered to the post offices and the news racks a few minutes before Snowmageddon hits Wednesday. We haven’t had a big one in years, and this snow could end that drought. If the weatherman is right this time, we’re in for a heavy snow — up to eight inches.

Our luck may have run out. Luck, when it comes to snow, means different things to different people. Some want a blizzard. Most don’t.

With snow in the forecast, we went to see three granddaughters in northern Virginia over the weekend. We only saw flurries on Saturday, enough to make us nervous about getting snowbound. This time, we may be snowed in at home.

The best scenario for us is for the snow to begin right after we finish delivering the newspaper.

— Dwight Sparks