1976, and I hit the bigtime! Yessir, I mean the Hilldale Kiwanis Summer Theatre's production of The Music Man. I'm being a little facetious, but compared to Clarksville Civic Theatre, this was a definite upgrade. I played Winthrop Paroo, the son — oops, I mean brother — of Marian the Librarian. A full orchestra, in which my father was roped into playing violin. Sets! Costumes! A real theatre, in the charming Trahern Building on the APSU campus. It was a great experience, and I met my still-friend Eddie Powers in this show. I can still recite "Trouble" perfectly, something I don't think our Harold Hill was ever able to claim.
I had braces, which was perhaps a bit anachronistic. I was 12 when I played Winthrop, and it was just in the nick of time, as my voice changed very shortly after. This was my first experience in musical theatre, but it wouldn't be my last.
This is the year I turned 13, the same age that my son is now.
I entered 8th grade at Greenwood Junior High. I remember very little about 8th grade, specifically. There are teachers I remember, but I can't recall if they were in 7th, 8th, or 9th grade.
This was of course America's Bicentennial year, and I remember all the celebrations.
Also this year, Apple Computer was founded. Who knew?
And finally, this is the year that The Muppet Show began. I remember being unable to accept that, aside from Kermit, none of the other Sesame Street characters were going to be on it. Oh sure, Henson and Co. were just going to dream up a whole other bunch of characters from scratch, and we were all going to love them just as much as the Sesame Street gang. I was highly skeptical. And frankly, I think I was a bit underwhelmed by the Muppet Show at first. It wasn't until The Muppet Movie that I have to say I did love the new gang of Muppets just as much as the old bunch.