Wednesday, July 24, 2013


1966 is mostly lost in the haze of memory. It is the year that my maternal grandfather, Samuel Burnham Gilreath, died on September 24th, but I don't remember this event. As I said in 1965, I have the vaguest of memories of him, and those may be more inspired by photographs than real memory.

So, let's look at a few things that happened in 1966, culturally:

The Beatles released Revolver on August 5th. Eleanor Rigby is a song I remember hearing on the radio in my youth, notable because it sounded so different from anything else played on WJZM in Clarksville.

Jim Henson's short film Time Piece was nominated for an Academy Award, but didn't win.

Disney released Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. I have had a lifelong affection for Pooh, especially for the original A.A. Milne stories, but for the Disney version as well. They coexisted easily in my youthful consciousness. I associate the Milne stories with Dorothy Ann Russo, since we used to read them together.

On October 15, Robert Goulet starred in a TV adaptation of Brigadoon. 24 years later, I would work with Goulet in a production of Camelot in Houston, where I would also meet my wife.

On November 16, Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose aired on TV. It was directed by Paul Bogart, who 14 years later would direct us in Enter Laughing at Memphis State.

And on December 15th, one day after my wife's fourth birthday, Walt Disney died. When I went to animation school in 2002, it dawned on me in animation history class that I was the only one in the room — including the teacher — who had been alive at the same time as Walt Disney. I am, for absolutely no good reason, a little proud of those 3+ years we were on earth together.

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