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Another Friday night – but different

Since one of my editors (that would be YOU, Norma!) gave me a temporary reprieve from a deadline for several pieces of my writing today, my wife and I headed to downtown Livermore tonight to listen to a weekly FREE concert in the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater. The weekend promises to be a full one, with an Art Crawl and an artist’s reception tomorrow and two artists’ receptions on Sunday. (Artists are FUN people! :-) ) Tonight’s band at “Friday Nights LIVE!” was the Gabe Duffin Band, described as:

“Livermore’s Classic Rockers,” have been building an enthusiastic audience over the past six years. Headed by lead guitarist Duffin, the band has evolved into a tight knit group who rock some of the most popular 1960s and 1970s hits, from the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison, to Pink Floyd and the Eagles.

The night was comfortable, especially before sunset, when winds started to drive the fog bank over the hills from the Bay. The music was good, and the crowd was responsive – all that a band can really ask from an audience. I’ll describe the audience as Baby Boomers and their grandchildren. :-) As the soap bubbles wafted overhead and I watched the folks (and the little kids) dance on the grass and drink wine from wine glasses (no, not the little kids! :-) ) 20 feet from signs warning about public consumption of alcohol, :-) I had only one thought:

Pity the foolish government or corporation that tries to get between these people and their retirement! :-)

I received a couple of emails today from my representatives in the U.S. Congress about folks messing with Medicare (and how my reps OPPOSED them), in response to a message that I had sent. The specter of huge crowds of Baby Boomers in their 60s, 70s, and (someday) 80s, marching on Washington, D.C., with law enforcement (probably :-) ) unwilling to club them down for the evening news, filled my head. The corporations that bullied and overworked the Boomers all of their (oxymoronic) “work lives” and served as refuges and hiding places for personality types that generally do not do so well with “real people” in “real life,” no longer have any hold on, or power over, many of the Boomers. The sheer number of the Baby Boomers, voting as a block in their own self-interest, represents a political and economic force that has never been seen before in the United States. And that is “no brag, just fact….”

A couple who were minding their granddaughter while her parents attended an out-of-state wedding came up to see us. The “grandpa” had been a soccer coach for our daughter. The little blonde granddaughter wanted to give me a “high five” but lost her nerve as she approached this gray-bearded “stranger.” Ah, the classic “approach-avoidance conflict…!:-) Still, a pretty brave little girl for under 18 months…!

The wind kicked up as the sun went down, and the free concert drew to a close. The band will be back later this summer, and there will be other bands, every Friday.

The Boomers, who have grown comfortable with themselves and comfortable with life, picked up their lawn chairs and their grandchildren and slowly made their way from the plaza, freeing up the space for the younger people whom they had temporarily displaced.

-Bill at

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