I have been to many great concerts. The first was the summer after high school, when a group of friends and I took a road trip to a Carpenters concert in Saratoga, N.Y.
(OK, I almost lied and said it was a Grand Funk concert. That sounds so much better. The Carpenters? Really?)
Since then, I've seen the Moody Blues, ZZ Top, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Heart, and yes, even Grand Funk, to name a few. One of the best was one my husband and I didn't really attended. We were staying at a motel directly beyond the Casino at Hampton Beach, where Three Dog Night was playing. We sat on the balcony of the motel, drinking wine and enjoying the free concert.
This past Saturday night, we went to a Sixties Spectacular concert at Proctor's in Schenectady, N.Y. As we walked into the theater, I was struck by two things -- one was the beauty of the restored former vaudeville theater, and two, we, the children of the ‘60s were no longer young or beautiful!
There was no long hair on anyone in the audience, but there was a large number of bald heads and a lot of white and gray hair. There were a lot of pot bellies and the women who had once burned their bras in protest, had, thankfully, rethought that notion. Half of the audience limped in on bad knees and bad hips, and it took us awhile to get up for a standing ovation. There was no smell of marijuana during the concert -- just occasional whiffs of Ben Gay.
The performers, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Ronnie Spector, BJ Tho mas and The Turtles, also showed signs of aging. There were no wild gyrations, no dancing and prancing. Ronnie Spector took mini breaks on a stool and sipped water. BJ Thomas didn't hit a few high notes and one of The Turtles' vocalists dropped a tambourine he was spinning and twirling -- and didn't stoop to pick it up. (Bad back, maybe?)
I was in high school when BJ Thomas and The Turtles were popular. Drury High School was on East Main Street and most of us walked to school. There was no heat in some of the classrooms and too much heat in others. There were three portable classrooms outside -- and we froze in the winter running from the main school to get to them.
Back then, girls had to wear horrible one-piece, royal blue suits for physical education classes. We couldn't wear shorts or jeans at any time -- and the hems of our dresses had to hit the floor when we knelt. A trip to the restrooms was an invitation to lung cancer -- there was so much cigarette smoke it was impossible to see.
At lunchtime, many of us would sneak out for lunch at McDonald's or Jack's. Everyone, though, stayed for lunch on the days the cafeteria ladies served pizza burgers. They were so bad, they were good. Even now, when I think of high school, pizza burgers are one of the first memories.
Thanks to my friend, Nancy, for sharing what she claims is the recipe for pizza burgers.
To save my family and friends from major coronary events, I try to use low-fat bologna, low-fat Spam, low-fat Velveeta and cheddar cheese, and 90-percent lean hamburger. Even doing that, you can feel your arteries clogging!
I'm not a big fan of fennel seed -- or anything with a licorice-type taste -- and use only 1 teaspoon when I make the recipe.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound bologna
1 can Spam
1 pound Velveeta Cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
8 to 12 hamburger rolls or English muffins (toasted)
Grind the bologna, Spam and Velveeta. Mix together all the ingredients, except the rolls or English muffins. Spread in a 9x13-inch pan and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Re move from oven and mix so there are no large lumps. Spread 1 2 cup of the mixture on each hamburger or English muffin half. Place on a baking sheet and broil until brown and bubbly.
Margaret Button is the city editor of the North Adams Transcript. Send recipes for inclusion in future columns to the North Adams Transcript, 85 Main St., Suite 2, North Adams, Mass. 01247 or email them to email@example.com.