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Hear Me Roar

September 6, 2010

She's no Olivia Newton John

I was seven years old back in the summer of ’75, an impressionable lump of boy with no preconceptions of cool and no older siblings to guide me.  When my father wasn’t teaching math to middle school kids he served in the National Guard, and that summer his unit was deployed to Las Vegas for a three week training exercise/poker tournament/booze and stripper binge. My mother, reveling in her own temporary freedom, celebrated by purchasing Helen Reddy’s album I Am Woman and playing the title track over and over, as loud as the volume would go. My dad returned to find his wife empowered and his son brainwashed, singing “I am strong (strong!), I am invincible (invincible!!), I am woman!” at the top of my lungs. “Jesus, Margo,” I recall him bitterly complaining, “You turned him into a Mary.”

Originally published in The Morning News, as part of a feature titled “The Hot Jam of Forever”. You can read the whole story here.

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