September 20th, 1975, was a Saturday, which is strange, because I’d always thought it was a Tuesday. Knowing now, that it fell on the weekend, instead of in the early week, changes something about it to me. Tuesday has always seemed like an insignificant day. It comes right after the beginning of the week, meaning that the end of the week is still far far away, but its also not in the middle of the week, so it doesn’t provide much comfort in knowing that the week is coming to a close. Saturday is not only one of the few days that most everyone looks forward to, but its also kind of convenient, in that it doesn’t interrupt the work week were one to want to do something. On this particular Saturday though, there was a lot going on in the world, namely, I was being born.
My birth didn’t make it to the front of the paper, but patty Hearst capture after a set of fingerprints in a barn in Pennsylvania were found by cops, tipping them off to patty’s whereabouts, was on every front page in the nation. Poor patty, she was so rich that the judge denied her bail pending hearing. The SLA crumbled. Another group of fanaticals beaten by the fist of American justice.
The musicians on Broadway were on strike. It halted most every musical production in midtown. Only dramas took the stage. It was your usual wage dispute. Probably had some shit to do with medical insurance too. Speaking of the theater, Sgt. Leonard P. Matlovic, an officer in the air force who admitted to being a “practicing homosexual,” was deemed unfit for military service and given a general discharge. His lawyer said he would push to get it changed to “honorable discharge” and felt pretty confident it wouldn’t be a problem.
What was considered the “earliest shipwreck ever found,” was discovered off the coast of Greece. It was from the Bronze Age. Scientist were freaking out.
A new socialist government was sworn in in Lisbon. It strongly opposed communism. Howling, “Fucking Commies!” and shaking ones fist, is the national salute in this newfound nation. In other international news: the fighting in Beirut worsened, Kissinger began to explore the ideas of long term oil purchasing with the then Soviet Union, and Ferdinand Marcos dismissed 2000 of his military officials as “traitors.” The 2000 officials were not available for comment. To celebrate, his wife Imelda bought 200 pairs of strappy pumps.
And on the topic of pumps, a pair of dope wallaby shoes cost only $16, and books were nowhere over $8. Gerald Ford was president, and ALLEGHENY, in a brilliant display of underachievement, took ads out in the New York Times proclaiming itself “The 6th largest passenger carrying airline in America.” Come on guys, just lie.
Waterbeds had been discovered! And I don’t mean discovered as in “hey, I discovered a new way out of this tunnel!” No, I mean discovered as in, “I cant wear those tight Speedo swimsuits, I’ll get discovered.” You got it? Anyway, waterbeds had been discovered. Their inherent flaws revealed. People were getting seasick, people wet the bed, the mattress was punctured and water had leaked all over the satin sheets and a baby drowned in San Diego.
So there was something new on the market that Saturday, something that worked like a waterbed and acted like a waterbed but wasn’t a waterbed. A Gel-bed. Yay! It’s a mattress filled with gel. It’s tough and doesn’t get punctured, and if, for some reason it does, instead of leaking fast, it comes out slow and gooey. It oozes out. So you could cut it, discover you cut it, go to the store and buy two bags of cheeto’s and a chili dog, come home and eat that while watching "The Jeffersons," and then patch it up before it even hit the floor. That’s ooze baby, Gel-bed ooze.
I guess the Gel-beds never took off; I don’t know anybody with one. And I think I know a few people with waterbeds, so its not like I don’t know the type of people that would have bought a Gel-bed had they the opportunity. Oh well.
In the theaters "Jaws" was still the big winner. Marlon Brando was making a small but impressive comeback in “Last Tango in Paris.” Woody Allen and Diane Keatan were in a low budget, somewhat well received comedy. “Dog Day Afternoon” was about to be released, and Al Pacinos brilliance would be further confirmed. "2001: A Space Odyssey" was being marketed as 'a trip…' and Russ Meyer’s “Super Vixens,” was quietly being watched by every man in America.
Gil Scott Heron was headlining at the New York City Center, and the Mets had lost in the wild card race against the Phillies, ending their season.
At 12:09 pm, right around lunchtime for most, at a hospital in San Francisco, I was born. I don’t know what the weather was like, but I assume it was clear, in the low 70’s, with a slight breeze from the east.