Divorce was RARE. Pre-pill, women didn't work outside the home, nursing and teaching were the only options available to those who did. Mothers fretted over the fate of their 22 year old spinster daughters.
Watts, Detroit, the urban riots were picking up steam, the student protests and Vietnam riots hadn't yet begun.
Most importantly to an 8th grade kid was how much music was changing. The British invasion had put paid to any white American kid's pop music ambitions. Motown replaced for a time, James Brown and Chuck Berry's overt influence. Jazz was becoming cool.
Our after school routine was set in stone. We'd go home get out of our hated uniforms, and meet at the department store record department. In those days you could open the LP's and play them, there in the store. Try before you buy. While listening you'd plan your next purchase. Cut the neighbor's grass Saturday morning, listen to your new LP in the afternoon.
Then SHE came.
From heaven, a new sales girl took over the record department. Probably a year out of high school, she actually would give our pack of 12-13 yo boys the time of day. We adored her.
She was Canadian, but never lived there. Her father managed the hockey team, and they just moved from Boston. This, her first job and she took it seriously. She knew music.
Saturday afternoons, I walk up to her counter LP in hand, money burning a hole in my pocket, and she'd say, No, I'm not selling you this crap. You need to listen to...
My sole rejoinder was "my album has 12 songs, this has 8". Then she'd cuff me in the back of the head and No.
I still have lot of her suggestions. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Dave Brubeck, John Mayal.
It took a decade to appreciate the music, and 30 to appreciate the influence she had.
As quick as she came, she was gone, probably married a hockey player.