A year of international upheaval and change is reflected in Stacy’s own life, though she initially views the summer of 1968 as “boring.” She’s edged into the teen years but not enough to really matter, except for making some cash babysitting for people other than her sister. This includes new black neighbors, just some of the people she’s hanging out with regularly of whom her mom decidedly does not approve.
Mary’s working and taking college courses at night, Don’s about to be sent to Vietnam, and Olga has a boyfriend. Daisy and her roommate, Helena, smoke weed and host parties featuring the guitar-playing grad student Arch, who Stacy worries is up to some “funny business” with her sister. As she spies on Mary and her friends (while taking guitar lessons from Daisy), Stacy is also keeping track of what’s going on at the neighboring Oakley farm. It’s about to be developed into a subdivision nicer and fancier than Arboria Park, and Stacy’s mother Evelyn is lobbying for the family to move there. Because the only thing flower child Daisy and uptight Evelyn agree on is that Arboria Park is nothing but “houses made of ticky tacky.”
Before summer is over, Stacy’s loyalties are tested: to her family, to her new friends, and to her neighborhood. While many American cities are in flames, the only fire Stacy sees is when the Oakley farmhouse is put to the torch by the new developers. But she also observes the symptoms of “white flight” in Arboria Park and how sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll are tearing generations apart, even within her own family.
Some songs from 1968:
Hey Jude/Revolution The Beatles
Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
Sunshine of Your Love Cream
Midnight Confessions The Grassroots
Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf
Jumpin’ Jack Flash Rolling Stones
I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight Boyce & Hart
Time Has Come Today Chambers Brothers
Think Aretha Franklin