Blue Men, A Short Memoir of 1968

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
“The Flower Children Are Blue Men Everywhere.” It was 1968, the United States was in turmoil, and those lyrics encompassed the times in more ways than one. For one young man, coming of age in 1968 was to realize more truths about himself than about the times in which he lived. One teacher in particular showed him the way, a teacher he hated. This brief memoir is about enduring lessons learned.

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About Rob Shelsky

Rob Shelsky is an avid and eclectic writer, and averages about 4,000 words a day. He has several novels to his credit and two anthologies, with two romances out now, a Regency romance, Verity, along with the sequel, Faith, and soon to come, a time-travel romance.

Rob has written science fiction articles for such magazines as The Internet Review of Science Fiction, numerous articles for AlienSkin Magazine, Neometropolis, Midnight Street (UK), Doorways, and other publications. Rob has had short stories published with Jim Baen’s Universe, Aberrant Dreams, AlienSkin, Gateway SF, Fifth Dimension, Continuum SF, Sonar4, Uncial Press, Planetary Stories, Pulp Spirit Magazine, Sex & Murder, and many more. He has a novella coming out in early 2010 with Aberrant Dreams Magazine’s first hardcover edition anthology, The Awakening. Rob’s novella, Avenger Of The People, will appear there alongside the works of such sci-fi greats as Alastair Reynolds, Ian Watson, Jana Oliver, Robert Madle, and just so many others. There is even an introduction by Jack McDevitt.

Rob has a short story, Green Waters, now out with Sonar4’s Phase Shift anthology, and a paranormal story, Light On The Moor, coming out with Smashwords and

Now, Rob Shelsky is not only a writer, but a contributing editor for travel articles, as well as being a reviewer for Novelspot. He is also a resident science fiction columnist for AlienSkin Magazine.

Although widely traveled and continuing to travel, Rob now lives in North Carolina. He enjoys contemplating ideas for new stories while watching the sunsets over the mountains and sipping a glass of red wine, preferably a decent Merlot.

Oh and check out this site for my Smashword books:


Review by: Dick Claassen on July 26, 2010 :
This isn’t a story about growing up; we all grow up by default, one way or the other. This is a story about coming to terms with who we really are. And what better way to explore that than to read about two characters who identify with two diverse groups, and then examine what makes the groups, and the characters within those groups, both different and the same.

Rob Shelsky begins his memoir by recalling a professor he thought he’d put one over on. Yup, he sure put one over on this guy! Or so he thought. But as we continue to read the memoir, we begin to realize the professor may have taught the storyteller far more than he realizes. Those were potent times back in the 1960s. Many young people, myself included, were trying to find their own way through the labyrinth of what we considered to be an unjust world. Shelsky gives us a very brief description of the hippie culture back then. (We don’t need a lot of detail here. We only need to know what they broadly were about.) Shelsky contrasts this with the character, “Rob”, a button-down, who I’m assuming is the story teller in this memoir, that is more than a bit irritated with his own brother who is part of the hippie culture. The philosophical schism between the brothers is the perfect way to show how two good people eventually arrive at completely different places in their lives.

For me, this story brought to mind the famous entertainer of that era, Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher fame. Bono “appeared to be” a hippie when he and Cher were making bucks with their hippie dress and popular songs. But Bono later emerged as a conservative U.S. senator. People like me were in shock! But Shelsky’s story, “Blue Men”, isn’t about famous people. It’s not about shocking revelation of people we don’t even know. It’s about ordinary people. It’s about you-and-me people. And that is what makes this story so powerful and thought provoking. I was totally absorbed in this short memoir. It’s a very good read. I give this memoir a 5 STAR rating. ~ Dick Claassen

Dick Claassen was co-owner and co-operator of the online publishing company, Awe-Struck E-Books, from 1999 through 2009. He has edited and formatted more books than he even wants to think about. In addition to his publishing efforts, Claassen has written two math textbooks, several magazine articles, at least a dozen sci fi and paranormal romance novels, as well as three method books for playing the Native American flute. You can learn more about Dick and his latest efforts at his two websites, and
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Rose Renee Shelly on July 26, 2010 :
I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Men, A Short Memoir of 1968. It was brief, powerful, and to the point. One forgets how rather like the Civil War the Sixties must have been for many people in ways, with everyone taking opposing sides, the country being so terribly polarized over things. But where the Civil War was more about “brother against brother,” the Sixties were more about children (baby boomers) against their parents, and friends against friends. How divided the nation was then over the issues of the day!

So it was intriguing to see how people were affected by it all on such a personal level, in such an intimate memoir, and how they were changed as a result.

I loved how one teacher could still be so instrumental in showing someone the way, even through such tough times, that such people were still relevant, still so helpful. I thought this a very compelling account of one person’s sojourn through 1968, apparently kicking and screaming all the way, not wanting to change. This is not so much a coming of age story, as simply of a person growing up, of casting aside their illusions, and facing life head on! I give this the highest rating, five full stars!

Rose Renee Shelly
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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