OCBA UPDATE: The OCBA and the 'Magical Mystery Tour'

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(Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour! Step right this way!)

Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up (And that’s an invitation), roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up (To make a reservation), roll up for the Mystery Tour.
The Magical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away,
Waiting to take you away

Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up, roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up (We’ve got everything you need), roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up (Satisfaction guaranteed), roll up for the Mystery Tour

—Magical Mystery Tour
(John Lennon/Paul McCartney), Released December 1967

One of my first tasks as the new president of the Oakland County Bar Association was appointing board members as liaisons to the substantive committees of the bar association. As I looked at the names of our board members for this year, it struck me I may be the last “baby boomer” president of the OCBA. For those of you who do not know what a baby boomer is, it is anyone born in the United States between 1946 and 1964. Having been born in 1952, I am right in the middle of the baby boomer generation.

The majority of my adolescent experience took place during the tumultuous 1960s. It was a decade of unparalleled economic growth in the United States, tremendous generational tension between the young and the old, and a period of unprecedented creativity and exploration into all things new from a technological, political and cultural perspective.

Three main events defined growing up in the 1960s: 1) the United States’ involvement in the war in Vietnam, 2) the advancement of the civil rights movement and the attempt to achieve equality and the “American Dream” for all United States citizens, and 3) the meteoric rise of a new cultural phenomenon known as “rock and roll.”

The debate over America’s involvement in Vietnam caused major tension between the baby boomer generation and the greatest generation that fought in World War II. I will not spend any time here discussing the pros and cons of America’s involvement in the war in Vietnam, with one exception. I believe the men and women who served so honorably and valiantly in the Vietnam War never received proper recognition. I wish to take this opportunity to salute the brave men and women who fought in the Vietnam War, and thank them for their service, dedication and commitment to our country.

The civil rights movement dominated much of the attention and energy of the population in the United States during the 1960s. People finally began to address the need to provide the American Dream of political and economic equality to all citizens regardless of race, color or creed. No political figure inspired me more as an adolescent growing up in the 1960s than the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was an inspiration to all people, and his assassination in 1968 was a huge blow to young idealistic individuals like me. If Dr. King had lived his full life, I can’t imagine how much better this country would have been based upon his example of how to be a decent, caring person to all people.

The third major event I experienced as an adolescent in the 1960s was the rock and roll movement. In early 1964, I was 11 years old, and living in a very stereotypical upper-middle class community in Oakland County. In January 1964 on a local AM radio station known as “Keener 13,” I heard a song for the first time by a British rock and roll group called The Beatles. The song I heard was “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I had never heard music like that before, that was so upbeat and “cool.”

The “Ed Sullivan Show” was on every Sunday night during the 1960s from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and it was America’s top-rated variety show. On the evening of February 9, 1964, four young men in their early 20s named John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performed on the “Ed Sullivan Show” as The Beatles. Their performance drew a viewing audience of more than 73 million people – the highest ever for a television program at that time. Having seen these musicians perform on this show on that evening, my world was never the same again. 

Over the next six years, The Beatles would play a leading role in revolutionizing the way popular records were made, the way popular records were listened to, the nature of popular song writing, and the role that popular music would play in people’s lives. From 1964 until they broke up in 1970, The Beatles served as prominent symbols and spokesmen, bridging nationalities, classes and cultures for a generation of young people who idealized them.

No band in the history of rock and roll has or ever will have the profound influence The Beatles have had. The Beatles were the greatest rock and roll band we baby boomers have ever known or will ever know. What made them the best rock and roll group ever is their uniqueness, their trendsetting approach to rock and roll music, their creativeness, and most importantly, the fun they provided to we adolescents who listened intently to every song they sang and hung on every word they uttered.

I see in the OCBA the same qualities I saw in The Beatles back in the1960s. The OCBA is unique in so many ways. We are the largest voluntary bar association in the state, and we provide incomparable services to our members. These services run the gamut from putting on great social events, to providing fantastic opportunities to interact with our outstanding local judiciary, to sponsoring great learning opportunities.

The OCBA is a trendsetter organization in terms of providing unbelievably great programs for our new lawyers such as the Pro Bono Mentor Match Program and the New Lawyers Committee. For our more seasoned lawyers, the OCBA provides trendsetting opportunities such as the Lawyers Of a Certain Age (LOCA) Committee. All of the aforementioned programs are uniquely creative efforts by this great bar association to make participation in same a truly meaningful and quality experience for its members.

Lastly, just like being a Beatles fan, being an OCBA member is just plain fun. The OCBA provides a host of enjoyable activities including our annual Golf Outing, Race Judicata, Holiday Gala and too many other fun events to mention in this limited space. I am certain if the law firm of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr were practicing law in Oakland County today, they too would be very active sustaining members of the OCBA.

Throughout my tenure as the president of the OCBA, I am going to draw upon my fond remembrances of The Beatles in discharging my presidential responsibilities. I would love to hear from OCBA baby boomer members like myself about your Beatles experiences and how The Beatles affected you growing up in the 1960s.

Throughout the next 12 months, let’s all climb on the OCBA Magical Mystery Tour bus to move our bar association down the road toward being the best it can possibly be. As The Beatles promise in the Magical Mystery Tour song, if we take the OCBA Magical Mystery Tour together, satisfaction is guaranteed that the 2015-2016 bar year will be a fulfilling one!
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David Carl Anderson, of Law Office of David C. Anderson PC, is the 83rd president of the Oakland County Bar Association. Share thoughts about the OCBA or anything else with Anderson at 248-649-5502 or dcalaw08@att.net.