Sixties Memories Growing Up

Posted By
Nancy, United States

I was in first grade when JFK was killed. The teacher brought in a radio. She looked stricken.
She told us, just said it. I didn't get it.
Why would anyone shoot the president? It wasn't personal enough for me to understand. We stood around the radio and listened.
I don't remember what was said, only that we were all so quiet, all our regular activity stopped.
Later, my father took us to Mass, which was singular in itself because he was a lapsed Catholic and we never went to church, I'd never set foot in a church before that.
I didn't even know my father was Catholic until we attended. I remember the elections after that. "Johnson, Johnson, he's our man. Gold water belongs in the garbage can!" We were kids.
Then Johnson began to dissapoint fast: Vietnam happened. My brother, who was draftable age, managed to stay out of the war by remaining in school.
I remember one day he and his girlfriend - now my sister in law - came to my house from jail.
My mother, me, and they all sat around the kitchen table while they debriefed. They'd been arrested in Berkeley, protesting the war.
They were elated. They felt powerful, and also - I'm pretty sure - relieved and triumphant that they'd survived. They'd been teargased, had not even gone home to clean up yet, and stunk to high heaven.
Several years later, I was at summer camp, and a t.v. had been set up in the courtyard. We all watched the first human set foot on the moon.

No comments:

Post a Comment