I am always amazed how time just creeps along and before you know it you are several decades older. For the last few days I've lain awake trying to remember who I was during the 1960's. I was in high school, graduating in 1971, and for the most part lonely. My mother died in 1960, setting off a decade of feeling awkward. Actually more than a decade, but that's another story. I had plenty of friends, but you can still feel lonely surrounded by people. That feeling comes from within.
Growing through your teens without a mother to fight with is not easy. Dads just don't hold the same place in a young women's heart when it comes to differentiation. High school was hard for me - many of my friends had dropped out and I was the only one on the bus in the morning heading to classes I knew in my heart I needed to attend. I've always been that way. A knowing of the right thing to do, even when my brain says to cut and run, who needs school? Or why not just continue drinking and partying, when I knew it was destructive in so many ways? I guess we all know the right things to do way ahead of actually paying the consequences - we just ignore them. Or not, if we're smart, and actually pay attention to our little voice. Mine was sometimes very authoritative - maybe my mother adding vehemence when it was needed?
It was a wild decade. Many of the same issues as this one - war, recession, a society polarized. Peace, love, dope was the rallying cry. The dope was pot, not the harder drugs that materialized in the next decade. I'll talk about that later. No, the sixties for me was about being young, very young, and not being allowed to participate in the really cool iconic happenings such as Woodstock, or Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. My father would have killed me, even if I could have found a way to get there. Another issue about the 60's for me - I didn't have a car. I did not get a car when I turned sixteen. (The horror!) I took public transportation, or bummed a ride from those friends lucky enough to have one.
I did manage to see BB King in San Francisco at the Filmore. Of course I lied. Do you think my father would have let me crawl into some car driven by "hippies" to go all the way to San Francisco? (Maybe 200 miles?) Naw.
So the 1960's for me was a decade of mostly being too young to be a part of the action. I did however lose two friends to a car accident while they were drinking, which ruined my graduation party because my dad took the distributor cap out of the ($150) car he had bought me for graduation. It was being held out at Pyramid Lake, the same place my friends died, and he wasn't about to let me go. It was so traumatizing then and now it just sounds responsible. Would I have let my girls go to the same party in the same place a decade later? Of course not. Did they do something as equally dumb? Probably. But I did sign them up for the "booze-free" party with their class. Which turned out to not be as booze-free as all the parents had hoped. Kids are incredibly crafty when it comes to circumventing the rules.
So where were you in the 60's? Were you a "hippie" or a "straight"? Or were you somewhere in the middle like me? Were you for, or against, the "establishment"? My husband, the only guy in the universe who went to the University of Oregon in 1969, and was a total "straight." One of those guys who was in ROTC because he knew as soon as he graduated he was off to Vietnam, and thought he might as well go as an officer. How he ever ended up with me is a wonder. But I've always been grateful he paid attention in school. It worked out well for both of us.
So who were you in the 1960's?
Were you even born?
An Addendum: Read: latkas and New Year's Rant to get a great recipe and read a well-written post on the 1960's and our lack of follow-up, plus a call to this generation by My Year On The Grill. BTW - if you want to link to any of my posts by joining in the conversation on your blog, you can link at the bottom of my post where it says Links to this post.