To those of you asking WHEN I was going to add a new post to my blog — HERE IT IS! And, thanks for asking.
The old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” doesn’t only apply to fun. As you have probably already experienced, the clock moves forward regardless of what any of us are doing. Although I did have some fun since my last posting, there were also periods of stress and disappointment which were not fun (however, it is difficult for me to remember how I spent most of that time). Nonetheless, three months have passed because I have allowed many distractions to take up my time. I shall endeavor to post more frequently in the future. 😎
As I tried to select from the topics I was considering writing about, I was repeatedly drawn to the period in my life when I was completing High School and transitioning into “adulthood” and becoming “a productive member of society”: five years which had a dramatic impact on me and my future; five years which also had a significant impact on the United States and virtually all of its citizens.
- 1965 — During the early months of the year, President Lyndon Johnson dramatically escalated the war in Vietnam by bombing North Vietnam and introducing ground troops directly into the fighting of the Viet Cong in South Vietnam; I graduated from High School in June and, soon after, started taking business courses at WWRC (Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center) in Fishersville, VA (almost all of my male classmates had been drafted into military service to begin their boot camp soon after HS graduation, but I was exempt from the military due to my physical limitations);
- 1966 — I completed classes at WWRC during the summer; August 3rd, I began my first full-time job ($50 for a 40hr work-week… equal to $1.25 per hour);
- 1967 — On January 17th, I was married for the first time; that August, I quit my first full-time job! (Following my marriage I had been given a “raise” to $55 per week — it took me more than 6 months to see that my new wage was the equivalent of $1.375/hr, although federal minimum wage had been raised in January to $1.40/hr… I have not been as naive since);
- 1968 — April 4th, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee (King’s assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 100 cities: including Wilmington, Delaware, which is were my wife was working at the time. On April 9th, Delaware Governor Charles L. Terry, Jr., deployed the National Guard to the city at the request of Mayor John Babiarz. One week later, Mayor Babiarz requested the National Guard troops be withdrawn, but Governor Terry refused, and kept them in the city until his term ended in January, 1969. Reportedly, this gave Wilmington the infamous distinction of being the American city with the longest occupation by state forces in the history of the U.S.); Aug 3rd, I started working for the University of Delaware (my career spanned a total of 30 years and 1 month); the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, from August 26 to 29th, and became a scene of huge conflict between police and protesters against the war in Vietnam;
- 1969 — Feb 10th, my beautiful daughter was born; from Aug 15 to 18th, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place in upstate New York (one of the U of D students I had met while working told me, during the week prior, that he “was going to Woodstock”).
Clearly, the above is a condensed version of events taking place during the years listed. Anti-war protests had actually begun prior to 1965, lead by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and other groups, with the peak of anti-war demonstrations coming in 1968 (the SDS had an active chapter at the University of Delaware and was involved in organizing some of the sit-ins and take-overs of on-campus buildings during the last few years of the 1960s); while activity slumped, protests did continue until 1973 when the Vietnam War ended. (Specifically worth noting: the Ohio National Guard shot and killed 4 students in 1970, on the campus of Kent State University, while they were protesting the U.S. military’s invasion of Cambodia.)
Many things have changed during my life, and continue to do so. As I use this blog to recall things I’ve witnessed, or became aware of, I invite you to add comments from your experiences. I may also do some speculation about the future, as I see it from here.