The 60’s were special days and not so special days for me as I was growing up thinking “I am all that and a bag of potato chips!” Proud and probably arrogant as well, in 1968 I first heard the phrase, “I am
It was spoken by Civil Rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson who I came to appreciate his stance and his boldness on treating everyone the same over the years.
In 1969 I was sent a draft notice drafting me into the Marine’s, but since I had already signed papers the day before assigning me to the Army, I did not have to go in as a Marine. When I finished basic training at Fort Ord, California as a clerk, I was assigned to Viet Nam as the Mail Man delivering “Dear John,” letters. Who knew?
Back in 1963 President John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, when I was getting prepared to graduate as a senior, in high school in New York State. Can you say Niskayuna High School? They showed his assassination live on TV, in black and white, and that too was something I will always remember.
In 1964 I was accepted as a freshman at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. Memories of my time there are still vivid as well as I reminisce in my free time about those memories. That was the year also that Republican nominee Barry Goldwater ran for president and I actually got to shake his hand as he was leaving Fort Worth to attend another political function. I couldn’t vote for him since I was not yet old enough to vote.
My five years in college, (took an extra year) were very productive. I was a college cheerleader my junior year, a member of a fraternity, (Sakkara) and drama club where I performed on stage in Shakespearean plays. I was named “Ugliest Man on Campus” raising money for the athletic scholarships and voted “Most likely to Succeed.” (Mister T.W.C.)
In Viet Nam in 1968, numerous American soldiers were killed during the massive “Tet Offensive.” Fortunately, I didn’t arrive until 1970. However Dr. Roberto Jimenez who still practices medicine here in San Antonio was in Phu Bai, Viet Nam in 68 as a combat medic. I was in Phu Bai in 70-71.
On a lighter note, we have the music throughout the sixties or as I recall, Motown, like my favorite group the Temptations. Hits like “To Proud to Beg,” “Papa was a rolling Stone,” “My Girl,” and the Stylistics, “You make me feel so brand new,” and the Spinners, Working my way back to you.”
Many older people like myself, also considered the sixties as a unclear uncertain time what with political chaos, assassinations, and disruptions. The decade was different to say the least as an unprecedented time. Remember that President John Kennedy became the President in 1960 and killed in 63.
Fast forward to HemisFair 1968, that was held in San Antonio from April-October with the theme, “The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas” celebrating the many nations which settled the region. The fair was held in w1968 to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio in 1718. More than thirty nations and fifteen corporations hosted Pavilions at the fair.
HemisFair began April 6th, 1968, with the gates opening at 9 a.m. and official ceremonies at 10 p.m. at the new Convention Center Arena. It is noted that it opened two days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and security escorted First Lady, Lady-Bird Johnson and Governor John Connelly during their presence.
From my perspective as stated, there were special days and not so special days in 1968. Only the reader can make that call.
And as always, I write “Just a Thought.”