the 1960’s were different days…

lsd drawing in bible

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

There are so many things about the era of the ’60s’. We came out of what seemed gentle years into the wide mouth of the time ahead devouring the president to begin the decade out and to chew through the years of marches for civil rights and the horror of the Viet Nam war filtering in to the homes that had television in those days. Hard to think computer friends-there was a day when one television served several families and always somebodys dad had to sit on the roof and work the aentena so we could get a clear picture of JFK getting shot or of ‘niggers’ getting beaten on the street by police officers-or,it seemed to us little kids…beaten by any one that felt like it. And after they showed Kennedy getting shot over and over-the first of slow motion images on TV…the news programs continueally showed Lee Harvey Oswald getting shot by Jack Ruby,all through thanksgiving that year watching the pain on the mans face as we saw that -so many people saw that man killed live on television when it happened and over and over.I can still see the look on Oswalds face. And then Johnson got urged to do something about Viet Nam-by that time my family had moved from the hills up past Virginia and into the suburbs of Washington and television was all the time there-no sitting on roofs trying to get a signal…Viet Nam was at our dinner table every night and I can still see the body of the Buddist monk that poured gasoline on himself and lit a match-in protest of the war,his body as it rocked back and forth in what had to be miserable pain.
Being in the Washington DC area during the 60s was quite interesting and I sometimes wish we never moved there because I learnt too much and always wonder if there would have been a simpler life elsewhere but only lived to find out that everyone was going through the loss of sons in a war that was as stupid as the one we have now.
In West Virginia-haircuts were more of a sign the school year was going to begin-so my hair got rather long by the end of summers. I remember when our family had moved dad drove us down through Georgetown to show us the hippies and from that point on a haircut was on a regular tab. I thought they were pretty funny looking too and I was a kid and had no clue what was coming for my family-and myself personally.
I dont know what to think about it all. My grand mother so casually used the word nigger about the same people we were seeing on the television getting mauled by german shepard dogs and any body who felt like inflicting pain on these people-it was so hard to understand to be around such hate and yet as a boy watching this I knew it had to be wrong. And it was more confusing to sit at the television at dinner and see the pictures of the young men that were killed in the war and among them were faces that were black just like the faces of those we saw from Selma and places in Mississipi and no body explained the unfairness of it to me-it was easy to figure out,although-I confess,it took me a while.
Emmit Till. Thats the kind of people were around in the 60’s-people that felt nothing about doing what they did to that young man…and looked the other way from so many things,unspeakable things.
I wonder what kind of impact television is having on a young ones mind today-as a boy in West Virginia we only could get a channel-one channel that only came on for a part of the day. We had guys like Clara Bell the Clown and Roy Rogers and simple ha ha things-until Kennedy. And then shows like Combat and other things like the rebel with the broken sword-all of that to induce the honor of war in our young heads-not the horror. And now today things are so far advanced-guys get killed on one show and end up as a new guy on another show…we make fun of foriegn people and think nothing of it and yet we see still the problems from foriegn places,and little kids mix this into thier heads-softens the blow.
How easily we can make fun of tragic tragic things when they happen in places are clueless about-and then be so angry when they happen here.

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