High Times: The Late 60's in New York

As 1969 rolled around and the decade was ending, I was six years old and living in a temperate Southern city a thousand miles from New York. Conflict came from wanting to stretch my feet into my brother's half of the backest-back of our fake wood-sided turquoise station wagon; Vietnam had no meaning for me. I must have sat on my Dad's lap as he watched the news, but I don't remember the "living room war." All I have are blurry memories of first grade. My idea of pill-popping was half an orange-flavored child's aspirin. I was a 36-inch-high square; I was out of it.

Somewhere out there were the Columbia student strike, the Harlem protests, the antiwar flag burnings, women's lib, problems in the schools, the riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the King memorials; but not at my house. Remember that Richard Nixon was elected President in 1968, and even though he just squeezed through on the popular vote, and even though, yes, it probably would have been Bobby Kennedy if he hadn't been assassinated, still, a year that elected Dick Nixon was not a year of real political revolution. The middle class was unmobilized. (A letter from a Mrs. Mildred Dodge of Sylvania, Ohio, that ran in Life in '68 read: "Thank you for bringing us the wholesome, encouraging and beautiful picture of youth embodied in the Nixon-Eisenhower engagement." Richard Nixon's daughter Julie was to get...

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