I was listening to a story on Saturday Morning Edition on NPR about Bill Graham's stuff he saved from his day in the 1960's San Francisco music scene when he created Fillmore West among other venues, and knew many of the artist during that time there and who played in his venues. Someone made a great observation, in that anyone who can remember the times wasn't there, because everyone was stoned, or beyond reality through the means of life enhancing drugs.
But it got me to thinking about forty years ago, January 1967, and who was I then. I was a senior in high school in Aurora, Colorado, trying to get through with good enough grades to get into the University of Denver, which my father had decided for me to go there and become a mechnical engineer. As it turned out I graduated 67th out of about 440 students. I also was in the middle of trying to exist as an outsider in a class of athletes, academics, socializers, etc. I never fit in and just faded into the woodwork.
It was an interesting year ahead for me then, as it was for the times in our country. In a number of ways in a white middle class family in a white middle neighborhood in a white middle class city as Aurora was then (in our senior class there was only one black person and only a handful of asisan heritage) it was a very segregated environment. All my news of the world came from the television, and the news of Vietnam, riots, peace activists, and so on seemed so foreign.
And little did I know everything would change that year and especially 1968. I graduated, spent the summer working for the Federal Government as a summer intern, a GS-2, before I started college only to fail as an engineer and join the Air Force when the Army decided I was in the draft later in 1968. But that was yet to come. I was focusing on school being one of those kids you never see except now and then to say, "Who in the hell is that?"
Such is life in our youth. And the only advice I can give the youth of today, don't worry too much about the pressures of others and the times. They'll pass as you will on in life. Focus on enjoying the times and friends. Everything changes after high school and nothing you really learned is worth much down the road, except your close friends. Cherish them, they can last a lifetime.
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