Times Aren’t a-Changin’


For people of my generation, this past weekend (and even today) marked the 45th anniversary of the iconic three days of peace and music known as Woodstock. This Aquarian Exposition took place in White Lake, NY and has remained in memory for multitudes of young people (now much older) who considered the event a pivotal experience in their young lives.

Truth be told, I’m glad I wasn’t there. I was all the way across the continent, living in California, working as a vocalist with The Sound Generation, a music group representing John Brown University. (I’ve mentioned this experience in a previous post here.)

Without the nudges of main-stream news outlets, I’m guessing the vast majority of the population would never have noted the Woodstock anniversary. Like so many other events of that era, this one is considered iconic (mostly by news media types), symbolic of how the world began to change as a generation of make-love-not-war hippies celebrated their peace, love and music sit-in, lay-in, love-in, mud-in.

From time to time, my younger friends have asked wistfully, What was it like to live in the 60s? Their impression seems to be that this era was idyllic, a charmed age when our society almost grabbed hold of nirvana before being yanked back into tedious reality. Funny, I don’t remember it that way. Continue reading “Times Aren’t a-Changin’”

Time For Activism

As I drove southwest from St. Louis yesterday around noon, I was oblivious to news of the upheaval occurring in Ferguson MO. Sunday morning radio programs don’t offer much news and after a couple rounds of the dial, I switched over to my books on tape for the remainder of my trip. Once I’d arrived home, though, I began seeing tidbits about “tanks in St. Louis” on my twitter feed.


Naturally, I was concerned … having just left my mother’s home. Her home is not near where the trouble erupted, thankfully. But the idea of elderly folks cowering in fear because of violence (or threats of violence) was a disturbing prospect. (My mom is not defenseless, but I’m afraid macular degeneration has not improved her aim!)

I’m relatively familiar with the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where looting and vandalism took place Saturday night and into Sunday morning. (Some reports seem to indicate the violence continues even now.) This area is less than six miles northwest from the neighborhood where I lived during elementary school and five miles from Hazelwood (where we lived when I was in junior high and high school). I took my driving test at the Ferguson testing center. My aunt and uncle lived in Ferguson for many years. As with so many of the STL suburbs, our family enjoyed Ferguson’s amenities or we traveled through her on the way to other nearby suburbs.

People in the community of Ferguson (and others everywhere) should wait patiently for all the facts about this incident to be fully determined. Currently, we know a young man (teenager) is dead at the hands of a policeman. The outrage this incident has generated in Ferguson is understandable; but the subsequent looting and vandalism are inexcusable and distract from what is most important, a young man’s life ending tragically. Continue reading “Time For Activism”