Click on the headline to link to a "YouTube" film clip of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez performing "Blowin' In The Wind" which seems an appropriate song for the entry below.
Not all the entries in this space are connected to politics, although surely most of them can be boiled down into some political essence, if you try hard enough. The following is one of those instances where trying to gain any “political traction”, or as I am fond of saying drawing any “lessons” would be foolhardy. I should also note that this entry is part of a continuing, if sporadic, series of “trips down memory lane” provoked by a fellow high school classmate who has been charged with keeping tabs on old classmates and their doings, even those of old-line communists like this writer. Go figure?
The Bard Of 1964?
Recently someone from our class, who shall remain nameless, wrote an e-mail, a friendly e-mail I assume, asking me if I, with this never-ending (my word) stream of messages, was trying to be the bard (her word, oops) of the Class of 1964. I rapidly replied with this short answer- “What, are you kidding?” Later though, after I thought about it for a while, I realized that I did mean to be ONE of the latter-day voices of the class. Why? I have, with all due modesty, the perfect resume for the job. Here it is:
I belonged to no clubs, not even after school ones. I played no major sport that drove a lot of the social networking of the time (I am being polite here: this is a family-friendly site after all). The sports that did drive me throughout my high school career, track and cross-country, were then very marginal sports for “nerds” and other assorted odd-balls, and I was, moreover, overwhelmingly underwhelming at them, to boot. I did not hang around with the class intellectuals, although I was as obsessed and driven by books, ideas and theories as anyone else at the time, maybe more so. I was, to be polite again, painfully shy around girls and therefore somewhat socially backward, although I was furtively enthralled by more than one of them. And to top it all off, to use a term that I think truly describes me then, I was something of a ragamuffin from the town's wrong side of the track. Oh, did I mentioned that I was also so alienated from the old high school environment that I either threw, or threatened to throw, my yearbook in the nearest river right after graduation; in any case I no longer have it.
Perfect, right? No. Not complete enough? Well how about this. My family, on my mother’s side, had been in the old town since about the time of the “famine ships” from Ireland. I have not gotten that far back in the genealogy but way back someone in the family was a servant of some sort, to one of the branches of the presidential Adams family. Most of my relatives distance and far, went through the old high school. The streets of the old town were filled with the remnants of the clan. My friends, deny it or nor, the diaspora "old sod" was in the blood. How else explain, after a forty year hiatus, this overweening desire to write about the “Dust Bowl” that served as a training track during my running days. Or the oddness of separate boys and girls bowling teams, as if social contact in that endeavor would lead to .....whatever. Or that mysterious “Tri-Hi-Y” (a harmless social organization for women students that I have skewered for its virginal aspirations). Or the million other things that pop into my head there days. Oh ya, I can write, a little. Not unimportant for a bard, right? The soul of a poet, if not the language. Time and technology has given us an exceptional opportunity to tell our story and seek immortality and I want in on that. Old Whitman can sing of America, I will sing of the old town, gladly.
Well, do I get a job? Hey, you can always “fire” me. Just “click” and move on.