This afternoon I pulled up the year 1966 on Wikipedia. I was six that year, and I have memories of swimming lessons, Brittany Spaniel puppies in the back yard, the boat house on weekends, catching crawdads in the ditch, ...you know: kid things.
Whoa! 1966 was not a happy year. There was Vietnam (our next door neighbor Gene was in Viet Nam, but his parents waved their patriotic Marine flag, and my parents shielded me from atrocities (as well they should have, in my opinion), and so I was not made aware of overseas confrontations and horrors.
There were the race riots. Again, I was living in a Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm life. Most, if not all, folks living in Pryor Creek were either Caucasian (white) or Indian (Native American). There were few instances for me or my family to rub elbows with anyone not "of their color".
I was not privy, at age six, to race riots or war demonstrations.
And then, 1966 was in the midst of hallucinogenic drugs, particularly LSD. WHOA!
So, there were race riots, war demonstrations, and LSD was soon to be made illegal.
Today, this year, the past two years, have been sort of bleak, from my vantage point on the American horizon. I don't like the horizon one bit. I try to be upbeat, I try to see beyond what's bothering a lot of us. Sometimes, though, I just throw my arms up in despair.
But I have to say, looking back at 1966, when I was just a silly kitten, things must have felt pretty bleak then, too. I am glad my parents shielded me from the pain and negativity of the world at that moment.
And in my soul-searching this afternoon, I began thinking about America life in the 50s, the 40s. the 30s...and so on. I think I need to re-visit all the decades of our American history. I am thinking each decade, and certainly each generation, had its hardships and despairs. Too, we need to learn from our mistakes. What a young country we are.
And so, I tell myself, "Buck up. Brace up".