01/10/02 - 06:20:49
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I remember returning to Kent State for the thirtieth memorial. It was my first time back since ’71. The ghosts were all there each in it’s own form. It was the first time that all of those who were wounded were back at the same time. I saw people I hadn’t seen or spoken with in 29 years. Many of us went to a bar on Water Street the night of May 4th. I guess there were about 150 of the old pinko commie bastards there. It felt so good, my gray hair was becoming black again, my hairline was moving forward and yet there was certain sadness. I guess we all were there in 2000 because deep inside we knew that time is running out. That returning in 2010 would mean that some of us, perhaps many would not be there and at sixty the candlelight march across the hilly campus would be quite a challenge.|
There were some young people at the memorial service on the commons. They were students who were involved with change and wanted to join in the remembering. There was also a large element of students who didn’t want us there. Young people who believe that what happened is ancient history and should be forgotten. I was reminded of 1969 when the “radical” element at Kent was a “hardcore” group of about 200 – 300 students or 10% of the student population. There was of course another thousand or so who would join in when it didn’t conflict with a party or some other more meaningful event. The rest the students either disagreed with the politics or wallowed in apathy until the shots rang out.
My old roommate Larry and I stopped a woman one evening trying to find out what bar the students party at now. She smiled at us and said:
“Do you know the three sign of spring at Kent? Flowers, showers and old hippies on campus.”
The reality of passing time hit like a brick wall.
Living is South Florida is not a good place for political enlightenment. The last major political action I was involved with was the day prior to the bombs dropping in the Gulf War. There were perhaps 300 – 400 of us who marched up Hollywood Beach chanting and singing. There was a feeling of desperate futility knowing that the dye was cast and we threatening the giant with a twig but it had to be done. I won’t even get into what dumb waste of human life that war was. The man is still in power and I sincerely believe it’s because we need people like him in power to justify certain government expenditures for who need an army if there are no enemies.
Regardless of the frustration I will still continue to fight the insanity. As my fellow radicals used to say:
“Dare to struggle, dare to win!”
Sorry for rambling, it’s early and I just felt the need.
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