Contemporaries

Sometimes it’s fun to be around the very young and get a glimpse of their world.  And it’s nice to catch up on what my son’s life is like.  But it is deeply comforting to talk with people my own age who went through the same events and changes as I did.  Part of it is because we don’t have to explain the context.  Or the significance of consciousness-raising, SNCC, the ERA, My Lai, GLF, and the Chicago Eight.

At last night’s dinner we talked history.  History of Truth or Consequences, feminism, and gay rights with all the implications of the civil rights movement and anti-war years.  All first hand accounts and impressions.  Nothing read in history books, not that history books will ever properly describe those times.  So much of our lives were counter-culture – not covered in the mainstream media of the time.  Underground newspapers and radio stations told our stories and played our music.  Underground networks provided access to birth control and other ‘forbidden’ services.

One man had seen the Stonewall riots; one woman saw the original Dinner Party exhibit.  I had celebrated the Dinner Party in 1975 in Swaziland.  Others were in Europe or Nepal.  We all had been at anti-Vietnam War demonstrations.  Some knew Hollywood stories; some had met Georgia O’Keeffe and Juan.  There were stories about other celebrities known that brought them down to earth.  Some stories were frightening – raids and arrests; some stories were humorous – and not to be repeated; some were warming and unifying with insights and epiphanies.  And with the camaraderie came lots of laughter.   Couldn’t ask for a finer group.

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