Student Reflections: Patrick Posadas

The interviews put me in a larger perspective of how the 1960’s were a time of change, war, drugs, and human dynamics.

Hearing these stories of the heavy drug usage by his peers in high school from George Evans; Patricia Lakes and the “backlash” she got from her parents for being in the “Steambath” play; Kathy Bond witnessing a cross burning and the Klu Klux Klan; Orlando Correa as young reporter observing vandalized business establishments from the riot in the Bronx; and Charles Gill reminiscing on Vietnam and how it affected his life when he came back to “civilian life”, were all impacting.

Kathy Bond’s sharing of the sixiteswhen she was at a young age. One thing that she refreshed her memory on that stood out in my mind was her experience with the KKK. Brooding over a car ride on “Jarrettsville road, amazed by the number of state trooper’s uniforms, standing shoulder to shoulder for…a mile down the road” and her mom “putting her on the floor of the car” to shield her from the horrid cross-burning sight. She says she “couldn’t help but look”, which caused it to become stained in her memory and even led her to “had a few nightmares about it.” My reaction would have been horrified and disturbed by the act. This most likely was during the Equal Rights movement and being as it was a residually rural area, most of it was predominately white at the time.

Orlando Correa was a young report during the sixties, who examined and noted on the vandalized businesses from the riots in the Bronx. Only being 19, he witnessed the “shattered dreams of up and coming businesses” because most of them didn’t have insurance.” I’m heartbroken to hear his story on the elderly couple, “who were not even a minority, they were a white couple…” whose innocent shop that catered to minorities was “destroyed” by minorities.

George viewed drug usage in the 11th grade, where he saw “a couple of kids coming in stoned, dozing off, and laughing out loud.” He also mentions the first drug overdose in his high school in which the kid hung himself from spacing out. I see that as a very impactful event to remember, very sad even, on the terms that you might’ve grew up with this person and to see them in this state is very traumatic. He also quotes the addict’s “creed”, “Drop-in, smoke/shoot up, and drop out”, playing on the words of Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune-in, drop out”. He implies also that the musical figures of the sixties had a dramatic impact on the image of drugs and how they can make you think more deeply and have a sense of “coolness”.

Patricia Lake, who used to model naked for pop-culture artists during the sixties, recalls a play she did call “Steam Bath”, where she happened to perform “the first nude scene in Delaware theater history.” This coincides with the “sex craze period” that Anderson mentions about the strip clubs, topless bars, pornography and sexually graphic novels. This sort of reminds me of Jane Fonda doing “Barbarella”. Lake says looking back that she has “no false modesty” despite the scrutiny she got from her “strict catholic parents.”

The final and foremost narrator that had a striking influence was Charles Gill. He is an ex-Marine and a Vietnam Vet, who was released and had a hard time coping and adjusting from “the military way to the civilian way” of living. He felt as though he served a purpose being in the miltary and “it’s hard to live with” the fact that his duty is done. He claims that serving his country in Vietnam is “an experience he will never forget.” This make me think about my options for the military and how it will affect me.

Student Reflections: Whitney Shelton

We can understand from this interview [Patricia Lake’s], how memories of the 1960’s elaborate on the topics presented in [Terry] Anderson’s book [The Sixties], as well is a few of the source readings, concerning counterculture and the environmental movements. We are able to visualize the experience through the oral history interview with Pat in the aspects of the sexual revolution and some of the backlash that occurred to young women with they went out of terms of the norm. This interview confirms the notions I had of the 1960’s concerning the roles of women in and out of the workplace and home, and the views associated with those who did not conform to the norm. It is obvious what is meaningful to the narrator as she discusses the environmental aspects, sexual revolution and hippy lifestyle of the 1960’s to a great length. The impact of an oral history project is different in many aspects from traditional classroom learning. In class you learn about the events in history and analyze the events. Participating in an oral history project, you get the perceptive of the individual person verse society as a whole. You are able to visualize history through the eyes of the narrator. Often you interview a person you respect thus you are more liable to listen intensively, allowing you to better grasp the event or history.

Student Reflections: Shanna Casey

This oral history project has overall impacted my approach to learning history because it has made me eager to want to learn more about many other people’s lives. Getting involved with this project was a great experience and very interesting in getting to know the other members of the class’s family and friends. With having such a diverse class as we did, getting to hear the other view point of the class member’s families and groups gave us a better understanding of the lives they lived and what happened to them in the certain area where they were living at the time.

Student Reflections: Emily Evans

Hearing [George Evans] talk about Woodstock was awesome. It made me jealous wishing I could have been able to be there, even though he didn’t get to go. He had friends who did, and he bought the live album of the concert. He mentioned kids using drugs and the first overdose he witnessed was when he was in 12th grade. He said they lost three students that year. That hit home because I lost three students of my class because of overdoses, so that showed that some things never change and drug use is always going to be a problem unless some serious actions are taken. Also that’s something I’m thinking of doing in my future, dealing with substance abuse, and it sounds like the sixties had a mess of that just like we do now. I liked hearing his favorite moments of the sixties, and how he said his friends and being free that just made me happy to hear that. It was cool to hear my dad mention things that we have discussed and learned in the class, what I’ve read in source packets and the Anderson book. After hearing things he mentioned, I felt envious because I wish I could have been able to grow up in those times rather than our times today. My favorite thing he said was when he was talking about the best part of the sixties. “Best thing of the sixties was we were free.” When he said that, it gave me chills and made me wish I was able to grow up in those times rather just reading about them. This whole experience was awesome, and something I’m going to take with me as I get older, learning more about my father and his times of growing while also learning American history. I’m also happy the Harford Voices website was able to be developed so this is something I can always refer to and have this memory of filming this with my father and hearing him speak on these issues.