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.