Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll

The year was 1969.  I was a sophomore at a small teachers college in Kansas.  But even there, the metallic stains of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida could be heard echoing through the halls. It was the summer of love. In August, more than a half a million people descended on a field near Woodstock, New York for four days of rain, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I wasn't there, of course, but I felt the vibe nonetheless.

Nixon was inaugurated as president and the "Vietnamization" of Southeast Asia began. The youth of American were fed up with the "establishment". There were protests on college campuses. Sit-ins, walk-outs, and love-ins heralded the theme of "Make Love, Not War!" We were ready and willing to rebel to change the status quo. It was all terribly exciting and we all thought we were doing something daring by going against the views of our elders.  The more they tried to suppress us, the louder we became.

But then, we grew up.  We became complacent.  We joined the very establishment we had once protested against. We went to work, got married, started families and disappeared into the ranks of the middle class. The once proud and loud "boomer generation" grew silent.

We're older now...grandparents who have set aside the foolishness of our youth. But was it really foolish? It was our generation that pushed for Civil Rights and began the movement for Gay Rights. We championed women in the workforce and pushed for equal pay. We shook things up.

Maybe it's time to shake things up again. Somewhere beneath the expanded waistbands and the grey hairs beats the heart of a "boomer" who thought they could make a difference.

There is still time.

Wanda DeHaven Pyle is the author of Windborne and the Legacy Trilogy.  Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at 

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