I will always remember the 1960’s-a heady time for freedom, intellectual dialogue at college, the Vietnam war, marriage, and the birth of my child.
Recently, I saw the movie “The Post,” and felt transported back to that decade. Of course, tragedy also punctuated those years. My first semester at college, President Kennedy was assassinated, and later Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Marine Luther King, Jr. Turbulent times marked those years.
Going to college in New York City was thrilling for me. Leaving the comfortable confines of my tightly knit neighborhood, I set off for the Big Apple and the adventures which I hoped would await me. I was not disappointed.
Before Columbia University admitted women, I attended the sister college of Barnard, and graduated with a Columbia diploma. For the first year, I was kind of hippie-wearing all black every day(long before the “me too” movement). I also haunted the stores in Greenwich Village looking for earrings that looked pierced as my mother had forbidden me to actually get my ears pierced.
I was not a great student, but impressed by the brains of my faculty teachers. Before teaching assistants, real professors taught our classes, and they were distinguished writers, former Cabinet members, and others with immense knowledge to share.
I also traveled to Penn and Princeton for dates with Ivy Leaguers. Life was good, and responsibilities few. In the spring of 11964, I even viewed the beatles, not in concert, but arriving at their hotel. To add to the fun, the drinking age was eighteen.
My roommate was on scholarship and a great friend. I almost derailed her money award by having her join me in anything but studying. But I was also lonely.
Having attended the same school for nursery through twelfth grade, I never had to make a new friend. In college this deficit magnified and as my fiftieth reunion approaches, I remember few faces.
“The Post” captured the adrenaline rush of those years, and brought back memories of troubled, but somewhat simpler times. I am glad I was young during the ‘sixties. I married after my sophomore year and started to live a different life.
The Vietnam War loomed large and the draft was fully functioning. To spare my husband the prospect of serving overseas, we married in a secret ceremony to beat a deadline imposed by Lyndon Johnson for men who had finished graduate school.
Two years passed and riots were common at universities around the country. We were no exception and classes ceased for my last semester. I had to pass through picket lines to take comprehensive exams which were a prerequisite(in lieu of a thesis,) for graduation. I still have photos of graduation day when we were surrounded by armed guards.
Looking back at that decade became very real after seeing “The Post,” and I am grateful for the memories.