Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas of ’68 

The first time I traveled by plane was the Christmas of ’68 
when Cheryl and I took Luke, 9 months old, to visit my mother 
and stepdad, Jimmy, who he would later call Mo and Po.

Luke was born two weeks before Martin Luther King was assassinated one year from the day he spoke in opposition to the Vietnam War from the pulpit of the Riverside Church in New York City.

In June that year, just when it seemed Robert Kennedy was on 
the verge of ending the war in Vietnam after winning the California Democratic Presidential primary, he was murdered like his brother.

Thus by removing the greatest obstacle in “Lord, love me, I’m 
a liberal” Hubert Humphrey’s way, the “Masters of War”
were free to continue their carnage.

Jesus Christ, I wondered!
What kind of a world has my beautiful boy been born.
I did not feel like eating but the next day, I broke my fast 
by pigging out on peanut butter spread on crackers.

In August we watched on our black and white TV at the 1968 
Democratic Convention in Chicago, Daley’s blue bullies charge 
with clubs swinging a crowd of anti-war demonstrators shouting,

Of course Tricky Dick who I voted for in 1960 was elected 
that November. Mom and Jimmy probably voted for Nixon 
but this was Christmas and as the head of our family, Grandma 
would say for family gatherings, “Never argue politics or religion.”

Besides Mom caught the Hong Kong Flu from Cheryl 
who got it from Luke who unlike Mama and Mo recovered quickly.

Christmas Eve on Mom and Jim’s color TV, I watched world premiere of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” That night it snowed and I woke up to a rare white Christmas in Oklahoma.

When we returned to our Pasadena home, a month before Luke’s year old birthday, Richard Nixon was inaugurated President of the United States

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