Tuesday, May 04, 2010


It's very hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that today is the 40'th anniversary of the Massacre at Kent State.
I've tried to remember where I was 40 years ago...growing up in the Navy, we moved so much that I have to use certain events and time lines to remember where I was . I have lost count of the number of schools I've attended or the areas other than state or country where they were.
Forty two years ago we were living in Winthrop , Minnesota with my mother's parents since Mom and Dad were in Europe for the better part of the school year. '
Population 764.
Grandpa Engwall was a Lutheran Minister and the parsonage was right smack dab next to the First Lutheran Church.
My 13'th birthday is a vivid and complete memory. It was the Lenten season and as you can all imagine , attendance to the evening service was not an option.
I did manage to get out of it because at the time, I had just started to have my periods and they were brutal.
I had fainted in the kitchen so after much discussion, it was decided that for " just this once ", I was excused.
Grandma and Grandpa had an old console style t.v. in the living room, black and white of course and I can still remember seeing the breaking news that Dr. King had just been killed.
As much as I wanted to race next door , I knew that fire and brimstone would be easier than my Grandmothers wrath at my interrupting the service...because if I was " well" enough to do that then there was NO excuse for me missing the service.
I guess at the age of 15, we were living in Virginia Beach next door to Bill and Betty St. Lawrence. Bill was a class mate of Dads at Annapolis and a complete DAWG..if you get my drift...
Around the corner lived my oldest friend , the other Cathy. Kathy St. Lawrence and Cathy Long and I ..the three Sherlock Holmes Roy William Neil Basil Rathbone fanatic fans who to this day ...well...I can still quote the films at will.
Kathy St. Lawrence will be forever Holmes, the coolest chick around. She just had that aura of hippie chick Yardly of London, dark hair, Navajo blood ( she and her brother Patrick were adopted) who had the confidence to wear no makeup and gave off an appeal that males of damn near any age couldn't resist. I worshiped the ground she walked on..she was that cool. My first date and mad crush was with one of her old boyfriends, Jim Maynard..and it never occurred to me that his appeal was not for him..but because if Kathy dated him for a while he must be wonderful...yes..I was a chump. Lets just say that this BOZO thought a nice first date would be roller skating. Just about the most un-cool thing of all time in 1970 and we won't discuss the grace and talent I showed on wheels that night.
I will always answer to Watson....Dr. John H. Watson thank you very much and I don't mind that at this age, I look more like Nigel Bruce than Basil Rathbone.
And then there was Cathy Long.
Forever Inspector John Lestrade.
Cathy C and I had met in 8'th grade biology class. She was and is just about the polar opposite of Kathy St. Cathy C and I were the dorks and I am sure that Kathy St. lorded it a bit over us as she felt it was her due to have an entourage..her mother being an artist and the daughter of a semi famous sculptress in the New England region.
Oh I remember Kent State.
As an object lesson , held up as an example of the times we lived in and a war understood by a very few.
My parents were about as white bread conservative as they come, both due to nature and my fathers career.
I being me of course was all..protester hippy chick. I had one of the first POW/MIA bracelets that came out and remember arguing for hours about the USS Pueblo. The captain was my Godfather.
Oh it was glamorous to be that lil pot smoking Janis Joplin hippy chick fan....rebel chic.
And then two kids who were only cutting through a campus died...for no reason than being literally at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Did it impact me ?
No...in our little world at the age of 15, Ohio was a world away even though my father's Dad and Step mother lived there. My future husband was either on his was or already in a country that I only knew as being on the evening news with Huntley and Brinkley.
At 15 , there was no reason for it to be a major deal to most of us. As most 15 year olds are , we were too self obsessed..teenagers are that was.
Now, 40 years later, my thoughts are not of those days with the two girls.
My thoughts are of two families whose lives where shattered completely for the sake of a short cut.
Today I mark 28 years with the firm...
We never notice the passage as much as we should.
Blessed Be.
Aunty Pol

No comments: