Over my lifetime...my incredible journey incorporates the great, the good...the bad...the ugly...and the uglier...and the ugliest of America!
All along the way, there have been many happy times...and there have been many sad times, too! During this long period of time, I have gone through every emotion imaginable...which cannot be described or put on paper!
1950: The Korean War:
Born in 1945, I don't remember the early years of my life, but I do remember when I was five years old (1950) and sitting out in the front yard one day. My family lived near the railroad yards, and I can remember the flat-cars of the trains carrying military jeeps and tanks for the Korean War. My father told me about the Korean War, but I was too young to understand where it was and what it was about.
1955: The beginning of rock and roll:
My family could not afford a television set at the time, so we listened to the radio much of the time. And it was here...when I heard two distinctive and unusual voices on the radio...the voice of Wolfman Jack and the voice of Little Richard...THIS...my friends, was the beginning of the rock and roll era!
They were all there...Fats Domino; Chuck Berry; Connie Francis; Buddy Holly; Jerry Lee Lewis; Bill Haley and the Comets and many, many more! In 1956, I was eleven years old, and I saw the movie, Love Me Tender, by the King himself...Elvis Presley!
American Bandstand was the treat of the day, and it came on everyday from Philadelphia and hosted by Dick Clark. Us kids used to race home from school everyday, to see who was on the show that day. There were no oldies back then...everything was original material and presented by the original groups. What a time to grow up!
1950 and beyond: the Cold War!:
I can remember the pushing and shoving that went on between the United States and the Soviet Union (Russia). This was the beginning of the dangerous Cold War between the two nations, and it could spell disaster for both nations! It was a time...and a real threat of nuclear war between the two! I can remember in elementary school, when we used to practice fall-out drills. I can also remember, when many people built fall-out shelters in their backyards underground! This was a scary time for all the inhabitants of the world!
"Ultimately, we know that on the other side of fear is freedom." Marilyn Ferguson
1961; Cuban Missile Crisis:
At the age of 16 and in high school, I don't think there was a more frightening time for me, than this... when I thought it would be the beginning of World War III, between the United States and the Soviet Union!
Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba, had been in power for a couple of years, and he aligned with the Soviet Union, instead of with the United States. This spelled problems for the United States, and the Soviet Union, decided to place nuclear missles on the island of Cuba...much ot our dismay!
Several ships sailed from the Soviet Union, carrying nuclear missiles, and, at that time, President Kennedy said "NO...there will be NO nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba!" President Kennedy decided to combat the issue, by placing a block-aid of ships around Cuba, with a mission of not letting the Soviet Union deliver their cargo, etc. It was a very tense time for all the people of the world, and it took about three weeks for the ships to sail from Russia to their distination. The people of the world held their breath...watched and waited!
Everyone was glued to their televisions and radios, to watch and listen to the events unfold. Would the Soviet ships actually confront the ships of the United States surrounding Cuba! Nobody knew for sure! This could be the beginning of World War III.
Before the Soviet ships reached their destination...and to everyone's relief...they turned around and headed back to the Soviet Union! There was a collective sigh of relief from the people of the United States and around the world! This action by the Soviet Union, by turning back those ships, probably avoided World War III.
1963: Assassination of a President:
I was a freshman in college, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The emotions of that terrible day, cannot be put on paper or described. The United States and the world, was in shock for months and years after the assassination! (See: The Assassination of a President) Do I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy? NO...and 80% of Americans don't believe it either. We believe that somebody inside our own government killed Kennedy. (FBI/CIA)
The unrest and rebellion of the 1960's:
In 2009...and during the Presidential campaign, there was much talk about "change" in America! The changes noted in 2009, are trivial, as compared to the changes made in the 1960's, was much change; violence and bloodshed all across America! The major changes, that sometimes came with violence of the 1960's, laid the foundation, for the changes in the future...including 2009 and beyond, etc.
When I speak about the 1960's, I like to use the analogy of the Civil War...where American's fought and killed other Americans for each others cause, etc. And, that's what happened during the 1960's...American's fighting each other for our most sacred of possessions...democracy and freedom!
It was the American people in one corner...and the federal government in the other corner! Let's get ready to rumble...and rumble we did! The lines in the sand were drawn...and the fighting began with the federal government, which lasted for many years! The "long hot summers," as they were called at the time, and where cities burned...year after year when all this happened!
The unrest of the 1960's, was NOT just about Viet Nam. Viet Nam was just a small part of the problem with the federal government. It was mainly about the issue of democracy in America itself! Little by little, democracy in America was slipping away from the hands of Americans...and anarchy for Americans was not an option!
After all, in a democracy...it is the American people who own the country...and NOT the federal governement...nor the bone-heads in the Congress...nor the Democrats nor the Republicans, etc During the 1960's...it was a revolution, of sorts...one American fighting the other American...just like in the Civil War...only this time the issue was not slavery...the issue was democracy and equality and justice for all! It is the People of the United States who own the country...and sadly...that ownership was slowly slipping away! THIS is what the 1960's was about!
In 2009, there would NOT be an African-American sworn in as President of the United States, if it were not for the Civil Rights Act of 1964/65 and the violence and bloodshed it took to get that measure thru the U.S. Congress! No easy task at the time! In 2009, there would be NO woman running for President of the United States, if were not for the changes that came out of the 1960's!
After all, we're talking about the pettiness and immaturity of the U.S. government! Take a look at this petty fact! Women in the 1960's could not wear pants (or pant suits) to school or in the work place! This was outrageous! This is the kind of donut-hole mentality, we had in dealing with with the federal government. Women should have the right...the right to wear what they choose, to stay warm and to look nice...period!
Have you ever seen Hillary Clinton wearing a dress? Probably not...and she always looks nice! And, as petty as this issue may seem to some...this issue is NOT petty to the woman who has to freeze to death because she can't wear pants, etc. All this came out of the '60's...women have a right to wear what they choose to keep warm! Little by little...the federal government keeps taking and taking and taking your rights away...and the People of America have to fight back...and THAT'S what the 1960's were about!
The United States was in Viet Nam for over a decade or so, fighting a war for who knows what! Can anyone out there explain to me why we were in Viet Nam in the first place, and why for so long? More than 50,000 lives were lost on our side alone!
During the 1960's, you never saw any women reporter or newscasters on television reporting the news. You never saw any African-Americans; Hispanic reporters either. There were only the pretty little white boys in their 30's doing the news. This certain did not look like the democracy and the country of right for all as it should be! Equality for all? PLEASE!
It is a well-known fact, the FBI spied on ordinary people like you and me...and celebrities in Hollywood...and many others. It was well-known, that the FBI tailed Martin-Luther King for years.
Do I believe James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther-King? The family of Martin Luther King doesn't believe it! Most American's don't believe it, either!
James Earl Ray spent years in prison, but did he ever get a trial? NO!
Most American's believe, just like in the Kennedy assassination, that the killing was done by someone inside the federal government. (FBI/CIA) James Earl Ray was just another scape-goat, just like Lee Harvey Olwald in the Kennedy killing!
This is just another example of the type of thing Americans had to deal with in the sixties! This was a time, when so many American's had so much miss-trust for their own government!
During the 1960's, I don't know of any state, that didn't call out the National Guard, and if there is one, there were very few! The unrest, violence and the burning continued. And sadly...there were two more assassinations...that of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King! There were other attempted assassinations as well...Presidents Reagan and Ford and George Wallace the governor of Alabama!
I can remember when Governor Wallace stood at the door of a school and would not let an African-Americans go to school. It took the National Guard to escort the students to school in Alabama! This was WRONG for the Governor to do this...but this is another example of what the 1960's were like! When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, this opened the door for Africa-American's like Barrack Obama to become President of the United States!
Thousands of books have been written about the turbulent 1960's, but for the young people out there, this gives them a micro-scopic view of what the 1960's were like, etc. It was all about change in American for all, and a better future for EVERYONE! Like the Civil War...it was about Americans outside the government...fighting Americans inside the government...for rights...ownership...and say-so...of America itself!
And, I am proud to say, that so many people got involved in the protest movement at the time. The Black Panthers; the Brown Panthers (Chicano Power); Women's Lib; and even the elderly fought for their rights...the Gray Panthers! And...happily American's outside the federal government, have fought to get their country back...but not without a lot of agony, unrest and bloodshed. And yes...there has been change in America...and it all started back with the unrest and turbulence of the 1960's!
1972: Watergate scandal:
(named after hotel) The Watergate scandal, was about corruption and scandal in the U. S. government at the highest levels, and this was not acceptable by the American people. The corruption brought down a sitting President; a sitting vice-President; and an Attorney went to prison for his role. The Watergate scandal was a perfect example of ordinary citizens, like you and me, that could use the tools of the vote and protest and to take back the country from the federal government.
Watergate took about two years, but when the dust finally settled, there was only one winner...the Amercian people! Another indication of the power of the people!
1989: The Falling of the Berlin Wall;
The Berlin Wall in Germany, was a symbol of racism; repression; fear, hatred and of the dangerous Cold War of the time. "Mr. Gorbachev...tear down this wall." Those are the words of President Reagan, when he demanded of the president of the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin Wall, which had been up for decades. When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, it marked the end of the dangerous Cold War. President Reagan is my favorite President, because he ended the Cold War, which could have been lethal for all of us!
"Hate is the coward's revenge for being intimidated." George Bernard Shaw
1993: Oklahoma City bombing:
Along with the other disciples of the devil...Hitler; Sadaam; Noriega...this is an example of how hatred can build up in one individual, and it happened by one American against other Americans! A black eye for the United States and yet another sad chapter in Amercia's history.
The Hero's of 9/11 will Never be Forgotten! (God Bless You All)
American's are the most giving people in the world...giving of their money; their time; and of themselves. (blood, etc.) And through foreign aid, Americans continue to give to help the world's population.
"Man's inhumanity toward man." I was home from work on 9/11, and pretty much watched everything unfold on television. It was unreal...as I watched human beings on one side of the Earth...destroy human beings on the other side of the Earth...and the suffering that goes with it. A very sad chapter for the human race! Watching through glassy-eyes all day...I knew one thing for certain...there's a better place to go after my death!
A special trubute to those heros, who were on flight 93, who brought down the plane that was headed for the White House! God Bless All of You!
First Female Speaker of the House:
I thought I would never see this happen during my lifetime, either! Looks like the "good ole boys" in the Congress finally came to their senses! A woman can govern this country just as well as a man (or better)...but she has to be given the opportunity first!
Because of freedom in the United States...the American people are the most creative and innovative people in the world, etc. Showing their ingenuity...tens of thousands of inventions have been produced over the years, to make the way of life better for all Americans. Creative Americans, who do things with their hands and their minds, can show the world what they can do...Mount Rushmore; the incredible Rose Bowl parade every year; the hot-air Balloon Fiesta; Disneyland...etc...etc...etc...
"I invented the cordless extension cord." Stephen Wright
Who would have guessed...a computer in every home! I never thought in my lifetime, that I would ever have the ability to use a computer; purchase a computer or even understand the workings of a computer, etc.
In my lifetime...something called the Internet...where there is no beginning and no end...and a person can communicate with others around the world, within seconds with email.
I never dreamed that in my lifetime, that I would have have the opportunity to build something called a "website" and to show my ideas and creations, not only in the United States, but around the world! I don't believe it...and yet I have had a website up and running for seven years! Believe it...believe it! Let me pinch myself...okay...I believe it! Amazing!
"Doubt is the father of invention." Gallieo Galilei
1969; Man on the moon?
I'm one of the few people in the United States and around the world, that doesn't believe we landed on the moon! Over the years, the U.S. has had trouble keeping hardware in the skies like Sky Lab and the Shuttles, and now I'm supposed to believe that we landed on the moon and played golf?
The federal government has lied to the American people so many times over the years, that there is no credibility left with me! I think it was a stunt done in Hollywood, and one day the truth will come out! Think about it for a minute...here we are in 2009...and if an astronaut went to the moon today, I still wouldn't believe it! But this was done way back in the Stone Age of 1969! We may have gone around the moon and then returned...but to land on the moon and play golf... I don't believe it...call me a skeptic...
The business of writing: (August, 2006 to present);
As a Hispanic and growing up in the barrio near the railroad yards, I spoke a mixture of English and Spanish...Spang-lish! I never thought writing would be in my life, but here I am. As of early 2009, I've written over 100 articles on various subjects and a book on the way. In writing, I had to set rules for myself, which are important and are as follows;
1) Always be honest with the reader.
2) I am not a preacher or crusader for anything. There's nothing I can do if the reader wants to commit suicide...one puff at a time; one drink at a time; one snort at a time; one pound at a time; or one heart-attack at a time...there's nothing I can do!
3) There will be no puffery or sensationalism with my writing.
4) Just be myself...tell my story in a simple and understandable way, and state my opinions and feelings, etc.
Writing has given my great joy and has been so rewarding in my life thus far...that I should shout it from the roof-tops! Can we have a drum-roll, please?
First Black-American as President of the United States;
I thought it would never happen in my lifetime, that is, to see an Black-American as President of the United States. It's been slow in coming, since the desegregation days of the 60's.
I think the one of many of the things that Barrack Obama brings with him to the White House is... HOPE...hope for the American people! American's have been lacking in hope from their leaders for a few years now! What with all that's going on in 2009...the war; financial melt-down; scandal as usual; fewer jobs; uncertainty; the mortgage mess, etc.
Many Americans feel abandoned by their leaders and and by the do-nothing Congress, who has its lowest ratings in history! Therefore, American's are looking for leadership in a person who can get America back on the right track!
As always...the future is watching! Hooray for the Red, White and Blue...and GOD BLESS AMERICA!
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Copyright; 2008; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
Website name; humordoctormd