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I was born in the Spring of 1961. So? So what?
So I was among that initial group of people who do not remember where they were when JFK was shot. My peers and I came into awareness so late in the baby-boom that, around 1980, we were dubbed the Mary Tyler Moore generation. We believed that we were going to make it after all.
We grew-up watching, I watched, news clips of explosive rocket strikes, evacuation helicopters, burning villages and pinned-down troops fighting the spread of communism in Vietnam. Evening after evening, Walter Cronkite gave me the body-count. I saw the peacenik hippy protests, coverage of the Kent State shootings, the highly flammable rioting in Detroit, film of RFK’s last moment on earth, MLK’s funeral and reruns of that man’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
In my house, given a choice between the Brady Bunch, Partridge Family or a PBS documentary on Hitler’s Germany, my father had us watching the holocaust. I saw specials on endangered species, toxic and hazardous waste, air pollution, the mercury fouling Lake Erie, our rapidly dwindling fossil fuels and the bright ideas scientists had to overcome these mistakes—harnessing the sun, cold fusion, eco-friendly materials and organic farming. I just knew that, not just in spite of our ignorant past, but because of it, our future looked bright.