Class of ’69 Forty Years Later

Whew! Forty years ago today –on Friday the 13th no less– I waltzed out of the University of Toledo with a B.A. degree… and no more sense of what I was going to do than when I first registered. What a wondrous four years it was! I couldn’t get enough of any discipline; well, except calculus. There was botany, astronomy, logic, economics, social psychology, state and local government…, it was all fascinating. Oh and my official major, of course, Spanish and those countless hours memorizing dialogs in the language lab. I recall the delightful discovery of Baroque music as I spent many afternoons studying in the “music listening room.” Certainly, I spent way too many hours as well playing basketball, sometimes first thing in the morning and again until the gym closed at night.

It was a magical time in spite of the craziness going on in the outside world. A lot of stuff was happening out there. In 1969 alone:
  • Nixon sworn in as President
  • Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon
  • Beatles gives their last performance
  • first ARPANET (later the Internet) link established
  • Jets beat the Colts in Superbowl III
  • most powerful tropical storm in history, Hurricane Camille
  • Wendy’s sells its first hamburger
  • Mets win the World Series
  • Seseame Street debuts
  • martial law declared in Madrid
  • first Led Zeppelin album released
  • WalMart opens for business
  • Chicago Eight trial begins
  • the first artificial heart transplant
  • British troops deployed in Northern Ireland
  • initial flight of the Boeing 747
  • Manson/Sharon Tate murders
  • Woodstock
  • first ATM machines installed
  • draft lottery reconstituted
I’ll never forget other students blocking the way during one of our ROTC drills. How weird was that; kids I sat with in class were lying on the ground and shouting at me as if I supported the war in Vietnam. Then too there were girls, in the classroom, sitting right next to me. After four years in all boys St. Francis that was a new distraction especially with mini skirts still in fashion.
Those years got me hooked on academia and I didn’t exit the education world, really, until I left the University of Michigan Library for Xerox fifteen years later. The U. of T. gave me a wonderful, broad introduction to the world. I’m forever indebted to those scores of superb teachers who seemed always prepared and endlessly patient with my after-class questions.

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