Under an Angry Sun
Love, peace, and music protested the bombing of Cambodia and the Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam. Race riots in York, Pennsylvania clouded “Let the sunshine in” and a family name Manson rained Helter Skelter in California.
The Weathermen’s forecasts were explosive. Unrest infiltrated the Ivy League while Buzz and Neal planted a flag on the moon.
On an Apple rooftop in London, four men and a talented friend would get back to an impromptu show, and after a while took a final walk down Abbey Road.
Chislom blazed a trail alongside fellow women protesting, “Equal Rights” NOW while an aging white Memphis musician haunted “In the Ghetto”.
In 1969, boys played the lottery, and when their number was up, drafted to serve our country fiercely and courageously in a remote and alien land. They returned home broken to a damaged, foreign soil and an even more hostile people, receiving little but scorn and neglect in return.
Tricky Dick’s, “I will say confidently that looking ahead just three years this war will be over,” wasn’t the only lie born that year.
A Lie is Born
Already having one 14-month-old son, my parents welcomed me to the family in April of 1969, born on a Tuesday at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.
32 years later, as I prepped to get a passport for international travel, I received a certified copy of my birth certificate from the Georgia Department of Vital Statistics. It read:
Father’s Age: 24, Mother’s Age: 23
It was a lie.
I reread the fields and there was no change. The lie was as black and white as the paper on the IBM Selectric which typed it.
My mother was born in December 1946 and my father screamed hello world in November of ’48.
After the initial shock, I smiled. Figured.
Most people would assume an honest mistake had been committed in listing the father as the elder party. At that time, it was convention and an expectation.
Sounds skeptical, I know. Other than reality delivering a sharp, brief slap, the age didn’t make a difference nor did I care.
Shocked but not surprised.
When you grow up knowing there is no knowing and truth is relative, life in the gray becomes commonplace.
No harm, no foul.
Just one of life’s funny and unexpected twists…
That’s enough for tonight. Tomorrow’s another light.
From one sojourner to another, all the best.
Photo Credit: First Aquarius Festival, Nimbin by Harry Watson Smith via Flickr Creative Commons