Time Has Come Today

“Time Has Come Today” drifts in and out of my mind as I fall into a time warp…I’m listening to music that wrapped itself around my life and my heart during my high school years…Gloria…The Rapper…Wild Thing…Time Has Come Today…tunes that take me back to old times…and old memories.

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I’m not sure why I am writing about the 1960’s and 1970’s…the words tumble out as I write and the memories come back fresh as new. I was an impressionable cowgirl at heart, who loved her parents, loved her horses, loved her family and loved her country, during a time in life when our world was in turmoil.

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America was at war in a foreign land called Vietnam and yet also with itself in many ways. It was a time of fear, rage, war, confusion and changes that had never occurred on American soil in our lifetime…it was a crazy time in American History to grow up in, as the world was upside down…life was precarious and America was changed forever.

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American youth did not know what to make of going to war, let alone a draft number. If your draft number was chosen, it was ultimately scary as you had no choice but to go…we could not vote but we were sent to fight a war in a foreign land that we did not understand. We could shoot and kill the enemy…only to be shot down ourselves with enemy fire…coming home…dead in a box…none of us understood what war hell was and we did not know what to do.

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Many of us, like myself, supported my parents generation and World War II, I had heard the stories and seen the reels of American war history play out in US history classes. I had uncles who fought in Normandy as well as D Day and Pearl Harbor…and I knew friends and cousins who either enlisted to go to Vietnam or had their number called in the draft to go to war.

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Growing up in a very small community…I went to a small school that included all 12 grades with the same 8-12 kids in my class…we were close as our small classes felt more like family, and some were as I had cousins in every grade when I was in school, all the way through! My class it seemed had the luck of the draw, as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the 1960’s.

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We began High School in 1967…we had hopes, dreams and plans for our future. Our biggest fear was Freshman Initiation…and that was a very scary deal! Our initiation lasted for a week…my Junior initiator, (eventually became my boyfriend, he was lucky as we did not have many boys to choose from), chose for me to be King Kong (did I say real lucky) on the first day which entailed having brown grease paint smeared on my face and on every part of my skin that showed…I had to wear a dark brown sweatshirt with dark brown tights…and they put gunk in my long red hair! It was a crazy week as each day was different…one of the days we had to roll a jelly bean across the floor during noon hour blind folded so the entire high school could watch us! The last night, which was Friday night, we were blind folded and one at a time we had a dozen eggs cracked over our heads in front of the entire student body and faculty…as the night wore on after the eggs, we had to crawl around outside on the grass and be blasted with cold water…it was part of tradition…it was part of the deal!

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Life was intense back then, but we stood together as a nation, one nation under God, indivisible with justice and liberty for all. We had Vietnam and rebelling against society…I was a rebel without a clue, and I was not very good at that thing called rebelling. I did not know anything, except that life was changing. I knew there was a horrible war overseas that we had never heard of called “Vietnam”…and we could not vote in an American election until we were 21 years old. Many young men and women went to “Nam”and did not come home…and I wondered, “Why can’t we vote?”

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As I walked in the door after school each day, I heard David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite reporting how many casualties we had in Vietnam today…how many young American men and women died…showing graphic images of war that was very real…and terrorizing! Our American youth were dying in a foreign country and we could not vote in America until we were 21 years old…yet we could be drafted to fight in a war we had never heard of. It scared me as I knew some of those who enlisted or were drafted…it was incomprehensible in my mind that so many young Americans were being killed. As the daily TV news reported and played the photo journalists video with their daily shots of the life and war…we saw deeply traumatizing photos of people, children and old people fleeing the war while being shot down…nightly news was war hell and it gripped your heart deeply.

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I was safely locked up on a cattle ranch….(thankfully) for my own good! I listened to Wolfman Jack if I could pick him up at night…we did not have electricity or running water…we had one portable AM  transistor radio that could pick up stuff at night sometimes…(we did not have FM back then or satellite)…I can still hear it crackling, fading in and out. And if I couldn’t get Wolfman that night, then Dad had Ira Blue coming in and out all night…and Mom lived between her 16-year-old daughter who now fashioned herself as a cowgirl hippie and her husband who was John Wayne and keeping an eye on his only daughter with a grrrrrr!

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I did not turn against my country and I never turned against my parents or my family. Mom and Dad and I could always talk even if we were all a bit perturbed…we did not yell at each other…we would not talk until we cooled down and then we would talk and seek to resolve the problem. I am sure that the late 1960’s and 1970’s put my parents to the test at times with all my questions. I am a seeker as I want to know everything, the facts and the why, what, when and where or explore the hows and whys in order to find a solution…and ultimately understand the reasons.

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America had subtle signs back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s…but no one thought America would turn on itself

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We lived through President John Fitzgerald Kennedy being assassinated, I was in grade school and his public death was the first time I saw death. I worried why this happened…as America is safe right? But our President was shot in cold blood so how could America be safe? Our nation grieved deeply…we were a nation in deep mourning and shock.

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We cried when we saw a young first lady with her young children mourn the loss of their husband and father…we as a nation could not make much sense of how it all happened…but we as a nation stood tightly together…we knew we were now on a new road.

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Vice President Lyndon Johnson took President Kennedy’s place, as our nation was thrown into turmoil…he became our President during one of the most confusing times in history…riots, war hell, American lives taken and America itself was at war with it itself…nothing was sacred anymore!

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Five years later, the shocking assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1968…I was with my boyfriend at the time and we both heard it at school as we walked to the library after school…I was working on a historical debate! We were shocked…another assassination…and why? During my debate the next week, I spoke out as we grieved another loss of life…and two months later Robert Francis Kennedy was shot dead June 6th, 1968…he had visited our small town a month earlier and enjoyed breakfast with locals that I knew. I had followed him in my government class  and I was supporting him.

On June 6th I was spending the night with girl friends, school was out and we were celebrating…my freshman year was behind me, and I was about to ditch my glasses as I was getting contact lens…whoo-hoo!

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It was close to midnight when we heard their Mom let out a sound that was not right…we ran to see what was wrong and stood speechless as we watched RFK being shot down and the life and hope go out of him. He was a family man with kids…this cannot be happening again…no way…is nothing sacred anymore? And Vietnam raged on as now America was at war with itself!

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President Johnson tried to do right, but gave up after 5 years in office in 1968…and we elected a new president.

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President Richard Nixon took office as Johnson headed home to Texas. Nixon was a family man who was respectful…he wanted to end the Vietnam war, bringing home our troops…and from the get go, he sought to do just that.

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Nixon began withdrawing troops out of North and South Vietnam. America had a glimmer of hope and then…Kent State riots and shootings happened on May 4th, 1970…it was the end of my Junior year in high school. Mr. Keller who taught our government class, found a small black and white television for us to watch the riots and history, live, unfolding before our eyes. Four students lost their lives that day at Kent State, two of which were not involved in the riots…when the shooting stopped, many more students lay injured.

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 In 1973 Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords, which basically ended US involvement in the Vietnam war and the protests in America came to a formal end. However, the memories of Vietnam and Kent State echo in American culture and U.S. society…and they yet echo in my mind and my heart.

As peace was slowly restored to our nation, something called Watergate was in the news for months…wire tapping and spying…what is that and what is happening…it sounds like a Mission Impossible episode! “What did you say? Nixon is in on it too, as well as his cabinet and top aides? Water what?” Sounds bad…and yes it was.

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President Richard Nixon resigned August 8th, 1974…I was nine months pregnant at cow camp in the mountains, with Dad’s black and white TV hooked up to antennas on top of trees and up on top of mountains so we could watch the world news.

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I remember holding my bulging belly watching as Nixon resigned and I thought “WHAT?!” A month later on September 8th, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon…and I delivered a son.

Life was not rosy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but America still had dignity and respect…morals and values…with civility…honor and regard for our fellow-man. We grew up being taught to value and respect our parents and elders…even if you had to go scream in a pillow! And, yes I did that too, all of us did back then! We were taught to honor the lives of our elders and parents with value and respect for the sacrifices they made for us…and that is why young people who “could not vote” went to Vietnam to fight for our country…to fight with dignity and honor for America…to fight for us!

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America as I knew it, evolved into our present America…which is nothing like it was when I grew up in the 1950’s – 1970’s. It saddens my heart as I know we can never go back to the good old days. Life has changed and the world we once knew is now American History…and those of us who are still here…well, we try to remember the good times and the bad times…with dignity and respect for the price our fellow Americans paid for us to live…and to be free…and we move on.

I hope that the United States brings back American History and American Government to our schools…we have had several young employees who have never heard of Pearl Harbor. It makes me ill and sickened that our youth today are not being taught the old ways…the ways that bring gratitude, respect and appreciation for those who went before us…those that paid the price for our lives, giving us freedom and respect. My parents taught me, if you choose it, it is your choice and you will suffer the good or the bad…you made your choice, go lie in your bed. Yep…that was how I was taught and learned from my parents and from my aunts and uncles…that is an honorable life…and we honor our history and our heritage with respect, honor, love, civility and love….

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Do I support our troops….you bet….Amen! I respect those who fight for our freedom and stand firmly for America!

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I will forever stand with our troops and with God for America. I am a 100% born in America American and I will fight for our lives…I will stand firmly!

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 17:37:52

    What an era. I was in college while you were in college. Then people could debate civilly and agree to disagree, but still be friends.
    So much less tolerance, and willingness to let others think as they wish. So much we thought had been settled now reappearing again.
    Enjoyed the post – Wolfgang Jack was about all my brother and I could get on our little radio at the farm.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Mar 02, 2015 @ 23:54:28

      It was a crazy, incredible and memorable time in our lives…and in American history. I agree as things have changed again….loved Wolfgang Jack as he was the only fading in and out news of the day that I heard growing up if I could catch him…and Ira Blue…has anyone besides me heard of him? He was quite interesting as he had his talk show all night long…and I learned lots from his show of what America was going through from our parents eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 16:35:25

    It is not as bad as it sounds. In fact after 2 days my friends eyes were healed & they can see well….
    I have avoided major surgery for years now & have destroyed my right knee. There is probably no surgery that can correst it now. Lesson learned on that.
    LOL 🙂
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen

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  3. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 12:36:39

    I have 3 friends here who have had cataracts & they are in early 50’s. Maybe we are just aging quicker than past generations….
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Ken C.
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 23:22:20

    Wow – what a well written synopsis of this special era . Visited Vietnam . Peace with a Communist Government – not a bad thing for this country, in light of the carnage and pain experienced by all the players in this game of geo-politics. Those beaches south of DaNang – they bring back great memories of a special family.
    The politics , the assassinations – JFK , His Brother, Martin Luther King and the families they left behind.
    Nostalgia , I love it ! The Beach Boys, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, 66 Mustangs, Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Bob Hope and the USO, The Beatles – and now look at us. We have iPhones, iPads, Facebook,iCloud, Tesla Cars, eBay, 3D Printers, A Map of the Human Genome, The Space Station, The Hubble Telescope, GPS on our Case Tractors and Combines, RFID chips in ear tags on the cattle — yet most importantly we still have our freedoms which are tested everyday.

    Thank you for this piece of brilliant writing.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 24, 2015 @ 20:44:58

      Thank you for stopping by:) I appreciate your words of that special era. I was maybe 14-15 years old in writing my perception and view…I was almost 16 when RFK was assassinated…the war scared me as I knew so many that went. My father in law served during World War II and I have always honored veterans and all they went through for America and for us. It was a crazy time in America…I know that America has huge issues now but the 60’s and the 70’s were not easy times and very hard to describe from the memories of an American teenage girl.

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  5. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 16:45:54

    The Lasic worked very well. Readers are all right….better than 16-18 hours a day…i dislike the indents on sides of nose. But at least I can read & see 😉
    So no more complaining from me!! LOL.
    ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 23, 2015 @ 16:48:53

      I was like blind practically when I had the lasic, had worn glasses from a 1 and half…coke bottles too! I was thrilled with my contacts but the lasic was amazing to walk in blind and even with the goop on your eyes when you came out I could read the smallest print on the maps in the car…it was a huge WOW! I don’t really complain either…I am getting cataracts though and seems young for that!

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  6. bobmielke
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 17:34:00

    Those were some troubling years for our country. I entered high school in 1963 and graduated in 1967. I wound up in Southeast Asia in 1970 fighting the Vietnamese troops. Music always played an important part of my early life. Songs took on a whole new meaning as I walked a midnight flight line with “Homeward Bound” playing in the background. I listened to Carlos Santana, The Beatles and The Mamas & Papas. The Association sang words from the bible in “Turn, Turn, Turn”. Then came “Did Anybody Hear”. The words still bring tears to my eyes.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 19:05:01

      Yes…they were tough years, confusing to me at times…I remember the insecurity of the world. Music has always been part of my life as well, I like all kinds really but I love the 60’s and 70’s music…the events and history during that time was precarious but oddly enough, the music still brings back the innocence that we yet had…the good memories. God Bless You for fighting for our country…I am glad that you made it through…I cannot imagine all that you saw or experienced. I just watched your link and yep I teared up too and then I watched a few more that by the time I was done, I needed a box of kleenex…RFK’s speech after Martin Luther King was killed was incredible…I do remember watching it. God Bless and thank you for fighting for us!

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      • bobmielke
        Feb 22, 2015 @ 23:07:14

        I still feel at times that our country quickly forgets what we were fighting for. I was told I was there to stop the spread of Communism, the “Red Scourge”. Yet we see today that our stores all sell goods from China, Cambodia and even Vietnam. It’s like a slap in the face to our Veterans who fought & died during that era. At least wait until we’re all dead before making a buck from our deaths becomes commonplace.

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 15:56:31

        I agree with you as that is both disrespectful and a confusing message to send to all of us. Its awful! I had an interesting reaction when we went to Hawaii a few years ago and toured Pearl Harbor…my father in-law served in the war and was based in Pearl and he had not been back until we took him. It was very emotional for him and for us, there were so many Japanese tourists there too…it was an odd feeling in my gut and was emotional. I can only imagine how you feel when you see that things are made in countries you fought against and risked your life for…I am sure it hits you hard. Thank you for sharing and I support you as does my hubby WB.

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  7. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 07:36:14

    I will have to read the entire post when I can.
    I just wanted to say I have a golden/brown pair of glasses JUST like yours in the 60’s/70’s photo!!!
    LOL the ‘good old days’…… 🙂
    Love Sherri-Ellen & Siddhartha Henry ❤ ❤

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 13:37:44

      Too funny….I was so glad to get rid of my glasses when I got contacts in 10th grade:) LOL is right:)

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      • Nylabluesmum
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:41:57

        I ended up wearing glasses til I was 18 & then stopped wearing them full time (against orders). When I was 34 I went & got eyes tested & had reading glasses for College & extra reading. When I turned 40 I ended up wearing glasses full-time & Bi-focals at that! I damaged my eyes in my 20’s-30’s & can not have any laser surgery & contacts feel creepy…
        So I an a 4 eyes girl; thankfully styles have changed sine the 60-‘s-70’s!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!
        Love & ((((hugs)))) Sherri-Ellen

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 15:58:41

        Ugh on the glasses…I was so determined that back in 1969 when I got them, they were hard lens then and I drove wheat truck that summer with them on! I had Lasix done in 2001 and now just wear the readers but I am wearing them more and more…the Lasix held all those years and it was amazing to wake up and read the clock!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Max Reynolds
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 06:50:54

    Great post. I lived through all the same moments. Thank you for sharing it. -Max-

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 13:33:35

      Thank you much…we were at the young age when life and history impacted our views on life and the world. I remember feeling confused and worried about the war, wondering if it would ever stop and worried for those that went to Vietnam to fight for us. It was a crazy time in life and impressionable as I can remember the details so easily.

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  9. Marilyn Armstrong
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 21:01:02

    We were probably on opposite ends of the political spectrum. BUT in our generation it was — is — possible to disagree and remain friends. In the end, the good of the country was always more important than party affiliation or personal agendas. People reached across the aisle and worked together to get things done. That has been lost. There’s no dialogue any more. Civility is gone. Everything is political and no one seems willing to let go of differences for a greater good. A terrible loss.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 21:35:20

      I have no party affiliation or was on opposite ends of a political spectrum…at all. You and I are speaking the same words and we are on the same wave length…I am curious that you did not see that. I am not sure what you mean with setting us up to disagree and remain friends, as I have never disagreed with you. I have NO political agenda. I was sharing my views of life in the 1960’s and early 1970’s as a very young girl who was not into political stuff but was scared seeing the war and life in America during the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 21:41:26

      My reply went off before I was done…ding dong technology stuff! So here is the end that I was typing! I agree and agree on our country..and I consider you my friend…your friendship on this blog journey has made a huge impact on my heart…thank you for being there:)

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      • Marilyn Armstrong
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 18:04:22

        I had the impression that you were a Republican. I just come from a long line of Democrats. I was against the Vietnam war, but never against veterans. Many of my pals from school were drafted or volunteered … and Garry was a Marine. All I wanted to say, friendship used to be non-political because in the final analysis, we are all on the same side.

        I think the nature of the politics has changed. They aren’t the same parties they were when we were growing up. Everything is so extreme now. So much rage and disrespect. So much of the progress I thought we made has been chipped away … and that is discouraging. I want the world to get better and STAY better. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

        I consider YOU a friend too and I frankly don’t care what your politics are. It’s who YOU are that matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 19:50:24

        I was in high school and seriously went with who seemed to make sense…back then I had no party affiliation…instead I was worried and concerned with a bit of scared…what was happening to our country? My father in-law was a vet of World War II and WB lived through the draft…I had cousins and neighbors who either were drafted or enlisted.I truly and completely support all our vets:) God Bless you Gary:) I agree the nature of politics has changed…and the rage and disrespect is something we come across with our young employees…the entitlement is way deep…ok off the record it is piled high and darn deep with BS! I have no clue where this entitlement comes from at all! Our generation did not have it and we did not raise our kids to have it and yet they do…and it stinks! I am with you on wanting the world to get better and doing what we can. I also consider you a friend Marilyn…I admire you for your writing and the life you and Gary have lived with writing and reporting:) You are amazing and someday I hpoe I can write like you…your words inspire me and so does your life:) Hugs my forever friend:)

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  10. reocochran
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 12:19:56

    It is great that we lived through these times, leaving impressions on our hearts and minds. It is also sad since so much of what was started is still taking years to become a better and more equal place. I really liked the photos of you today. Thanks for taking me back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 14:35:50

      Thank you so much:) There are certain times in life that you remember like it happened yesterday…there was so much going on during the 60’s with the assassinations, the Vietnam war and the riots etc. by the time I graduated from high school in the 70’s our class had seen a lot of history of American life.

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  11. emjayandthem
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 06:11:12

    Well done!
    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 14:30:43

      Thank you so much:) Its funny how certain decades imprint your life…I do remember it like yesterday.
      Hugs,
      Marcy

      Liked by 1 person

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      • emjayandthem
        Feb 24, 2015 @ 04:01:26

        I, with thousands of others, stood by the side of the road as President Ford’s cortege passed in East Grand Rapids. A window rolled down and a wee arm appeared – The First Lady, Mrs. Ford, waving to us. It was a moment I’ll never forget – that – and seeing the jets fly over in his honour. MJ

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Feb 24, 2015 @ 09:41:08

        That sounds awesome MJ! I can imagine the thousands standing by the side of the road…and how patriotic…I would have had tears in my eyes for sure! Whenever the jets fly over us here, I get tears of honor for our country. Our small town has a yearly rodeo that is huge, town goes from 15,000 locals to 60,000 plus for a week in September and they usually have the jets fly over on Saturday of the rodeo…it is so moving…makes you proud:)

        Liked by 1 person

  12. onespoiledcat
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 05:02:34

    Well said…………..I may not always totally understand every decision made by each administration but as a loyal, through and through patriot I support them. I learned that from my Dad who was a career military man and until he passed away, would have tears in his eyes just listening to the Star Spangled Banner. Your photos reflect your words in this post….beautifully.

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 14:29:39

      Thank you much:) God Bless your Dad for fighting for all of us and standing strong for his country! It has amazes me that the younger generation does not have a clue about World War II or Pearl Harbor…or the words to the Pledge Allegiance…it is sad. All through my school years the day began with that pledge in each classroom with our hand on our heart. Hugs, Marcy

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  13. easyweimaraner
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 04:02:40

    Great post! It was like sitting in a time machine :o) and it was interesting to see this time through your eyes (I was a baby in the 70’s so I have not really a clue about this time). Thanks :o)

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 14:24:08

      Thank you:) It was an interesting time to grow up in with Vietnam and how the war affected America…in the 60’s we saw our first assassination, and life did not feel safe anymore…we as a nation grieved the loss of President Kennedy as both young and old felt the shock. It was the end of Camelot…the end of innocence.

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  14. speedyrabbit
    Feb 20, 2015 @ 23:13:01

    When did they stop teaching American History in school,I went to live with my dad and stepmum in Philadelphia when I was 16,and went to high school they were teaching it then,crazy How are kids supposed to learn about their country?
    I love this post and your perspective on live back then,xx Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 21, 2015 @ 14:12:34

      I think they still do teach history but not as they used too…so many young people that we know do not know what Pearl Harbor is or they have no clue about the history that built our nation…in some areas or schools American History is an option to take instead of required. I’m glad that you enjoyed my perspective…much of what I wrote was from the heart….I remember it all like yesterday…time passes so quickly. Vietnam was a huge part of history during that period of time in history…

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