When We Were America
There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of us who were in it. Our yearbook looked like ten thousand others across America, portraits with acne removed in the photo lab, the basket ball team exactly like everybody else’s, the cheerleaders conventionally glorious, conventional adolescent good-byes in ball-point pen—but without misspelling or bad grammar.
The names in the yearbook are just names: Sonny, Rosie, Butch, Kenny, Joyce, Cecil, Ricky, Kit. Just names. But. But, but, but. With any of these people you could leave your keys in the car—we did—or the front door unlocked—we did. We had one cop in the country, Jay Powell, a state trooper, and he had little to do. The high school did not have metal detectors or police patrolling the halls. We had none of the behavior that now makes these things necessary. It wasn’t in the culture. We could have raped, killed, robbed, fathered countless illegitimate children like barnyard animals. We didn’t.
It wasn’t in the culture.That tag line, "It wasn’t in the culture." sums up the entire article. Take a walk down memory lane in what was once America. I know Freed is remembering it right. I wasn't there in 1964. I know he is right because of this line: "Sex had occurred to us, but didn’t occupy our thoughts except when we were awake." I never spent much time in Virginia, but I do still remember what it was to be young and with a girl who made me glad to be a boy.
Take a gander at Fred's piece. It's worth your time.