I can still remember vividly how I felt when Robert Kennedy died. I knew it was coming. He had been shot the night before. There was only a slim chance he would survive the head injury. I had to go to work all day knowing the world had changed yet again. It was the spring from hell. Martin Luther King had been killed just two months before and we were only beginning to recover from JFK's death. It was too much. Too much. I worked all day in a daze and came home to my apartment on Live Oak in Dallas. I didn't say a word to my roommate, changed immediately and walked to the pool and dove into the water with the intention of never coming out of the water. I wanted to stay down there forever. It seemed the only safe place, where there was no sound, no TV or news. I didn't want any new information.
It seemed like all the heroes were gone. All the good guys who could tell us what was the right thing to do, the good and honorable and decent thing to do; they were all gone now. What direction did we turn now?
The summer of 1968 was bad. Except for getting engaged, it was the worst summer of my life.
Beaven was working at the TV station and saw the raw footage of the Democratic convention and told me the stuff they couldn't show on TV was pretty bad. The college kids were mad as hell and throwing feces at the cops. It seemed like the country was going to explode.
Yet here we are today. By golly, here we are. We've survived Viet Nam and Watergate and September 11. We landed on the moon and outlasted AIDS. And sometimes I want to dive into a swimming pool and block out the sounds of the world around me.
I really don't have much choice. About the only thing I control is that I can vote. I can post on facebook and share my opinions. But the only real tangible thing I can do that will change anything is voting.
And smiling at the check out stand at the grocery store. I can do that. That counts for a lot.