Randall W. Morrison, Attorney

Several days ago, I was talking with my friend Carol about the recent 1969 high school class reunion and it brought to mind, at least to us, that 1969 was the coolest year ever in America. It was the year we landed 2 men on the moon and by God’s grace and American knowhow returned them safely to earth….and despite the fact that, as an amateur astronomer that event is of great interest to me and I could spend days talking about it, that is not the subject of this article. There were other, more humanitarian reasons to claim 1969 as the coolest year ever. That was 50 years ago, and Carol and I, along with millions of other young people were participants in, and witnesses to a wonderful era that 1969 was to play a part. We were not ‘war babies” …”war babies” were the children born in the decade before us. They would be known as the “silent generation” ...mostly children of what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Generation” …they were the James Deans…. they were the rebels without a cause. We were “baby boomers” and we generally came into being in the 1950’s…a unique mixture of sorts…children and/or grandchildren of that “Greatest Generation”. Most of us, but not all were mainly children of parents who had been teenagers during World War 2 and we were NOT… by any stretch of the imagination… a silent generation. We would be part of a counterculture that would question among other things, a far-off war, racial inequality, inequality toward women in the workplace, voting rights, and environmental issues. We would help initiate the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age from 21 years to 18 years. We believed that if we were to be called upon to fight a war in Southeast Asia at 18 years of age or younger …especially over issues or concerns we knew nothing about, we should certainly be able to change laws, claim adulthood and have the same legal entitlements as adults. We would demand the enactment of long-awaited civil rights legislation and we would be instrumental in eventually stopping that same senseless war and a mandatory draft of our classmates that benefitted nothing and no one but a corporate war machine. We believed that women who did the same work as men should receive the same pay…and we believed the color of your skin should have no bearing on how or where you could be educated, where you could and could not go for something as basic as a meal or a peaceful night’s rest. We demanded clean air legislation and regulations ban the testing of nuclear bombs because we loved life and we loved our planet. We demanded changes or abolishment of all unfair, unjust, or inhumane laws. Of course, earlier generations may have believed all that too, but WE were the first modern group to stand up, scream and demand these changes in the law …and by in large we were successful. We were Joan Baez at Woodstock, we were Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and yes many of us were Hippies, flower children, long hairs…and we would wear “earth shoes”, sandals, beads, bell bottom pants, and tie dyed shirts… and we would engage in other things that were unapproved in a so called “decent society”…many times simply because it WAS unapproved in a so-called “decent society”. It was our way of saying “we’ve had enough”. We would be non-conformist…but not outright revolutionaries as some would claim. To use the symbolic lyrics of a Bob Dylan song…. we were not going to work on Maggie’s farm anymore ...nor her brother’s …nor her pa’s… nor her ma’s. We were good people with good ideas, with a sense of fairness, and love for one another and we changed or helped abolish many unfair and senseless laws. Our efforts then can still be felt and seen today with the progressive changes in attitudes and values or opinions that were once taboo for no apparent or legitimate reason. We tried to tell the world through our music…our art… our organized marches, our “sit-ins” …and yes, by all those unpopular protests, too …of how the world should be…and we were right.