A Time to Share
© Copyright, Frank W. Andres, 1983. All Rights Reserved.
They marched down Telegraph Avenue that day. They were saying that
someone was taking their park, of all the damn things. I am convinced that it
was not so much that someone was trying to take their park. Instead, it was
the fact that someone was trying to take their lives. All I know is that it
began with a march, then came the usual demonstration and yelling. It was
different this time though, as the national guard was now a continual
presence. There were the speeches, and the curses…a scuffle, a burst of
shots, then he was dead. I remember it as if it were a moment ago. A patch
of agony scratched into my brain.
How is one to account for a decade as deviant as the 1960s? Before this
time were not the children of this great land content in their prosperity, proud
of their heritage? There was the war, of course. Boys were being corralled
and slaughtered, a practice not new in history, to be sure. But times were
different now. The real income of individuals would have doubled over the
1950 figures by 1970. People were now in mass richer than any peoples in the past. They were able to give their children gifts of knowledge and
educations befitting kings of old. One might say that the people now were
beginning to have too much. More disturbing, they were beginning to know
too mcuh. They could not be fed the baloney that the United States must
protect the billions from Communism. They knew that the job now for all
nations was to protect the billions from hunger, to get the economies moving.
To give other persons a life as they themselves now possessed. Materially,
many no longer felt the need for more. Now it was time to share. But their
parents could in no way understand this generosity and new wisdom of their
children and interpreted it as ungratefulness, obstreperousness, ultimately as
And sothere was death, for by no means the first time in the story of
man, on the school ground as well as on the battleground. Now as I look
back ten years later, after a decade of supposed calm, although the New York
Times logs its routine thousands of demonstrations a year, I can see that the
1960s were not an aberration, but a harbinger of changes to come.