June 1st, 2020


It's 1967 and the world is going to hell

 David Von Drehle

By David Von Drehle The Washington Post

Published Nov. 23, 2017

 It's 1967 and the world is going to hell

This column comes to you from my local library, where the view through the window is incandescent leaves falling in a playful wind against a sky of cloudless blue. I find myself floating with the leaves as half a century slips away.

Like that, I'm standing beside the farm canal that was my boyhood Amazon, peering up at an old cottonwood tree and waiting for leaves as big as salad plates to lose their grip in the autumn breeze.

This is how the season of Thanksgiving begins. Teacher assigns us to collect leaves of red, gold, orange and russet. After pressing them for a few days between the pages of the encyclopedia, we'll paste them to sheets of construction paper for display on the bulletin board.

It's 1967 and the world is going to hell: race riots, senseless murders, a faraway war, an unpopular president. Somewhere across the ocean there's a nuclear missile aimed in my direction. But I have other business laid out for me.

There is the delicate matter of tracing my hand and transforming it into a turkey - more construction paper, more paste.