Friday, August 7, 2009

Chapter 1: At Flushing High School, 1964 (v)-Sundial: Columbia SDS Memories (7)

Much of the summer of 1965 was spent feeling lovesick and missing the possibility of bumping into Rona again at school. Much of the creative energy which drove me to spend my time writing that summer seemed to flow from my frustrated love for Rona.

I would close the door to my room and block-out the sound of the blaring TV which my parents watched most evenings. Then I began writing lyrics to love songs expressing my longings for Rona, protest songs, poems and the beginnings of stories and novels. I ended up writing about ten songs for a cappella singing during the summer. I also started to write a play entitled A Ball In A Basket.

My first protest song was entitled “Freedom Is What We’re After.” Its lyrics included the following:

Look out world! We’re coming
We’re gonna correct your wrongs
Look out world! We’re running
From the age of games and songs.

We’re young, we’re youth
And we all shall rebel
From all on earth
Which has the stench of hell.

For Freedom is what we’re after
From the tyrannies of Man
And war and all injustice
Must be banished from this land.

I also wrote a protest song called “The New World Is A-Comin’,” containing the following lyrics:

The New World is a-comin’
Tomorrow it begins
We’re ready for the journey
For the tide is rushing in
Oh, Love will be the answer
Integratin’ all our thoughts
And gone will be the sorrow
Of the little boy who’s lost
Of the little boy who’s lost.

In my play I expressed opposition to the tendency to conform out of fear, which seemed to characterize most people I saw around me. On a few weekend mornings after breakfast, I took a bus to Kissena Park, carrying a notebook. Then I would sit for a few hours on the park grass and write the beginnings of a novel.

In mid-July 1965, I started to work for the first time in the 9-to-5 corporate office world. My only previous job had been as a newspaper delivery boy during the first half of 1963, when I delivered the now-defunct Indianapolis Times.

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