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ideals we're forming in my head.
That said, peace is possible.
And activism grew from that.
I remember refusing to salute the flag in school.
South Boston High school.
That was radical.
I had a teacher.
Who?
I am sure that if corporal punishment had been in his repertoire, I would have died.
Uh, but they they actually I was surprised they stood up for me.
I remember the principal saying, You know, this kid is trying to say something and leave him alone.
And I had one English teacher who lived in Cambridge.
She was young, and she really supported what I was trying to do.
I was on the debating team.
I got involved in ah, debating issues of the day, the war especially.
I think the war continually stands out in my mind.
I mean, I was young, but I My dad was a minister.
I grew up in a home where violence wasn't an accepted way of life.
Um, not that type of violence, certainly.
And we believe that things could change that, that there was a way for human beings to get along with each other.
So I found a little support for that.
I found a few teachers who are willing to support May.
I also found myself getting kicked out of school for a sticker on my guitar cases said Make Love, not war, because I was advocating free sex in school.
I mean, that's a pretty radical view of that statement, and I that was right here in this town.
So what is the first time you agree?
Or here along and what affected it at what you remember as a response?
If you don't get your hair cut soon, I'm gonna disown you.
I really don't remember what year it probably was towards a senior in high school long here was, uh, was like It is with kids wearing the crazy things today that they were.
It was just a statement that we're individual were different.
Of course, we weren't any different.
We were just kids looking for the same thing that every kid's looking for today.
A little approval and disapproval is an easy way to show some kind of a mark, and when somebody starts saying your legitimate, then you have an opportunity to grow into the mainstream of humanness and and still make a mark on other individuals in your life.
Now let's look at sex in the same sex issue.
Oh, God.
Sexto kids is as much a mystery as it is to me today, huh?
But you just don't have any of the rules down yet.
And I don't think any of those rules changed until the late sixties, when I went off to college when suddenly I went from Ah, high school, closed environment and a radical kid in the high school who was pushed aside a little bit, um, to suddenly being accepted, having a lot of friends at college immediately.
People thinking that I was somebody girls beginning toe show a strong interest in me.
And certainly my views of sex got slightly worked in those years.
I think I think I really got I used to an easy lay.
There was an opportunity that through this early seventies that it was wide open.
You meet somebody you might end up in bed that day.
You might in two days you might be with somebody the next day it was that wide open.
You ever way be persons.
All right, Well, I certainly wore the garb.
I mean, with hair down in the middle of my back and driving a a micro bus out of California, going through Lubbock, Texas, and fearing for my life constantly with 1/2 pound of dope in the truck.
I mean, sure, I was a baby.
Uh, I was I was a musician, though I think artists and musicians are always one step to the side anyway, So my beliefs bordered along with that generation that was saying love and the war peace.
But my views, really we're always Ah, a little more akin with not being a street person.
I mean, I still equate a lot of the hippies with San Francisco in Southern California in those days where people were bumming around and and I was always looking for ah, little more stability than that.
I mean, home.
Were you alone out there where there are others like you, wherever you go, there were people like me.
Wherever I went, there was a kindred spirit.
I did a lot of hitchhiking in those days.
Oh, a lot of traveling around.
I spent a lot of that time in a wheelchair and on crutches, So I remember going out and hitchhiking and having people that you would never expect on Earth to pick me out.
Um, and then people getting into arguments with me and families, you know, within a car, talking about these things.
But I don't think I saw any rejection of me for what I was and what my beliefs were.
No, the way I looked, I was just another kid, Really?
And maybe the disability got me picked up where other kids wouldn't.
But I think most of those especially rural people, they really weren't too concerned with that.
I think they still saw that there was just a kid under there.
Did you wash list?
No.
I suppose I'm just anal enough to be clean.
Um, did you have different values about money?
I didn't really care much about it.
I still don't really.
I mean, I do what I do in life.
I think this is one of the best things.
The best holdovers personally for me is I followed my heart's desires.
I haven't fallen into the trap of you have to make money doing this and that and money is a god.
It's not the being self satisfied in a sense that what you're doing in life is important and gonna pass something on to another generation is much more important to me.
And I believe that I learned all that in the sixties, especially the sense that I want some part of me toe affect somebody else in life later on another generation, another time as you were traveling around.
Do you remember a feeling among young people of that education was not going to school, but something else.
And I don't think that it waas I don't think it was anti intellect.
I think that it was striving for an intellectualism that encompassed more humanism.
You know, I remember a book that was given to me by a lovely friend at University of Maine, and it was called the Human Side of Human Beings.
And it really was a book, a heavy philosophy book that said, Use your intellect, Use every tool you have at your disposal and look for something inside yourselves that's more important, more of more value to the human kind.
Then just delving into that craft sciences and studying of the classics to bring out a view of the world that is so self centered.
I think that's that's the most important aspect of the change in intellectualism that occurred, I think we're headed back towards Ah, more selfish, closed view of life again.
I think that's too bad radical.
Let's talk about it at its most radical time in the late sixties, what did it mean to you to be a radical?
And did you really think that you were going to change America?
I thought we were gonna change the world.
And I think in some ways we did the, uh and I got involved in STS immediately upon going toe.
University of Maine Thea the view there waas civil disobedience, radical disobedience in terms off burning your draft card, refusing to conform to the standards that have been set for us in terms of patriotism.
I think within a couple of years, I ended up seeing and believing that slightly more violent route perhaps was necessary.
I I was a conscientious objector, and it was very difficult for me to consider any act that would possibly have harmed another human being.
But when I heard of the bombings of some of the banks and the establishments, I suppose down inside of me, that was a little bit of joy that people were striking back.
I think that phase didn't last in me very long at all.
I think I quickly saw the potential for harming our own self image that we were gonna go from, ah, state of people wanting to occur, change and opposed to the war too.
People who are creating their own war at home.
So I think that it couldn't have been more than six months that I was really involved in that I was involved in Southern California with, uh, one of the bombings of the Bank of America not involved in the in the actual dealings with the bank, but with the riots that occurred on campus at UCSB in Isla Vista, where people were being beaten, people were running and screaming in the night.
That was, uh, that was a really violent time, and that was the first time I had been exposed to it.
Here in Maine, I was seeing and hearing about these things.
I was perhaps believing that it was the right way.
But once I saw the actual devastation that it was causing psychologically to the people involved in the movement, I saw that it really wasn't the way and I began to move away from politics.
After that, I haven't changed my beliefs.
But I began to retreat into the world of antiquity much more.
It got extreme.
And I want you to talk about the extreme because that's hard to understand.
Revolution, for example, is thrown around in very many of the films that were seeing.
We see the word revolution down with capitalism.
Was that serious?
What did that mean?
Them damned if we know, really, We just wanted to change.
That was radical.
Um, I look from the early sixties to the late sixties, and I don't really understand how we went to the extremes that we got to.
I don't understand how we went from changed, too.
Revolution.
Can we take over the power lines?
Can we control on aspect of America that's gonna hurt the establishment so deeply that we can actually take sectors of the country.
I mean, that was pretty radical thinking, and there were a lot of people who are actively headed deeper into the underground to do that kind of thing, and some of that happened.
I mean, some power lines were bombed and banks were bombed.
I don't.
I still don't understand how we went from, uh, piece one.
A desire for peace to a desire for an acute, perhaps where no one was in control.
Somehow I have a feeling that's ah deeper form of self violence.
In the end to have anarchy, I'm sure that we would see on Old West occur again.
Bandits on every corner.
You gotta explain love and peace versus politics.
After all, the counterculture oftentimes was conflicting with the politicos, You sort of road the middle ground that we're both at the same time.
I think you're right.
I did follow the middle of the road.
I tried to see a political change.
Um, on the other side of you that just said none of this is worth doing.
Just take care of yourself and your friends and your extended family.
And I think that's the side that I eventually moved towards, uh, getting farther away from politics as a means of change.
I think that that's still the way that I operate.
I still educate the young service whenever I get along well with teenagers and young kids and, uh, I don't treat them as kids.
They're kids.
They're human beings.
They're just small and they don't have the vast realm of experience yet.
But you can plant little seeds in them that really make a change that says, Follow your heart, be free, listen to everybody else on and make your own decisions.
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This Former Activist Rethinks The 1960s In 1990

21 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 28, 2020
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