THE CLASS OF 69
In every life come those mileposts graduations, births, deaths, marriages, divorces, new jobs and yes High School Reunions! I was born in 1951 which resulted in my graduation from high school in he hippest of all possible years 1969. In addition to its perfect mathematical symmetry and sexual overtones 69 was a year of profound national and international events, Woodstock, Peoples Park, the first moon walk, Charles Manson, Midnight Cowboy, the Concorde, the Mets in the World Series, Marcus Welby MD, President Nixon, and on a personal level. I was working very, very hard to lose my virginity and could not wait to escape from the narrow confines of East Tennessee. Last weekend I attended my 30th high school reunion. We had the largest Senior class in Oak Ridge High School’s history 650 or so.
We are definitely the demographic pig in the python. Nearly every commercial for the last three decades has been pitched toward our massive lump in the population. My mother always accused me of thinking the world revolved around me but certainly the advertising world appears to. I recently saw a billboard for a Classic Rock FM station which said “Remember saying we hoped we would die before we got old? What were we thinking?” I actually cannot imagine a more exciting time to be alive. During the past thirty years I have been enjoyed each year. Not that there weren’t some rough times but basically the ride has been good. There is no year that I wish to redo, I have no longing for the past. Part of that wonderful 60’s philosophy that I got in my gut was “to be here now” the good times are in the moment.I suspect that in the year 2029 this years senior Class will marvel at all the remarkable events that transpired during the last year of the millennium. They will believe that 1999 with its mathematical symmetry was the best of all possible years to graduate. But they will be wrong, believe me because the coolest class in history was the Class of 69.
This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.