The Summer Of '69

The way Todd remembers it.

The Summer of 1969 was a summer of what, for most, were happy memories (the moon landing, Woodstock), and some tragic and shocking memories (Chappaquiddick, Hurricane Camille, the Manson murders).

For me, although I didn't realize it when the summer began, it was a transition time.

I was about to turn 13.  Although my parents may have thought it might never happen, I was beginning to lose interest in The Flintstones. I was beginning to gain interest in the radio.

But that wasn't the biggest change that was about to happen.

As I've mentioned before, my father at the time worked for a General Motors plant in rural Northern New York.  At least it was rural compared to where I came from in suburban Cleveland.  He was beginning to become disillusioned with GM (he might have been 40 years ahead of the curve) and began looking for opportunities elsewhere.

We visited my grandmother in the Cleveland area at about the time of the moon landing.  I stayed awake long enough to see Neil Armstrong step on the surface of the moon (the "One small step for a man" didn't sink in until later).  On a trip later in the week to my future alma mater, Ohio University, my mother actually borrowed a typewriter from a restaurant waiter we had become friendly with and typed out a resume for my dad. (Try doing that today.)

I wasn't quite sure what my dad was looking for.  But, in mid-August, he came home and announced he had taken a job in Cleveland.  In WTAP terms, we were about to "Come Home".  We even moved back to the same suburb we had left seven years earlier, when my dad had been transferred to New York State.

That move happened November first.  A lot of things had changed in seven years (including me), and the return wasn't as idyllic as it had seemed that summer. 

But I was home in Ohio.  And while I eventually migrated to the south, I've never left.

1969. It was a very good year.

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