The song written by Sonny Bono and was a hit for Sonny Cher had a song called The Beat Goes on.  The song was released in 1967 but applies to every year it seems.

I sat on my porch today thinking, “ This is one crazy year”.   I never say on New Years Eve that I will be glad when this year is over because at the age of 70, I know things can always be worse.  I have lived long enough to see things and lived through things that youngsters have no real clue how bad things can get and how coming years can get as bad or worse.  This is also a reminder for we older folks who have lived through these kind of things but not a pandemic.  Trauma is Trauma, though.  We can pull through these times together if we recall we survived or some of the past.

Let’s travel to 1962 when things were pretty darn bad and yes I have lived in interesting time.  This is not a Debbie Downer diary but a reminder to push forward and make things as liveable as you can for you and your loved ones.  VOTING is a must.  The difference that matters most is that we had leadership during bad times in 1962.  We cannot survive with this bunch of self serving republicans and chaotic president.  We only survived thus far because we had sane leadership but if you think 2020 is bad, it can get worse if we don’t pull together and get this administration and enablers out of office.

At the ripe young age of 12  and 13 I recall these things being really bad but managed to make it through.  I also was too young to know the long lasting effects of some of these things and how some of these things would come back to haunt us.

  • Oct 22 Cuban Missile Crisis: US President John F. Kennedy addresses TV about Russian missile bases in Cuba and imposes a naval blockade on Cuba, beginning the missile crisis
  • Oct 24 Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet ships approach but stop short of the US blockade of Cuba
  • Oct 25 US Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson demands USSR UN rep Zorin answer regarding Cuban missile bases saying “I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over”
  • Oct 27 Black Saturday during the Cuban Missile Crisis: An American spy plane is shot down over Cuba and the navy drops warning depth charges on Soviet submarines

The Ole Miss riot of 1962, or Battle of Oxford, was an incident of mob violence by proponents of racial segregation beginning the night of September 30, 1962. Segregationists were protesting the enrollment of James Meredith, an African-American veteran, at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi. Wikipedia
Dates: Sep 30, 1962 – Oct 1, 1962
Injuries: 300

The crowd reached approximately three thousand rioters, led by former Army Major General Edwin Walker, who had recently been forced to retire when he was ordered to stop giving out racist hate literature to his troops but refused to do so. The crowd consisted of high school and college students, Ku Klux Klan members, Oxford residents, and people from outside the area.

By 9:00 p.m. the riot turned extremely violent. U.S. marshals who had been defending Meredith and university officials in the Lyceum building on campus, where Meredith registered, ran out of tear gas. Rioters threw rocks and bottles and began to shoot. President Kennedy then decided to bring in the Mississippi National Guard and Army troops from Memphis, Tennessee, during the middle of the night, led by Brigadier General Charles Billingslea.

Before their arrival, rioters learned of Meredith’s dorm hall, Baxter Hall, and began to attack it. When Billingslea and his men arrived, a white mob set his car on fire while he, the Deputy Commanding General John Corley, and aide Captain Harold Lyon were still inside. The three were able to escape but were forced to crawl 200 yards through gunfire from the mob to get to the Lyceum building. To try and keep control of the crowds, Billingslea created a sequence of secret code words to signal for first, when to issue ammunition to the platoons, second when to issue it to the squads, and finally when to load. None of these could occur without the codes given by Billingslea. This resulted in one third of the Marshals, totaling 166 men, were injured in the mass fight and 40 soldiers and National Guardsmen wounded.

As I reflect on these horrific things, I remember the world stood still as we faced the Cuban Missile Crisis, but we were already used to ducking under our desks and did not realize we were facing sudden death and nuclear fall out, but we were. 

We had leadership and the panic my parents and grandparents must have felt was pretty  bad but they sheltered much from we kids but I still remember the fear in their eyes as they turned their eyes to updates from a real leader.   A leader who kept his eye on the ball and dodged a nuclear bullet.  We don’t have such leadership today.  

We had racism and torture and riots then as well.  We had war in SE Asia and not even at the beginning of it’s trauma to come but we had Agent orange being sprayed in 62, to harm for decades to come the soldiers, newly deployed  troops and millions of Vietnamese to be harmed and killed.

  • Jan 10 Eruptions on Mount Huascaran in Peru destroy 7 villages & kill 3,500
  • Jan 11 Volcano Huascaran in Peru erupts killing 4,000
  • Jan 12 Operation Chopper begins, America's first combat mission in the Vietnam War where Agent Orange was dispensed known as Operation Ranch hand.
  • Feb 12 Bus boycott starts in Macon, Georgia
  • Feb 19 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

 outbreak of smallpox in Bradford in 1962 first came to attention on 11 January 1962, when a cook from the children's hospital in Bradford presented with an unexplained fever and was found to have changes in their blood similar to another sick person at the nearby St Luke's Hospital, both samples appearing compatible with smallpox. The index case was later discovered to be a nine-year old girl who arrived in the UK on 16 December 1961 from Karachi, Pakistan, where there was an ongoing epidemic of smallpox.

The outbreak resulted in 14 cases of smallpox, contact tracing of over 1,400 individuals, vaccination of over 200,000 (either 250,000 or 285,000) people and six deaths directly due to the disease. It was officially declared over on 12 February 1962.…

  • 1962: CDC launches the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System. Each week, the vital statistics office of 122 cities across the U.S. report the total number of death certificates processed and the number of those for which pneumonia or influenza is listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death by age group. The system is retired in October 2016.

Nobody knows except stress but in 1962 this strange epidemic took place.…

The Laughing Epidemic that closed schools.

1962 laughing epidemic was not quiet as bad as the Dancing Epidemic where people danced themselves to death in 1518.  No one knows what was the cause of that either, other than stress.

There were some good things that happened in the year 1962 but for the most part, it was a traumatic time.  We had the space race and John Glenn orbit in 1962.  The good did not outweigh the stress.

  Of course back then, I was young, endurable, and had my parents and friends that are no longer here.  These are the times that Old Trump wants?  We fought hard to make America better.  Equal rights, reproductive rights, science and environmental and social issues better.  Make America Great Again is really the opposite where the minimum wage was  1.15 an hour.  No reproductive rights and women had to wear heels and pearls to be treated like playthings and supper on the table at 6:00 PM and no backtalk.

We trusted one another for the most part.  We trusted institutions.   We were not dependent on false information, citizens  trusted elections and were taught civics and had a good educational system.  People did not have to contend with lies and a divided country.   There was trouble but there were consequences.  This was the upside.  We still had few consequences for lynchings, wife beatings and inequality.  It amazes me how all this whining and making things worse over a piece of cloth to protect one another.  It is insanity.  A mask could save lives and people that were drafted in the 60’s could have pitched a fit about combat boots, I mean it was their feet.  What a bunch of babies we have now being led by the biggest baby of all.

The beat goes on and now I am one of those grandma’s sitting in chairs and reminisce  as the song says.

                                              V     O    T   E

  • October 26, 2020