“Who was Bobby Kennedy?” a young person asked recently. She knew that John Kennedy and Martin Luther King had been assassinated “sometime in the ’60s?”, but she had never heard of Bobby. I told the story, as I remembered it, of his deep despair after his brother was killed, his commitment to civil rights, his decision to run for president in 1968, and his assassination in a hotel in LA the night of the California Primary. She said it was amazing to her to think that her relatives had been alive during those times.
Her interest was an invitation, not that I really need one, to think about how to frame all the stories from those years. Seeing that one small window in time through her eyes, remembering how desperately sad and discouraged I felt in 1968, I wanted to make sure she knew about the good parts of those stories, too, about the joy of living communally, about hope for the future, about living simply and about family. She said I should write it all down and she promised to read it. I might even give her a quiz after three or four episodes, just to be sure she meant what she said!