Friday, May 12, 2017

Summer of '74

In the summer of  '74 my main concerns were could I get an even tan before I started my all-important senior year in high school, would I pass my driver's license test, and how to avoid sweating too much (and thus dropping my baton) at majorette camp. College was also in the back of my mind, and the whole country had been consumed by Watergate since the previous year, but these were small things compared to majorette camp.


So all the majorettes went off to camp where we sweated, dropped our batons, and learned the new halftime routines with the band. We spent two weeks of long, hot August days practicing, but then something extraordinary happened.


Hundred of teenage camp attendees were summoned to the cafeteria on Thursday night where a TV was wheeled in and we all sat, stunned and quiet, and listened to Richard Nixon's resignation address.

"I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad."

If we hadn't fully understood the momentousness of the occasion that night, we certainly did the next morning when practice was cancelled and we watched Nixon leave the White House.



We all went home the next day, and I spent the next few weeks before school started learning exactly who Howard Hunt, James McCord, Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell, and Dean were, understanding the role of the Pentagon Papers, and reading All the President's Men

Forty-three years later, I'm hoping that the current-day Woodward and Bernstein are out there somewhere, that the current-day Archibald Cox has some (albeit slim) chance of being appointed, and the current-day Leon Jaworski can be appointed when the first Special Prosecutor is fired. We may not be there yet, but as even a 16-year-old majorette learned, the truth came out in the summer of '74 and I have to believe it can happen again.

15 comments:

  1. The sense of deja vu is simply unbelievable. I was a few years younger than you in 1974, so I didn't understand what was happening then. But I do now. and I share your hopes!

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  2. We can only hope! Mostly what I remember about Watergate is being bored to tears because there was nothing else on TV. I was 8 that summer.

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  3. Oh, yes. I've been thinking the same thing. I spent a long time discussing how "the Watergate thing" (as my sister and I then referred to the mess) actually unfurled with Erin a couple of nights ago. I dream and hope that smart people with integrity are out there, making sense of this and planning to shine the light on TRUTH.

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  4. I am super hoping the same thing. I was younger than you and barely remember the nixon stuff. but then I was never one for the evening news.

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  5. I simply must believe that the truth will out, and that regular citizens will help.

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  6. From your blog to God's ears!

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  7. Oh, I sure hope so! I have to believe it, too.

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  8. I remember that night so clearly, the date and the events etched into my mind (I'm a few years older than you). We must hope...

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  9. This MUST happen and SOON.

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  10. I remember that evening quite clearly as well! And my God please may this nightmare end soon. I'm not even political and I can't believe what I'm seeing!

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  11. It is my fervent prayer. And, who knew that tweets would be the new rope with which to hang yourself?

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  12. I remember that night well and I hope for the future of our country!

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  13. All I could think at the end of your post was 'amen'! Helen

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    Replies
    1. Let's keep making phone calls and keeping our fingers crossed!

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