It was the summer of ’72. Vietnam was raging and the draft was foremost on everyone’s mind. After I passed my pre-induction physical at the Seattle Armory I followed the example set by Arlo Guthrie, the protagonist in the movie Alice’s Restaurant. I went and sat down on the Group W bench, reserved for those […]Read article
Sunday, August 24 1968 is one of the landmark dates in the history of the 60s. Not a date like 9/11 or November 23 1963; most people don’t remember this date precisely, but they do remember this event. And even more what happened later that evening outside the Democratic National Headquarters at the Conrad Hilton. […]Read article
There was a heat wave in Boston in the summer of 1969. There was always a heat wave in the summer in Boston. It was literally the last summer of the 60s, but it was metaphorically the last summer of the 60s as well. We did not know that. Both Kennedy brothers had been assassinated; […]Read article
The Vietnam War — our war — always loomed just beyond the mountains. To serve or not to serve? Our choice — or pure chance in the draft lottery — still marks us. Ken Burns’ documentary “The Vietnam War” once again reminded us of those who lived and those who were lost, on both sides. […]Read article
What was it about Bennington College?
The 17-mile ride up to Bennington was transformative. But it was not always an easy journey for the Williams student of our day. One classmate, quoting James Joyce’s Ulysses, mentions understanding first-hand what Joyce meant by the “scotumtightening sea,” as he would sign in at the small guard’s office manned by stolid Vermonters whose tacit disapproval he interpreted as directed toward him, but was maybe aimed in a more general way toward the entire permissive and doubtless sinful lifestyle that lay beyond the gates.Read article
The traditional social system we entered in 1964 sounds medieval to today’s young, but at the time it still generally reflected the rules parents expected single-sex educational institutions to establish and administer for their supposedly grownup children. In loco parentis ruled. As freshmen, although we were addressed in the classroom with the grownup title of […]Read article
The Fraternity Debate — 1868 to 1968! by John Dirlam Fraternities began to take root at Williams in 1833 with the arrival of Kappa Alpha, followed one year later by Sigma Phi. By the time of the Civil War, four more fraternities had joined them in competing for students—-Chi Psi, Alpha Delta Phi, Delta Psi, and Delta […]Read article