These are interesting times. I've lived through interesting times before. I'm old enough to remember the Cold War, and experienced those times from a child's point of view. During the Cuban Missile Crisis we each had emergency rations at school and an evacuation plan to board a freight train to take us to (of all places) the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine for refuge. My dad had a bomb shelter built in our yard with four foot thick steel reinforced walls. Mom said she could never see the point ... if the world is blown up why would you want to be alive anymore anyway. We used it only once, and that had nothing to do with bombs, rather a hurricane that caused a tree to fall right through the living room. We evacuated to the bomb shelter and spent the night. Ran through the orange grove and down into the shelter during the eye of the storm.
Those were tense times. Even though I was only young, I remember dinner table conversation about the missiles being aimed straight at Florida, the Cape, or maybe Jacksonville because of its military presence. We were in Jacksonville. And the fall out would contaminate everything, infect the food supply, if the blast didn't kill you.
The Vietnam era was yet another interesting time I remember. My parents had split by then, and I was a teenager. Dad had rejoined the military as a high ranking officer. Navy Captain. Psychiatrist. Stationed in Japan. I went to live with him and my stepmother there. We lived on base in officer's housing. Dad was second in command of the base. On one trip overseas, flying military space available, we stopped in Saigon. It was some time in 1970. I remember the tension in the airport, the personnel coming and going, the uniformed officers talking in tight groups, the smoke filled waiting room, my dad ordering me and my sister to stand right by his side and don't move, the tension that you could inhale.
Over the next year or so the U.S. was in the process of pulling the troops out of Vietnam. A lot of them came through our base, as it was a hospital base. Anti-war protests were going strong back in the states. A fact I knew only on the periphery. The Japanese protested against Americans. They held protests right outside the main gate. They were polite about it, always sharing their protest schedule. Easy to avoid. My dad was involved in signing discharge papers for the enlisted that served in Vietnam, doing their psychological exams before release from duty. He'd talk about it. I think he had many enlisted dishonorably discharged due to drug use or addiction during their service in Vietnam. Dad had a particular and personal hatred of anyone who used illegal drugs. I felt sorry for the men he dishonorably discharged for drugs, or maybe court martialed. After all, most were drafted, thrown into a war they didn't support. And drugs were plentiful. Maybe not an excuse or reason, but my dad didn't have to go out of his way to ruin lives. I know that he did.
We came back to the states to Southern California. The Nixon administration was full bore crash and burn. The Pentagon Papers. G. Gordon Liddy et al. Watergate. I feel we are in a time machine. Back again to the early days of the women's movement. Back again to a politicized populace and people marching in the street. Back again to turmoil. Interesting times.