I just finished writing two scenes in the second of my trilogy of stories – “Life”, “Liberty” and “The Pursuit of Happiness”.
“Liberty” begins in the Fall of 1982, as the Johnson family follows the windy wooded road that leads to the “Harvard of the Midwest” – Hanover College. David Johnson’s future is as bright as the multi-colored leaves clinging to the trees that line the pathway to new knowledge. Little does he know what lies ahead.
I’m finding as I write that memories are coming back to me –
… meeting my college roommate for the first time. He was a faithful Irish Catholic from Cincinnati’s Moeller high school passionate about football, beer, family, and friends (not necessarily in that order).
… going to the orientation “mixers” and noticing just how many incredibly attractive young women (we still called them “girls” then) actually paid attention to me in my faux-Izod knit shirt and non-designer jeans.
… being introduced to the ideas of an “alternative sub-culture” who openly smoked cigarettes and privately smoked pot, talking about Nietzsche and Existentialism and scoffing at conservative Christians trying to legislate morality.
– reading Dispatches by Michael Herr, a first-hand account of the Vietnam War and being shocked as much by the language than by the descriptions of violence.
– being attracted to the liberal politics of the “Peace and Justice” movement and noticing “Free Leonard Peltier” buttons on Salvation Army flannel shirts.
I think this is going to be a fun story to write. I’m tempted to send scenes to old college friends as I write them, but I’m going to resist the urge. Some may stumble on some snippets I describe here on my blog. Still, I think it would be better to nurture this baby in the womb of my word processor until it’s at least viable.