ME@20 and YOU@20

11329840_10153303151248535_1272654785956757739_nToday I’m grateful for me when I was 20, or as we say today in the Association of Personal Historians, me@20.

With APH turning 20 this year, we are going into the Disney vault, I mean personal vault, to bring back stories of ourselves at age 20. And, we are encouraging others to go back into their personal vault as well.

If only I could find my student IDs from Michigan State University from 1970-1972. My first as a freshman showed my hair in a cute 1970 flip.

By 1972, it was long and parted in the middle. I wore bell bottoms and wire rim glasses and frequently was told I looked like John Lennon. Was that a compliment?

In 1972, the year I turned 20, I was then a junior studying communications – body language, the mass media, etc. at Michigan State. It was the kind of studies that fascinated me, but prompted the “What will you do with that?” question when I said my major.

Of course there also was the time I met a guy who sold waterbeds and he wanted me to go into business with him. When I told that to my dad, he was not enthusiastic to say the least. And then the valve tore on my waterbed in my dorm and my floor was at risk of turning into an aquarium. It all turned out OK, though, even if that relationship ended.

Mostly as a 20 year old my elbows were permanently akimbo in opposition to all those things we were opposed to in 1972 – like the Vietnam War. What outraged me – and there were outrages a plenty @20 – was Richard Nixon bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of its harbors.

Bummer, man. Those of us who dreamed of the end to the war and to a perfect society, thought it ungroovy.

I even hitchhiked to Washington, DC, to protest the warn with this other guy.
This was not a romantic relationship; at that moment I didn’t have a serious relationship. This boy, whose name I don’t remember, was gay. Anyway, we were lucky enough to get one ride that took us all the way to Washington without harm done to anyone.

Don’t try this at home, grandkids. Or, away from home.

I’m not sure which protest this was, but good old Wikipedia lists the Emergency March on Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1972, organized by the National Peace Action Coalition and the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice. Eight thousand to 15,000 protested in Washington, D.C. against the increased bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of its harbors.

Funny. I don’t have memories from that day. I wonder why that is?

Well, this committed anti-war activist skipped the protest. Instead, I called up a friend in Washington, D.C., and hung out with her, even staying over at her house.

I then decided to fly back to East Lansing instead of hitching a ride back home. It was not the most direct path back – I discovered in flight that I was on the wrong plane. But apparently, I did get back to East Lansing, Michigan, feeling a tad more foolish than when I left. (It’s a quality that has stayed with me lifelong.)_

I would soon leave Michigan State, work for a while, and then return to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I graduated with a degree in. journalism instead of communications – my dad said I needed to study something that would get me a job in the end.

Magically, in that age of Watergate and reporters as heroes, I said I would study journalism. And, it worked out well for me.

after year of college (deleted 41fd909f-39d67-096d620d)What advice would I give my 20 year old self? As the 1972 song said, “Respect Yourself.”

What were YOU like at age twenty? Create your own Me@20 post today or share these questions:  
1. Where I lived @20:
2. What I did @20:
3. What I dreamt @20:
4. My favorite song @20:
5. What I wore @20:
6. Whom I loved @20:
7. What made headlines when I was @20:

APH20?

I hope you will participate in this little game. I think you will find it is fun to remember my 20 year old self.

Please share your trip down memory lane with me.