Do You Remember those years 1969-1974?
“Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming.... We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming.... Four dead in Ohio”
—Neil Young, Ohio, 1970
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This book tells our story – it shows how I saw America and the actions of my generation through the lens of a 35mm camera from 1969-1974, and gives us some insight and understanding into the most important era of modern American history.
It was the time of Woodstock, the rise of the Women’s Liberation movement, campus unrest, SDS, The Moratorium, Give Peace A Chance, Richard Nixon being elected for a second term and then resigning from the Presidency, the killings at Kent State University, flag wavers, Hippies, the War in Vietnam ending, the POW’s returned. The full effects of the music and the Cultural Revolution were upon America.
It was a time of huge social and political upheavals. These changes were magnified by the unprecedented size of the young generation during the 1960s, which gave it the power and inclination to rebel against societal norms.
When you look back it’s amazing to think that the year-end close of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was 800, the average cost of new house $15,550.00 and the average Income per year was $8,550.00 with the average monthly rent $135.00. New cars were $3,270.00, but the Toyota Corona was $1,950.00 and yes; gas was 29 cents per Gallon.
Baby Boomers had dreams and maybe our dream was naïve. A lot of us believed you could live your life and build the world around two basic precepts: love and peace. We believed we were the generation that would do away with war. We would do away with greed, and in its place we’d create a world that would revolve around compassion and camaraderie, personal and political liberation.
The social and political movements of the Boomer generation did eventually change America, but we left an unfinished agenda of social and economic rights for the subsequent generations to take up. It seemed like the Occupy movement might be the Boomers’ opportunity to move forward the agendas that were left unfinished. It’s fascinating to see the similarities that this movement had to the movements in the sixties: the protesters’ passion; the mass marches in the streets, the street theater; the anger with the status quo; the young vibrant energy that says, We can change the world; alternative publications; and free-form posters. It all feels so familiar. Even the tear gassing and mass arrests look like they did in the old days.
I have selected approximately 125 photographs from my early work shot during this period that illustrate a wide range of America. It includes traveling with President Nixon, campus riots, Appalachia, working class communities, Nixon’s inauguration, the Vietnam Moratorium, the Panthers and Black Pride, High School, John Lennon and major political candidates. It forms an impression of this period that seems to resound with those who have viewed the work, both for boomers and also those who have heard stories or only read about this moment in time.
It might be that you’ll see yourself in these images. Perhaps you’ll glimpse your parents.These photos show an America that was, at times, unjust and an America with dreams and promise. But more importantly, it is an America we should not forget. It was a time when there was much promise, when change seemed possible, and when young people could dream of a better world.
My journey as a photographer started in 1969 when I was 18 years old and I have continued to make photographs and publish books, some of which are rewards you can have for supporting this new book project.
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A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED MY PROJECT...A VIDEO TO YOU ALL!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge will be getting all the pieces of the book together in a timely fashion --many questions, such as, do I include ephemera from these days? Then it takes 3 months to be printed and shipped (That's why the delivery date is December 2015.) Working with a good designer and editor who understand this era will help with the process. I have no doubt that deadlines will be met and the book will become a reality by the winter. Of course all backers will be kept aware of the book production process as it happens via regular updates. I can't wait to begin production of this book!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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