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Say what you will about FaceBook, there are times when what’s posted there is breathtakingly stupid, and others when someone posts something that really yanks your head around. Such an instance occurred just last week when the current adviser to the Kennesaw State University student newspaper posted a photo taken of the newspaper staff in early 1970. (Thanks, Ed Bonza. You made my day!)The stunningly rowdy crew of the Sentinel, Kennesaw Junior College’s award-winning student newspaper (circa 1970).
I forgot how many people showed up for the photo that day some forty-three years ago. I can absolutely guarantee there weren’t that many handy when it was time to lay out the paper, but that’s a tale for another time. (We’ll talk about glue and stuff.)
You’ll note that all the folks in this picture, save one, are upright. Uhm. Okay. Their posture is generally upright. I’m not in a position to make value judgments. (Wasn’t back in 1970 either.) Anyway, the person assuming a horizontal pose is your humble correspondent.
Such images give rise to many thoughts. Not the least of which is what the hell happened to all those people? And I’m not just musing about the long lonely nights during which some of us assembled the Sentinel in a dark corner of the Cartersville Tribune’s HQ.
Sadly, I know several who have since gone on to the “next great adventure” as my late uncle Ted used to say it. I like that phrase. A lot. Anyway, you’ll notice that my 20-year-old self is making a hand gesture often misinterpreted as a “peace” sign. This is understandable given the hippy dippy nature of the times when the photo was taken (yes, even in rural Kennesaw, Georgia).
My gesture, however, is most emphatically not a peace sign. It is–as God and Sir Winston Churchill intended it to be–the sign for victory. In my case, it was victory over deadlines rather than Nazi Germany. I’m sure the misunderstanding was further compounded by my lack of a snazzy top hat. (I was able to get my hands on one eventually, but that, too, is a tale for another time.)
All of this brings me to a final photo which makes use of this same time-honored symbol of dedication to a cause. In this case, it’s my beloved 99-year-young aunt Lydia. This charming California girl hosted my bride and I for a week-long celebration of her birthday. And it’s a week we’ll not soon forget.
Lydia, her daughter Lonnie, son-in-law Ken, and their two amazing canine co-conspirators–Repo and Shasta–feted us at every turn. And just so you know, keeping up with Lydia and her entourage is no easy task. It’s the first time we’ve ever taken a dining tour of the San Francisco bay area, as our waistlines and wallets can testify.
But we had a grand time, and we’re looking forward to a repeat performance when Lydia’s chronometer clicks over into three (significant) digit territory–something no Langston I know of has ever done before. When that happens, there’ll be an entire crowd flashing the victory symbol, and not just that one beautiful gal whose smiling face we came to see.