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To Answer (or Not to Answer) the Call of Duty by
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(7 Stories)

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Coming of age during the Vietnam War did not mean you would be automatically drafted. If you were a privileged white boy, as I was, those less fortunate often took your place. In college, you could have used connections to get into the National Guard, as George W. Bush did to avoid active duty in…
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Too Young to Be Afraid by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

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Through the bus window, through my own reflected image, the solitary lights in the rural landscape were comforting. And exciting. Tomorrow was Election Day, and each light represented at least one potential vote.  That was an astonishing notion, which I had never before focused on — the collective power of democracy, and it made you…
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Those were the days…. by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By My First Paycheck

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Fifty cents an hour: That’s what I got for pulling weeds from a brick patio and clay tennis court, which I was also expected to water and roll.  My employer: my father.  Still, it felt good — to actually earn my weekly allowance. photo by Test Prep Seminars But what felt even better was to be…
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1968 a Half Century Later by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By 1968

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You must not be too goddamn smart or you wouldn’t be here!
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Big (50th!) Reunions Spark Big Questions. by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By Reunions

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Any half-century anniversary sparks big questions. Even once inattentive high school history students are nudged into a perspective more sweeping than personal status and sentimental relations with peers. Too, self-important Boomers have always had a habit of “scaling up” the primarily personal into generational (and national) significance.
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Lost Like Summer Wages by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By My First Car

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By Walter Nicklin I had worked most of the summer on the horse farms that defined that part of rural Virginia where I grew up — making hay in June and painting fences in July.  Finally, in August, I had saved enough to buy the sportscar of my dreams, a used MGA.  The year was…
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Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone? by
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(7 Stories)

Prompted By Hitchhiking

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By Walter Nicklin Are they hiding, like stars no longer visible in the light-polluted sky? Or are they simply no longer here, gone forever, like the passenger pigeon or Good Lord Bird? What I hope to spot is another elusive species, rare and endangered, maybe even extinct. I feel like a frustrated sky-watcher or avid…
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