Copyright ©2013 by Ralph F. Couey
except quoted and cited portions.
There are moments in life that can be either dreaded or anticipated. Or both. Next week, I will travel cross-country to revisit those three years encompassed by the words "high school."
I (along with some 350 others) graduated on a humid May night in 1973. Yes, I can count. That's 40 years. I told one of my co-workers where I was bound. He whistled and exclaimed, "You've been out of high school longer than I've been alive!"
Like I needed to hear that.
It's a common thing to compare the past to day in economic terms. In 1973, the average American income was $12,900. Out of that, people still managed to afford the average-priced home at $32,900. One of the hottest cars was the AMC Javelin, priced at $2,999, which swallowed 40-cent-per-gallon gasoline at a precipitous rate. That, of course, changed in October when OPEC embargoed all crude oil going to countries that supported Israel.
The Yom Kippur War, the fourth and largest of the Arab-Israeli wars, was fought. Unfortunately for the Arabs, Israel won again. Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his second term, but throughout the year saw his administration, his reputation, and his legacy trashed through the Watergate scandal. He would resign the Presidency in 1974. Lyndon Johnson, Nixon's predecessor, died in Texas. Abortion became legal by the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe vs. Wade. Members of the American Indian Movement seized the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee and held it captive for two months.
The Miami Dolphins capped a perfect season by defeating the Washington Redskins in Superbowl VII.
And in an event that provided a breath of relief for all draft-eligible young men, U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.