“The year 1968 was one of the most discouraging in modern U.S. history. The Vietnam War dragged on. Despite major civil rights bills, many people feared the country was turning ‘increasingly separate and unequal.’ The nation grieved over the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Riots filled city streets.” Courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac © 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
I look back on 1968 in my novella A Groovy Christmas (99 cents for November and December). It and its companion novella Not Quite Christmas (in the same ebook) explores 1969 in the fictitious town of Legend, Tennessee.
Changing times and shifting values impact my characters. They make the best of the situation they were given, struggle, and survive just as we all do, every year and every decade.
Recently, my husband gathered the Christmas letters for over sixteen years and posted them on a family website. It was fun to look back at each letter, a summary of the year gone by. Each year we mentioned changes—graduations, marriages, jobs, and new grand babies. There were tough times—illnesses, deaths, and layoffs. No year was perfect. Reflecting on those years, and the years my parents and grandparents lived, I realize no time is without its challenges. No time is perfect.
As traumatic and dramatic as 2016 has seemed, there’s nothing new about it. We’ve been here before—like in 1968, when the world, to our parents, was falling apart, but to me as a high school senior, it was full of wonder and promise of the future.