Friday, November 11, 2016

Revisiting 1968 by Jan Scarbrough

“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.


  1. I graduated from high school in 1968. Thankfully enough, I mostly remember the music, the hopefulness, and the knowledge that I was starting a new life that was all my own. I wouldn't want to go back, but I do so cherish the memories of that time.

  2. So true, Jan. Life does seem cyclic in so many ways. I'm sure our parents and grandparents stressed about the same social issues we do today.

  3. My 40+ daughter is mourning the lack of civility in our election process and the hateful words spoken before, during and after the election. My 10-yr old grandson asked her why those running for govt offices don't have to pass a test before they are allowed to govern like students have to pass a test before going on to the next grade level. Interesting observation!

  4. Nice post, Jan, and what a great idea for novellas. I hope they find a lot of readers--probably readers, like us, "of a certain age."

  5. Interesting idea, Jan. Good luck with it.

  6. I graduated in 1967 and I agree. I think this time period is coming into its own in fiction. Last year I pitched a book set in 1964-67 to an agent and she said "I'm not into historicals." Way to make me feel old! LOL!

  7. I am from a little younger generation but so many years have all had there problems! This year has definitely had its ups and downs it's all in how you handle things that makes it bad or good!


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