A self-guided walk/bike tour of scenes from the last revolution to hit Lexington
By Guy Mendes
In contrast to the Greatest Generation, which saved the world from the Nazis and the Fascists, the crowd of students who hit their college years in the late Sixties was what you might call the Provocative Generation. They prodded and poked and pissed off a lot of people in order to help us understand that war was not the answer. They were part of a nation-wide movement not only because their lives were in the balance, but also because the American Dream had been exposed as a myth that hid the duel-headed beast of racism and militarism. These Provocateurs were in middle school or high school when JFK was assassinated. They were in college when MLK and RFK were gunned down. They were turning 18 when that meant, if you were a male, you could be drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam, where many people on both sides were being killed in a senseless, brutal war. They were just beginning to vote when Washington was burning and race riots consumed Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago. And they were about to graduate from UK when they heard that antiwar protesters had been killed by National Guard troops on the Kent State Campus. Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming, four dead in Ohio. It can’t happen here, right?
During the weekend of October 28-30, Lexingtonians are advised to be on the lookout for roving bands of hippie-dippie peaceniks, pinkos, radicals and bleeding heart liberals who have conspired to convene in Lexington during the last weekend of the month. This loose-knit band of sixty-somethings is re-grouping 41 years after some of them put Lexington and the burning UK Air Force ROTC Building in their rear-view mirrors. Others among them have been living here all along, quietly thinking their leftist thoughts, waiting for the next chance to march in the streets.
On Saturday, they’ll gather at the downtown YMCA (239 East High Street) at 10 A.M. for a walking/biking tour of their provocative past. Come join them on their tour, and afterwards head on down to Occupy Lexington to hear some of their stories.
Can’t make it then? No problem. Here is a guided tour of “the most dangerous moment in UK history” (so far). In the meantime, if you encounter someone Questioning Authority, or asking What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?, approach carefully, flash the peace sign and say, Right On!