Do you remember 1968? Chicago? That wild democratic Convention? Yuppies? “The Whole World is Watching?”
I wonder how many of you think that chant originated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unh-unh.
It echoed off the walls of the Michigan Avenue hotels as the cops, using cattle prods, clubs and gas, lost control and attacked unarmed antiwar protesters.
Hello Pilgrim. You also thought that kind of cowardly behavior was another OWS first. Keep in mind that old saw, “History repeats itself. First as tragedy; then as farce.”
I just did the math and realized that only a small percentage of you reading this were around 44 years ago, so you are forgiven.
That night in 1968, sitting in my large, comfortable home out in the suburbs, I watched that infamous Grant Park attack on television. Creepy kids. Got what they deserved. Early to bed. Another big day ahead.
At 11am the next morning, I was driving in my company-owned, forest green, four-door hardtop Crown Vic with the big V-8, air-conditioned, stereo, leather seats and a fat cat attitude based in the certainty that I deserved all this. I mean, me being a solid citizen, the 35-year-old Director of Marketing for a factory that made things for Sears, Wards and a few thousand other retail stores.
Today I was having lunch with the new Sporting Goods Buyer at Sears. I was very sure of the $2 million dollar camping equipment contract that was coming my way for the tenth successive season.
Our factory and offices were in a big old refurbished warehouse once used by a meat-packing company. As I passed the barricaded entrance to the Stockyards Convention Center, something happened that changed my life forever.
A chain of events began that found me, a few weeks later, about 9pm of a Saturday night, handcuffed to a long metal bench in an unmarked back room on the second floor of Northside police station, being threatened with 10 years in prison “for possession.”
By 9:15 I walked free, taking with me the three other people who had been busted with me in a Division Street apartment just as we took our first deep hits – and do mean FIRST ever – hits on some friendly weed. The 4 cops who had busted us even gave us a ride home, apologized for the inconvenience and asked, “Please forget this ever happened.”
Fairy tale? Obviously you do not know Chicago very well.