Betty June and I sit in a coffee shop hunkered over our lattes and talk about the Vietnam Conflict and all the young people we lost. Guilt racked us both for not fighting alongside our peers. We knew it was a government war and growing up in the Hills we had little use for the government. We recalled wearing miniskirts with boots, long hair, and throwing our bras over the parking meters. It was turbulent times when the flower children thought we could make a difference by changing the status quo from hatred to love and giving us the freedom to make love not war and invite ‘Good Vibes Only’ wherever we went. We lost the battle on the home front and became a disillusioned generation of idealists ignorant on how the government money machine depended on manufacturing artillery. The loss of lives was dismissed as collateral damage and women remained without equal rights.

While in the throes of forlorn recollections, we recognized our own generation grew up to become a different problem. We still do not have equal rights and even our bodies have come under the jurisdiction of old men wanting to limit our options by reversing Roe vs. Wade. It is an unfortunate day for women when they lose the right to make decisions about their own bodies. We wonder how men would feel if their desire to have vasectomies, condoms, and the freedom to rectify a careless moment in the backseat of a car were curtailed by a small body of elderly ladies whose hearts beat with bitterness and the need for power.

Betty June and I went on in this sad-sack way for an hour before we became tired of listening to ourselves complain. We both tend to have a fiendish sense of humor and are quick to recollect a down home story that always comes to a tragic end. Like the time two redneck boys in eighth grade thought it was a great idea to throw a stick of dynamite at a squirrel minding his own business on a tree limb. They laughed so hard their aim went astray and the dynamite ricocheted off the tree and blew up the corner of the school building sending bricks flying everywhere and knocking out Principal Snyder and the two redneck boys who all had to be thrown in the back of a truck and driven to the doc’s office. None of them were ever right after that and then upon further recollection, we remembered the redneck boys died in Vietnam. We became sad again and decided to cheer ourselves up with an ice cream sundae at the Soda Jerk next door.

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