Friday, May 29, 2015

Mom was wrong

My mother never understood my passion for hanging on to newspapers and magazines. Unless they contained a real-time story about a momentous news event, she said, "toss it." I always resisted. I liked looking back a year or two. Especially at the ads. There's the Yardley cologne I was saving for! There's the poncho I wanted so badly!

This post is inspired by a specific issue of LIFE. June 20, 1969, to be exact. I found it while we were staying at a cottage in small-town Wisconsin in August of that year. Previous tenants had left it behind.

I was in love with Joe Namath that summer. I hated the awful resort town that summer and every other summer I was dragged up there. And so I killed a great deal of time gazing at this magazine. When our week was over, I tried to bring it home. My mom saw it in the car and told me to throw it away or put it back. She didn't care which, but she certainly didn't want my bedroom cluttered with yet another old magazine! (Also, my mother didn't approve of Joe Willie. No, not one bit.)

How I wished I'd kept it! For the issue has become rather famous. See if you can zero in on what makes this issue one of note.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Pg... 4 Column: How Many Huts? How Many Tents? By Barry Farrell

Pg... 9 “18 Reviews: Book: "Men in Groups," by Lionel Tiger, Reviewed by Robert Ardrey

Pg... 9A 18 Reviews: Movie: "True Grit" with John Wayne, Reviewed by Richard Schickel

Pg... 22A Letters to the Editors

Pg... 22B Broadway Joe's Friends: Regular Customers at Bachelors III, Namath's New York Bar, Included Three Cosa Nostra Men and Two Thieves. By Sandy Smith

Pg... 34 Newsfronts: Red Summit in the Place of the Czars

Pg... 36 Editorials: An End to Capital Punishment

Pg... 36 Editorials: A First Step at Midway

Pg... 40 Our Happy Moon Journey: The Apollo 10 Crew Describes how it was. "Well, Now that We're Here, what Do We Do?" By Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan

Pg... 46 Movies: One Film Turns Life Upside Down for the New Star Named Ali. Photographed by Art Kane

Pg... 52 Two Cops on a Tough Beat: A Hard Patrolman and His Patient Partner Work the Menacing Streets of Haight Ashbury. By L. H. Whittemore. Photographed by John Oldenkamp

Pg... 64 Close Up: Mark Van Doren at 75: a Complex Poet Who Talks Calmly in a Troubled Time. By Melvin Maddocks

Pg... 65 Ideas in Houses: Part 39: At Home on a Private Plaza

Pg... 68 The Class of '69

Pg... 69 With Eloquent Defiance, Top Students Carry Their Protest Right Through Commencement

Pg... 74 Miscellany

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Did you spot it? It's the pair of stories that begin on page 68 about the graduating Class of 1969. Speaking for Wellesley, wearing wire-rimmed glasses and very groovy striped slacks, is 22-year-old Hillary Rodham. She hasn't yet been to Yale Law School. She hasn't yet met Bill.  

The way I poured over that magazine, I must have seen this article that summer when I was 11. What did I think of her? I remember thinking "the star named Ali" (MacGraw) was pretty, despite the tooth thing. What were my impressions of Hillary? Did I admire her talk of protest as a way to "question great institutions?" Or did I dismiss her as plain? I truly don't recall.

But this is why, if I didn't absolutely have to, I would never throw anything away.

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