Paul Hatke

The year 1968 was turbulent in many ways. Two assassinations of well-nown figures had occurred two months apart. The nation had fresh in its memory the same occurrence to the 35th president less than five years earlier. The U.S. and USSR were continuing a perilous cold war that could go nuclear at any time. Our living room television was moving from black and white reception to vivid color. News such as the Vietnam war could be viewed with stunning broadcasts that were changing the thinking of many that had previously paged through a newspaper at a kitchen table’s serene comforts. The pace of life had made a shift to a higher gear. Wes Patterson was a young man observing these changes. Understanding tensions in the world and the decisions to be made impacted his life as it did so many of his peers. This final year of high school would bring on decisions he would have to make. College may be in his near future, or the possibility of enlisting in the military. There were some his age talking of marriage. His own prospects appeared remote, but girls had certainly captured his attention. Friends were experiencing the same things. Some had drawn out their future, while others played a wait and see. Still, others treated this indifferently. Wes realized he would be making decisions that would have a bearing on the rest of his life. His life ran alongside this period in history. There was transition and the choices he had to make were not always easy.


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