Shaped by the '70s

Only in retrospect do most people come to believe that they have lived through a historic moment. In my case that moment came during my high school senior trip in the spring of 1980. For the bus ride from Michigan to Washington, D.C., our class burnouts had made a plate of hashish brownies, which they proceeded to devour—and then spent the night regurgitating in the aisles. We arrived in D.C. to the news that Secretary of State Cyrus Vance had resigned in protest of President Jimmy Carter’s operation to rescue American hostages in Tehran, an attempt that proved unsuccessful. Of more immediate concern to us was that the fact that with rocketing inflation, it was next to impossible to find affordable meals. Back home, Michigan was unable to compete with Japanese industry and was in the midst of losing 250,000 high-paying, unionized automotive jobs.


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