I watched Eisenhower’s inaugural from my grandfather’s office window at the Interstate Commerce Commission. I was stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike in a snowstorm for Kennedy’s. In the summer of 1963, as a summer intern with the Federal Government, I met him at a reception in the Rose Garden and I did go to his funeral–stood in front of the White House.
As a student at Johns Hopkins U. in Baltimore, I was in the audience for Lyndon Johnson’s speech in which he took us deeper into the Vietnamese quagmire:
In 1987 I was among the hoard of people crowding onto the Golden Gate Bridge for its 50th Anniversary that gave it this sag in the middle:
In 1989, I was living in San Francisco and working on Treasure Island halfway across the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco Bay. On October 17, I left work early to get home to watch the World Series game between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants, and I was standing in my living room in front of my TV set when this happened:
The power went off, of course, so I couldn’t get any news reports of what had happened, but the northern sky (in the direction of the Marina District–which lay over Pacific heights and therefore wasn’t directly visible) began to glow a lurid orange. I had no water or power for the next 3 days, and a mess on the floor to clean up, and I had to eat canned food cold.
And then there was the first Gulf War–that was “the good war” for me because I was on the staff of the commodore of a destroyer squadron and we headed west to the Gulf but got only as far as Pearl Harbor when much of the fighting ended and we spent the next 6 weeks in Hawaii, me with nothing much to do (such a shame).