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« Inspired by Thursday's ENJOY JULY concert, by Carolyn Coit Dancy | Main | The summer in the belly of the fish, by Tina Simson »

August 26, 2008

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Patrick Murfin

Forty years ago I was in Grant Park at the Band Shell when the Chicago Police charged the crowd, crushing many against the bench seats and beating them. Later that night I was on the sidewalk on Balboa across the street from the Conrad Hilton helping rinse the eyes of someone who had been stung by tear gas when that phalanx in of Chicago’s finest in baby-blue shirts surged right past me and into the bulk of the crowd on Michigan Avenue. If you were there you will never forget it. If not the grainy film clips of swinging batons shown on cable news this week can hardly capture the night when we chanted “The Whole World is Watching.”

Like you, there is a continuity of core belief that tie me to the younger self. I won’t denounce that scruffy, unbelievably idealistic kid. But time does march on. If we haven’t grown wiser, we have wasted our lives. It’s not the ends that have changed, but how we fight for those ends. I’m sure that younger me would have had some contempt for the fat old fart at the keyboard today. But that’s all right, too.

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