ANTHEM is coming, chapter 33

ANTHEM, Book 3 of the Sixties Trilogy, publishes on October 1. Each of the book's 47 chapters begins with a song from the Sixties to set the tone, mood, and scene. Every day between now and October 1, come have a listen and read a snippet from each chapter. On October 1, these posts will be archived with a link at ANTHEM's webpage for #teachingAnthem1969
This is Chapter 33 (day 15):

from the musical Hair!
Written by James Rado, Gerome Ragni, and Galt McDermott
Performed by the Fifth Dimension
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, Hollywood, California 1969
Hal Blaine

Ten minutes later, Molly bounded up the stepwell and onto the bus.
Sweet Caroline was sitting in Norman's lap in the driver's seat, pretending to drive. "Where were you! We almost had to leave without you, didn't we, Norman?"
Norman tried a laugh but Molly cut him off.
"This is Victor Martinez. He's coming with us."
Sweet Caroline got up. She swung into the seat behind Norman, put her hand on his shoulder, and giggled.
"Stop giggling," Molly ordered. "Norman, start driving."
Victor Martinez came quietly up the steps. He looked at no one. There were only four rows of seats left in the bus and Victor sat in the last row. He smelled like too many days in the same clothes without a shower. He smelled like the dumpsters behind the Plaza Cafe. He carried a large paper sack with him, well creased and rolled over at the top where he gripped it.
Molly stuck out her hand to Norman, palm up. "Give me your extra burger." She walked the sack to Victor and handed it to him. "We just ate," she said. "We're full." Victor took the sack wordlessly and turned to look out the window.
Norman turned the key in the ignition. Flam jumped into the famous front passenger seat.
Molly walked back up the aisle. Caroline, I don't care where you sit, but you can't sit in that seat. The navigator sits there. I am the navigator --"
Sweet Caroline blinked and Molly finished.
"I am she."

Well, we really did think a new age was dawning -- "and peace will guide the planet, and love will steer the stars" --even in the midst of war. It became harder to believe it, though, when looking into the faces of war. Victor represents one of those faces, in ANTHEM.

In June 1969, Life Magazine published "The Faces of the American Dead in Vietnam: One Week's Toll." Face after face after face, 242 soldiers who died in one week, May 28 to June 3. Molly and Norman left on their trip June 14, 1969, just as the magazine was hitting newsstands.

This issue of Life brought the war home to Americans in a way television couldn't. There, on their coffee tables, were 242 dead Americans in one week. One week. Sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, friends. Gone. And for what?

That is Barry's cry in ANTHEM, of course. For what? You'll meet others along the way who are more sure of why we were in Vietnam, but for Chapter 33, I want you to meet Victor, who managed to come home, although much altered than the young man he'd been when he left.

A great short video from the Newseum about this issue of Life is here.

And here is an inside still from that Life Magazine feature, and a link to a June 2019 WBUR piece (with text and photos) of stories about the men, and the families left behind:

"All these boys, look at these beautiful boys, look at them," she says. "Oh, there he is."

What we wanted, now more than ever:

"Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding// No more falsehoods or derisions -- golden living, dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelations, and the mind's true liberation... Aquarius."

Chapter 33.

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