Wouldn’t Be Prudent

Late last week, it crossed my mind that when people say,  “what goes around comes around”  it really has some merit, especially if you live long enough.   I had a college anniversary coming up and that event seemed apropos to events happening today.  In fact,  I wondered if any of today’s political protestors had thought about dealing with issues the way we had.  Would what went around back then, come around again.  Well,  the anniversary came and went and I forgot to call my friend who participated in the protest as well, to reminisce.

Yesterday I got a text,  “It’s been 43 years!”  Yes it had.   Some folks have better memories. 43 years since that frenzied night when a crazy idea catches fire and lead us down a rabbit hole.  Let me just say that group mentality isn’t always greater than the sum of its parts but the mob ruled that night.   Anyway…

April 1, 1974 was dubbed the night we would streak for impeachment.  Being a political science major looking for a cause, I saw it as a calling,  so I was in.  Tricky Dick  Nixon had to go.   Can you think of a better way?  Let’s STREAK…

For those of you too young to remember, streaking was a fad that lasted a few years. Crazed young people took off their clothes and ran like a streak through a public area to cause some sort of shocking response.   I guess that was the reason.  Graduations had them, sporting events had them, even the Oscars had them.

On my rural, Maryland college campus nestled in the Allegany Mountains, Spring did not usually arrived until mid-May long after we had made our way home for the summer vacation.  Luckily, that year, on that night, it was somewhat warm.  Well, warm enough. Maybe it had been a long winter and we were sick of those parkas, all I know is that I wasn’t cold.  I would also add, we were sober, which made this story all the more shocking.

It started up campus where most of the dorms were occupied by boys.  They criss -crossed the quad, skinny young men wearing only shoes and socks with a  towel wrapped around their heads.  Soon, as the on-looking crowd increased, more and more groups joined in.  Before long, the girls from Frost Hall took a run.  The gauntlet had been thrown.   The down-campus dorms were not to be out done.  Unite!

There was a little fellow who lived in the co-ed dorm across from ours.  He  wore a Mad Hatter Hat that night,and had a mega-phone .  He stood in his dorm room window and called out the floors and  wings of the dorms. Cumberland FIRST LEFT .  Out from the back door and around the front, groups of young co-eds would run past the cheering crowd.  I lived on 3rd left. Caught up in the frenzy we decided to go.  We had time to get ready. We got our running shoes on (which ironic since not one of us ran anywhere), wrapped our heads in the linen service towels and huddled by the door.  The call came.  We ran! STREAKed!! Peaking out along the way. Hundreds of people.  Some were dressed, but mostly they were naked. It was crazy fun.  Well, of course it got out of hand and the cops came and there was some tear gas or smoke bombs.  But…we survived and…

It worked.  Nixon resigned 4 months later.

I still have my socks.  The towel went back to Mt. State Linens, and the shoes dry rotted even though I made every effort to preserve them.

In today’s contentious times, I’m all in for the rally’s and protests, but I don’t think a naked run around a building will bring the same result these days.

My secret Indivisible group are mostly senior citizens (we were just sophomores back then). Haha .  We can’t run that fast anymore, and it would take us longer to get ready,  but if it would work…I’m in…

Probably, wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture,  (in the words of 41.)

What would the Russians think?  Put a babushka on it…..


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