By Linda J. Nordquist
A heat wave smothered the city of Detroit the summer I turned eighteen. Temperatures topped 100 degrees, and air-conditioning was rare. Nothing moved in the stagnant air.
I was struggling to shed my “tomboyish” ways, something my mother deemed essential if I was ever to “catch a husband.” Her turn of phrase brought to mind a bug-eyed catfish flopping on a wharf, a hook piercing his lip. This did not endear me to the marriage concept. Nor did her warning that, under no circumstances, should I ever compete with the opposite sex. Worse, if I found myself besting a man, especially intellectually (impossible as that might seem), I should retreat.
“Let him think he’s winning,” she said, dispensing her sapient advice confidently. “You don’t want to humiliate him, do you? You’ll never get a husband that way.”
Objections gurgled in my stomach. Don’t misunderstand. The resistance I felt to her advice was not cognitive. It was a feeling state, as if I teetered on the precipice of a great loss. Is it possible to grieve an unknown in advance?
Disarmed with her influence, I sat in my new boyfriend’s shady backyard sipping iced tea and, despite my best efforts at imitating Grace Kelly, feeling every strand of hair kinking in the humidity. Dick was an art teacher and six years older than I. It was imperative that I appear sophisticated and coy. I flipped the pages of Vogue while Dick poured over the newspaper.
“Says here,” he snickered, “that some women plan to defy the Amateur Athletic Union’s ban on women running in men’s road races. Why do they have to do that? They ought to leave it be.” My pulse sped up. Before I could stifle my impulsivity, I blurted, “Why shouldn’t they run if they want to?”
A raised eyebrow projected a look of mild tolerance.
Just in time for the holidays, Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire launch their anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the '60s and '70s. The book is the perfect gift for opening discussions with friends and family members and illustrating what a powerful time the '60s and '70s truly were.
Forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. These women rode the sexual revolution with newfound freedom, struggled for identity in divorce courts and boardrooms, and took political action in street marches. They pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. And finally, here, they tell it like it was.
Through this collection of women’s stories, we celebrate the women of the ’60s and ’70s and the importance of their legacy.
Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press (Sept. 8, 2013)
Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s & ‘70s is available in print and as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and She Writes Press and Indie Bound.
Find out more about the book online:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TimesTheyWereAChanging
Times They Were A-Changing blog: http://www.timestheywereachanging.com
About the Editors:
Kate Farrell earned a M.A. from UC Berkeley; taught language arts in high schools, colleges, and universities; founded the Word Weaving storytelling project in collaboration with the California Department of Education with a grant from the Zellerbach Family Fund, and published numerous educational materials. She is founder of Wisdom Has a Voice memoir project and edited Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother (2011). Farrell is president of Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, a board member of Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club, member of Story Circle Network and National Association of Memoir Writers.
Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and the author of four books: Don't Call Me Mother—A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and a workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. Her book Becoming Whole—Writing Your Healing Story was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award. A speaker and award-winning author, she co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and offers editing, coaching, and mentoring for memoir, nonfiction, and fiction. www.namw.org. Visit her blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.
Amber Lea Starfire, whose passion is helping others tell their stories, is the author of Week by Week: A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations (2012) and Not the Mother I Remember, due for release in late 2013. A writing teacher and editor, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco and is a member of the California Writers Club in Napa and Santa Rosa, the Story Circle Network, National Association of Memoir Writers, and International Association for Journal Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors. www.writingthroughlife.com