He Missed Out on Woodstock

Michael Winerip reflects on being in the younger generation of boomers.

Michael Winerip '74 devotes his latest "Generation B" column in the Sunday New York Times to his experience of missing Woodstock, and the associated cultural upheaval, by a few years. "The Sprit of '69, Circa 1972," published on August 16, points out that it was an utterly different world for those who were just 17 in 1969--the year of Woodstock, Stonewall, the moon walk, the Manson murders--than it was for those just a few years older.

For example, he writes, "[I]t's possible that in the summer of '69 I didn't know what a homosexual was. (If I did, it was from  health class.)" When he graduated from North Quincy [Massachusetts] High in 1970, Winerip notes, "our class officers had short hair and posed for the yearbook in neckties. That year, a group of thug athletes beat up one of the few boys at our school with long hair." By the time he got to Harvard, he met openly gay people and "I also learned that one of those guys in the North Quincy High 1970 class officer photo with a tie and short hair, who had also come to Harvard--yes, he was" gay as well.

In the summer of 1973, Winerip recalls, he prepared for a newspaper internship at the Rochester, New York,  Times-Union by getting a haircut, only to find that he had the shortest hair in the newsroom: "[T]he '60s had reached Rochester long before I did." "Before I returned to Cambridge for my senior year," he concludes, "one of the veteran reporters invited me to his home for dinner. Sitting in his living room, over hors d’oeuvres, he and I and his wife, a bank vice president, shared a joint, had a good laugh about my Rochester haircut, and then we all sat down for a nice dinner."

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