RonO (rono_60103) wrote,

How growing up warps time

Just now I was reading through soc.history.what-if. In an article speculating on the differences if Ford had been reelected in 1976, I came across the following quote referring to the Iran hostage crisis:
I'm not sure how much a different President changes the Iranian Revolution itself, though he certainly could change the details of the hostage crisis; ... an evacuation and no crisis at all. Helicopters evacuating a second embassy in five years might be a bit rough on the reputation of Ford.

When I read that I was struck by how something that happened before I was that aware of the outside world, and one of the key unhappy news events of my youth were less than five years apart.

When Saigon fell in April 1975 I would have been 8-and-a-half and in the third grade. To me all of the Vietnam War was stuff that happened when I was too young to remember, and I don't recall the fall of Saigon and the evacuation personally. (Oddly enough I do recall Nixon resignation, or at least my brother noting that the headline in the Albuquerque Journal was the largest he'd ever seen).

On the other hand, when the Iran Hostage Crisis began in November 1979, 4.5 years later, I was in the eighth grade, and quite adept at following current events. Thus that crisis was the first major international incident I recall my country having to face outside of the constant background of the Cold War.

Somehow throes years were formative in my processing of life outside of my small community of family, friends, school and church.

Thinking about this, and related topics, brings up a related memories.

First, in October or November 1976, my fifth grade class held a mock election. (I don't recall if it was my main class, or if I was already spending half-days in the gifted program by November, as I did most of the year). On the day of the election, I was sick, and could not cast my vote for Ford. When the results of the mock election had Carter winning by 1 vote I was very annoyed, until we learned that one other voter had also been out, and they would have voted for Carter.


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