I’ve recently detailed a couple of events in my life – the 1974 pony incident and the 1991 cliff incident – which could be described as murder attempts. The thing about these incidents, and my earliest memory, from 1969, is they were not murder attempts in the strict sense of the word. More accurately they were set ups, designed to tempt fate. To my understanding, bets were placed. My earliest memory is from – probably November 1969 – and is a similar situation. What I remember is dozing in the back seat of my parents’ Porsché, wrapped in blankets as if in a cocoon, and then there was a big THUMP, and my mother exclaiming “Oh my god, Richard! It was a calf! – Someone put a calf in the road!” Later I heard the story from them. We were traveling in Minnesota somewhere, probably November 1969 – around Thanksgiving time I guess. And my parents were driving down the highway (or something) and someone had placed a calf in the middle of the road, which they hit, and there was a big bump (what I remember) but they sailed over and were able to continue driving, which is good, because the circa 1960 Porsche was very low-slung.

parent's circa 1960 Porsche near snow bank 1969
1969 Minneapolis

1969 seems to have been an important year. I was born March 29, 1968. My cousin Joanna was born in August 21, 1969. If anything were to happen to me, and if my mom, who was only 24, had no more daughters, the “girl scion” would have slopped over to my cousin Joanna, who’s mother, Joan, was only 22. So it isn’t hard to see that 1969 might be a year of set ups, partying, and chance-taking at our expense.

There are several songs with 1969 as their topic: Iggy Pop’s “1969” (or even Iggy’s song “1970” which is about 1970 “coming in sight”), Bryan Adams “Summer of ’69”, Sonic Youth “Death Valley ’69,” and Babes In Toyland “Sweet ’69” (in which “69” is interchanged with “65”).

I had a dream that connected the placement of Courtney Love (who was born in 1964 I think) with the concert at Altamont December 6, 1969.

Poster for UW First Annual Spring Flush 1969 featuring a pink butterfly
1969 Seattle