Rod Spaw gave his perspectives as a teen, a young reporter, and a retiree on the tumultuous 60s. The murder of college students by locked and loaded National Guardsmen on the Kent State campus was the point of departure as Rod took us through his personal experiences and the immediate aftermath of the murders, beginning with a powerful essay he wrote as a teen where he characterized the existential challenges he faced, to paraphrase, “.... we could either die in Vietnam or on a college campus…”

Southern Illinois University was the site of substantial unrest in the midwest. There were marches, protests, oppressive law enforcement surveillance, misrepresentations in the media, and pervasive suspicion. Spaw’s memories of these events were bolstered with more than a thousand documents he procured through a freedom of information request.

Sadly, much of Rod’s presentation is descriptive of today’s political and civil environment. He opined that substantive, real time news coverage has been compromised by the proliferation of a few large, profit oriented “news” organizations.

We are grateful to Rod for sharing his experiences. Follow Rod’s blog to keep abreast of his thoughts.

Gary MayComment