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(From the April/May Zephyr) Ken Sleight Remembers, Part 4: The 1960s, “Unscrewing the Locks”


Once again I reminisce and search my memory of past years and lay down a few meandering thoughts. The eventful Sixties surely stand out in my mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s book Nature became the bible of his own era’s Cultural Revolution movement. At that time, Americans were more interested in the gold in California and the building of railroads and factories. Emerson didn’t much like what he saw. So he invited his generation to leave their past behind and to enjoy an original relation to the universe. “Build your own world,” he wrote. In the Leaves of Grass, Whitman urged his readers to become “undisguised and naked:”

“Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!”


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