I was a college grad of two weeks driving to Manhattan for a job interview at the ad agency, J. Walter Thompson. I also had the Scarlet 1-A on my forehead, meaning I was draft fodder for the Vietnam War. “I see that you’re 1-A,” was the retort to something I said during the interview. The experience of subtle rejection wasn’t worth the cost of parking.
I headed west out of the Lincoln Tunnel in a red Mustang with dual trumpet exhausts–my only possession other than a few clothing items. It was mid-afternoon when a semi-tractor trailer went out of control, veering into my lane–I only assume the driver fell asleep. I turned towards a wall and hit the brakes–too late! The trailer spun the front of my car around. I did a 360 at 10 mph. I was unhurt. The car needed $1,800 worth of repairs which was a lot back in those days–insurance covered most of the damage.
Later that night I lay in bed listening to rock music on the radio while feeling sorry for myself. Then I heard the first report:Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I was ashamed that I could have any self-pity at a time when one man committed to doing good had been taken from us.
This will always be how I see June 5.