There it was, look at it! Larger than life - almost braggin’!
Oh, yeah, I sure need someone to explain something here ~
right smack on the back of her mom’s station wagon,
a “JOHNSON for PRESIDENT” bumper sticker!
“What’s wrong with you, gee - has your dad gone nuts?!”
Boiling hot and indignant with GOLDWATER fever,
a second-grade friendship teetered painfully balanced
on a sidewalk of the civil arena.
Wounded, my best friend’s tears spoke a transcendent truth;
in just so many words, (of which I quickly took note),
grown-ups have a right to their political views ~
and little kids ~ don’t vote.
* My girlfriend Aviva received the brunt of my critical out-burst while her mom waited for her in the offensively decorated family coach..I am really glad I felt the sting of self-reproach the instant I saw my friend’s eyes well up with hot, hurt tears. I never brought it up again. I already knew the Lees were good people. I had been at their house so many times I could have been Cindy Lee. Her mom's 'West Side Story' record album was like the holy grail to me; I was drawn to the cover to admire Natalie Wood perched on the fire escape. If we asked her to, Aviva's mom would play that for us and I thought she was the most cultured woman on the planet. Our brief confrontation was definitely an early lesson in allowing others their own self-expression.
This was the infamous Johnson / Goldwater presidential race of 1964. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson of
No little kid could have been more supportive than I was, reverently watching my dad carefully peel the wax paper backing from his blue and gold “Goldwater for President” bumper sticker. As a dedicated contributor to the Goldwater campaign, Papa actually played a role as a
~ this is the title poem from the 'Station Wagon Wars' collection