Of May of ’68: Best of, Worst of Times and Memories: Dickens, Abraham, Martin, John, Bobby … and Jon

If ever a time could indeed be called “The best of times, the worst of times,” perhaps the decade of the 60’s would qualify …
The 1860’s and the 1960’s.

I remember much of the 1960’s, especially from the mid-60’s on.
Of course, we don’t remember April/May of 1865, and I honestly don’t clearly remember the events of November 1963, but I remember, clearly, April/May 1968. I remember being in school the “morning after Memphis,” and on a Saturday morning early the next month, gathering around the black and white television, hearing the news from Los Angeles, about Bobby.

I have spent much time researching the lives of those we’ve lost, and have serious regrets (honestly) that I haven’t learned more about Martin Luther King, for example, and others, until now.

Perhaps the greatest opening to any book written by a single author, and the most remembered, is the way “A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens opens. We’ve all heard, even from the pulpit the “best of times, worst of times” quote, but I didn’t realize how powerful the whole paragraph is … and the fact that it even mentions “modern times,” and how accurately the words depict the decade of the 60’s (both) … keep in mind that “A Tale of Two Cities” was published in 1859. Here’s a look at the cover of the first edition:

A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition Date: 1859

A Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First edition
Date: 1859

Here is the complete opening:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

We will end this post with the last lines from the book … equally amazing. Oh … How about a picture of Charles Dickens?
Charles-DickensWe grew up listening, part of our lives, the song “Abraham, Martin, and John,” originally recorded by Dion. Here’s one: I remember Dion singing this, his current smash hit, on “The Smothers Brothers” show …

I have spent much time looking for what I thought was the best video presentation of this song. So, we share that with you, in recognition of the great vocal, and especially the photos which accompany the song … This was the best video presentation I found … a live recording of “Abraham, Martin, and John” by, yes … Jon Bon Jovi … yes, that is Jon Bon Jovi … enjoy a great vocal with the memories … the 60’s (both), of May, and the men …

And, now, after watching the video, and remembering, here are the last lines from “A Tale of Two Cities:”
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Blessings,
Ted

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