May 1972 Marquette University

N. 17th St.between Wisconsin and Clybourn 
blue workshirt bluejeans sandals beard Heidegger in the grass

 photo by Tom Ponce

N. 17th St. between Wisconsin and Clybourn

blue workshirt bluejeans sandals beard 

Heidegger in the grass

 These young men with their beards and ideas were frightening to see. Dad said, "You look like an old man." I didn't, but he was right anyway. My youth had been subverted by the spirit of the age. There was a world to save. We were at war. Dad said, "Don't be so serious; why don't you smile?"

I was happening. I was not a hippie. Not even when I wore the workshirt that Nettie Cullen had embroidered down the front with flowers. Hippies were over, took way too many drugs, didn't take the world seriously. I was not a hippie. I had a high moral purpose.

If you know Milwaukee winters, you know that when the sun appears in late May no one stays inside.

I was not posing, was not even conscious of Tom's camera. I was seriously trying to understand this German philosopher for my course on existentialism., and not succeeding. I heard the shutter snap and looked up. When he left I rolled over and let the tepid Wisconsin sun batter me into a nap. I might have finished the book, but I never understood it. Got a C in Existentialism.