Posted by: ktzefr | May 28, 2013

Recycling the 60s

I loved fringes!

This Mexican bag was one of my favorites.  Red suede and fringes almost to my feet.  It could hold everything I needed to lug around and still have space for more. 



I haven’t bought fur in decades, but I once owned a rabbit coat made of many pelts.  It was the style in those days and the warmest thing I ever wore.  The coat was still hanging around in my closet in the early 90s and our young son dragged it out one day and took it to his hideout.  He named it Puffy.  When it came time for a portrait he was happy to pose atop the coat of many pelts. 



Books.  I’m a pack rat.  I still have books from college.  To re-read is to recycle — memories, stories, thoughts.  In my old college literature book there are dogeared pages, torn slips of paper for bookmarks, comments and notes to friends in the margins…

“Hi Rita” and “Hi Sheila” and “Hi Bren” — written vertically on various pages of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Robert Southey’s “The Old Man’s Comforts and how he gained them” and John Crowe Ransom’s “Blue Girls” — “Twirling your blue skirts, traveling the sward/Under the towers of your seminary,/Go listen to your teachers old and contrary/Without believing a word.”  🙂

In the margin of Frost’s poem, “Departmental,” I wrote this:  “Frost isn’t really writing about the ants; he is writing about people!”  Did I think I was the only person in the world who understood this poem?

When I’m flipping through old books I’m always drawn to my underlines.  This line, spoken by Algernon in”The Importance of Being Earnest,” was underlined in red ink:  “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”  Did I derive some larger understanding of life from these words or did they merely assuage some sadness?  I don’t recall.

And there are the novels…so many are worthy of being re-read.  For the sake of diversity in style and setting and story, here is a short list from the 60s:

Facial Justice by L.P. Hartley

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

The Heartland by Wilson Harris

A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe

The Late Bourgeois World by Nadine Gordimer

The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy

The Vendor of Sweets by R.K. Narayan

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles


What have you recycled?  What did you read during your college days that is worth re-reading?









  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Two books that defined my approach to government and society. They certainly defined me in the late 60s! There are so many others worthy of being reread — we are not the same person now as we were over 40 years ago, and we would approach virtually all books from a different perspective.

    • You are so right, Kathy. I didn’t always enjoy required reading and didn’t expect to, but it’s interesting how you can re-read a difficult book because you want to and have an entirely different understanding of it second time around and with a few more years experience in life.

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