December 1, 2012 – Stories from the 60s

by carl on December 3, 2012

Party to distil the essence of the 60s

By Carl Stieren

[The blog, “On This Day It Happened in the 60s” will resume on Monday, Dec. 3]

On Dec. 1, 2012, seventeen people came to our house to join Isabelle and me in playing my new game It Happened in The 60s and to tell their own 60s stories.

The meeting mirrored somewhat the method used by the Old Sod Song Circle in Ottawa, where each person takes a turn, introduces herself, and is allowed to pass if they don’t have something for that particular round.

The stories were enough for a book. Actually, some of them will be part of a book I am editing in 2013. One person told of getting a guitar lesson from Doc Watson. Another friend, who was a junior in Canada’s External Affairs Department in the 1960s, told of meeting Che Guevara in an elevator in the UN. Still another explained how he got A. J. Muste, the most prominent peace activist in the United States in the early 1960s, to sign as a witness for his draft registration in Nyack, New York.

 One woman told of her English professor in Toronto inviting “a couple of his pals” to speak to the class she was taking. The “pals” were Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen. Still another told of hearing Tommy Douglas, the pioneer of public health care when he was premier of Saskatchewan, speak at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens during the Pearson minority government. His party demanded and got public health care nationwide as the price for supporting Pearson’s government.

The gathering was also a chance for me to report on the game. Since the launch on Nov. 3 at HUB Ottawa, I have done the following:

  1. Created an Indiegogo crowdfunding site (www.indiegogo.com/projects/265269 )
  2. Created a Twitter address and site (@Carl_IHG which stands for Carl at It Happened Games)
  3. Created a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ItHappenedInThe60s )
  4. Created a website ( www.ithappenedinthe60scom )
  5. Created a blog with the series “On This Day in the 60s”( www.ithappenedinthe60s.com/news/ )
  6. Play-tested the game in Truro, Massachusetts
  7. Reached 9 per cent of my goal (deadline: Dec. 24, 2012 – target: $15,000)

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