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...Just a Minute...

by Jacqueline Sewall Golden

Edition 7

     I do wish theyd stop shooting all my heroes down in flames, especially when theyre not here to defend themselves.  I was alarmed when potshots were taken at Kennedy, bringing him down from a savior of our nation to a pampered and oversexed playboy, using the White House as a personal brothel.  Then over the years Jefferson was diminished somewhat by bringing forth proof that he had sired children with one of his slaves, and on and on.  I already had known Grant was a raving drunk; I have his sword in my living room.  It had been given in the heat of battle to my fallen grandfather by the General himself.  At least thats the story I grew up with.

     But now, yet again comes someone who cant defend herself:  Margaret Mead,  who died in 1978.  I clearly remember reading her early on in college, if only because my friends whispered there were some pretty sexy goings-on in it and at that age I rushed after any information I could get on sex.  But now, some sixty years later, scholars have named her observations on the transition from childhood to adulthood in the Samoan culture as laid out in her Coming of Age in Samoa as the worst nonfiction book of the past 100 years.

     Ah, heck. If her writings held any value at all to a budding 19 year old, it was the fact that someone was saying there were boys and girls somewhere in the world free from the hang-ups of their Western counterparts and, besides that,  sexual promiscuity was common.  I wasnt going to use her 'facts' as an excuse to party.  It just freed my mind a little of the guilt from what I was feeling making it more natural as clearly it was.  Sex education in the 50s was a joke as we all now know.  The poor teachers were clearly out of their depth and totally embarrassed imparting what little prurient knowledge they had.  My class was taught at first by two unmarried ladies, rather like priests giving premarital classes.  Kinda ran the gamut on that one, didnt they.

     But I guess I came out all right, or at least I think I did.  No ones complained yet.

 

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