This is my friend John. The time was 1969. The place Berkeley, California. People were protesting in the streets and the Oakland police (we called them the Blue Meanies) were brutal. John showed up in this medic’s uniform of his own design sporting a WWII helmet, bag, and lab coat, and marched with the protesters in support and to offer aid when necessary. He put his own safety on the line to help others. All the people in my circle were like that – idealistic, courageous, and kind.
I drew this from a 35mm slide I took at the time outside my apartment building on Piedmont Avenue. 1969 was the year my draft status changed from student deferred to 1-A and it was the first year of the draft lottery. The Vietnam War was in full swing. My fate and those of my generation were determined not by the decisions of reasonable men, but by chance. I was lucky, but others I knew were not.
Stillman & Birn Zeta series 5.5. X 8 spiral bound notebook, Uni Pin 02 pen, Platinum brush pen, Inktense red watercolor pencil, Kuretake Petit waterbrush, and Lucas lamp black watercolor.