Learn more about the Sixties Project.Recent additions to the Sixties Project site.Visit the Sixties Project Bookstore.Information about the SIXTIES-L discussion list.Information about the Sixties Generations conference.Explore the resources on the Sixties Project site.Reviews of books from and about the Sixties.Add your own story about the Sixties to our archive!Poetry from and about the Sixties.Our archive of primary documents from the Sixties.Special exhibitions on the Sixties Project site.A full map of the Sixties Project Web Site.Search the Sixties Project Site by keyword.

Sixties Project
Personal Narratives

The following narrative was submitted on 20 September, 1996, by Mary Dodson, who was born in 1953. If you'd like to contribute a narrative, please fill out our form. If your browser doesn't handle forms, just write us an email. For permission to reprint narratives, please contact Viet Nam Generation, Inc.

Long before I was old enough to legally stick my thumb into a south-bound lane of traffic, I was running away. I did this several times between the ages of 14 and 16, although I never got good at it. I didn't run away to have fun or get away from a bad home. Rather, I felt I was a pilgrim of some sort and needed to leave everything behind to find truth. The first time I landed in Juvenile Hall somewhere in central California (the police picked me up walking down the railroad tracks carrying a large suitcase). When my father picked me up, he was put through hell for not calling the police on me. But he never said a word, just took me out for ice cream.

Married at 16, my goal in life was to be a "lady of the canyon," a poetess, a sheperdess or something equally honest. In fact, I once asked a sheep rancher for a job watching after his sheep. His reply: "They pretty much look after themselves."

I am still running, although for the past 20 years I've been running in place. On my 35th birthday, I wrote this poem:

Peanut butter and panties
at thirty-five you'd think there'd be
a couple things
higher on the list.
But just those two would be enough
tied up in a blue and white bandana
on a stick and
thrown like a dare
over my shoulder.

| Previous Narrative | Main Narrative Page | Next Narrative |

This site designed by New Word Order.