Thursday, April 6, 2017

August 1969

It's commonplace to marvel at how toxic American politics are in the second decade of the 21st century. Yet there was at the original Woodstock music festival nearly 48 years ago a performer named Jeffrey Shurtleff who, in introducing a duet he was about to sing with Joan Baez, dedicated a song to then-Gov. Ronald Reagan of California.

The song was "Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man," and the second line was "He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan."

When I first heard this song -- after my brother received the album in 1970 -- I was no fan of Reagan, who was still in his first term as governor. But even then I couldn't see how the man in the song resembled him in any way.

I was eight years old.

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