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.