To the editor:
Oh, Mr. Hickam, you are such a pessimist (Public Forum, April 26). You think of the Journal-World’s “revisit(ing) the year of 1970” in Lawrence as merely “to dredge up” our hard times history.
The American philosopher George Santayana is quoted as wisely saying that those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it. You and I may not agree on the sagacity of that phrase. If so, we can simply agree to disagree.
But there’s another reason for valuing the telling of our town’s history. Best guess is that 70 percent or more of our 2010 residents were either not yet born or too young to be aware and/or living somewhere else in 1970.
The “difficult to match” quality of life in Lawrence that Everett Hickam values (as do I) is, I believe, linked more to knowledge (of our past and present) than to ignorance of same.
The Lawrence I experienced in the 1950s and ’60s was radically (conservatively?) different from the community that has evolved since then. Our town made what some call “a paradigm shift.” We took a different direction (however imperfectly) in our approach to human and civil rights.
We’ve a lot more to fear from sweeping knowledge (of past and/or present) under the table and out of sight than getting it into public view where folks like Everett and I can talk (or even argue) about it.