Take a look at the “1968” exhibit on Washington state

We were late getting to the Pacific NW magazine in The Seattle Times on August 30, 2018, but delighted when we found that Bob Young had made a reappearance after leaving the paper eight months ago. Along with his article on Ralph Munro was a notice about the “1968” exhibit that was opening in the Washington State Secretary of State’s office on September 13. It meant giving up a Thursday betting horses at the Club Hollywood, but we decided to head down to Olympia. Hey, we’re retired.

Why would there be so much traffic at 1:45 on a Thursday afternoon? Why is there traffic all day and all night in Seattle, Tacoma, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Lacey and every bit of highway between Shoreline and Olympia?

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Tom Robbins at the 1968 opening ceremony.

So we were late, and missed Gov. Dan Evans’ and Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s speeches. Got a late seat to hear Larry Gossett, now a King County council member and a founder of the Black Student Union back in 1968, and Tom Robbins, author and a wordsmith still.

At the end of the exhibit’s entry on Robbins, his speech at the opening ceremony is attached with his thoughts on psychedelic drugs, their role in opening the 1960s to expanded ways of imagining and their usurpation by mind-closing drugs and the “boogie culture.” But he ends on a promising note:

“Just because 2018 isn’t strobe-flashing with promise like 1968 doesn’t mean we can’t expand our vision, deepen our consciousness, damp down our egos, bless the dice, and cheerfully get on with the game.”

The website is a great read on 13 entries about people whose stories make up a whole about what Washington state was in 1968 – and what it has become today. Education, war, civil rights, politics, music and lots more. Lots of history, lots of good reading.

And Bob Young seems to love his job.

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Bob Young on the left, John C. Hughes on the right and the rest of the “1968” team.