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Wednesday

Gerald Ford, who was President for something like 5 minutes when I was 10 years old, might just be responsible for my first ever political memory. To put some context on my general state of awareness at the time, I remember watching the moon landing on TV. I think it was the first one, but I can't be sure - I knew it was important for some reason, but really didn't know why. Most of the news for the next several years is a blur to me now, "remembered" only from subsequent reading and TV coverage.

I have only three memories related to the war: Some guy giving me the peace sign from a car in traffic, and my getting very upset because I thought he was calling me a two-year-old; my Mom telling me that the people coming back from the war had never seen the then very new John Hancock building - to me, the idea of a building ever not being there was unthinkable, and so they must have just always been away at the war; and at some point asking my parents why people had to fight wars and being told that it was because some people were trying to tell other people what kind of clothes they could wear and what they could eat.

When Nixon resigned, I was eight, and don't have any recollection of being aware of it as it happened, at least not so far as recognizing it as important. (I've come full circle now, eh?) So the first thing I do remember as a specifically political thing was Ford's "Whip Inflation Now" program, which came complete with buttons emblazoned with only the acronym "W.I.N". The thing I remember is that word got around that you could turn the button upside down and make the acronym "N.I.M.", which stood for "No Immediate Miracles".

I thought that was very clever at the time, though I'm not sure I could have told you what inflation was, why it needed to be whipped, or why doing it immediately wouldn't work.

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