Full Transcript: Greg Kowalski on High School During the Vietnam War
Greg: Well first off I was pretty much a loner. I didn’t get involved in a lot of things, I wasn’t very interested in sports so I didn’t participate in that. But, you know, there were dances at the school, there were events at the school. When I was going to high school too there was also, it was a time of great turmoil and it was a time of great change even in the schools. Because we’re talking my high school was from 64 to 68. Alright, that’s the heart of the Vietnam War. And that was a very, very well— and folks today, I’m sorry to say, and I don’t mean to sound like the wise old man, but you can’t really get a concept of what the Vietnam War was really like for us back then. It was a terrible thing. And I can remember to this day, every Friday afternoon the news would come on and they tell you how many Americans were killed that week in Vietnam. And you know we were all getting 16, 17, 18 years old, which is draft age and the draft was in full force back then. And the first draft lottery was, when I was, I think I just got out of high school, and I was #35 on the list of 365, or 366, so you know, that had an impact on the way you thought and the way you did this kind of stuff. And it was more than the Vietnam war too. Great social changes were taking place, the riots were in 1967, we— the culture itself was changing. Our schools were changing. We had all nuns when I was in grade school. In high school w started finally getting lay teachers and we also started, they started giving us younger nuns who I would say were more progressive nuns. The kinds who would address issues like integration. And you know, just different topics that you would never even think of addressing that would have never been addressed ten years earlier in school. So you were being bombarded with a lot of social changes at the time too. A lot of our socializing was right here on Campau. We would be going to the ice cream parlors here, there used to two of them over here, there were a lot of sports between the schools and things like that. So you know a lot of things like that, and other than that we’d go to moves and we had many movie theaters in town and we’d go to theaters outside of Hamtramck too. So there was a variety and it wasn’t that much different than what you would be doing even today really.