MendoCoastCurrent, April 23, 2011
Recollections on what would have been my sister Allison Krause’s 60th birthday. Instead at 19, Allison was murdered by the United States government at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 as she protested the Vietnam war & the military occupation of her campus.
Allison had just graduated from JFK High in Maryland the summer of 1969. It was Woodstock Summer http://youtu.be/Vv98-4eOJbU where everywhere in the US, especially in DC, was exploding with political discontent, an escalating war in Vietnam & the feminist movement was finding its voice.
Hope for peace was abound, as well as concern for taking care of mother earth. Probably the innocence of youth yet so many young people were coming together in wishing to create a better world. Allison Krause, my sister, was actively taking part.
Allison’s decision to go to college at Kent State University in the coming Fall was made quite young. Allison & I were born in Cleveland & raised in our early years in Cleveland Heights. As a family on Sundays, we often took drives out in the country.
As far back as I can remember Allison knew she was going to go Kent State University when she went to college. Eating at the Robin Hood restaurant, remembering this warm family memory with Allison loving the pretty campus of Kent State, especially in the spring with the lilacs.
So when Allison made her decision to go to college, Kent State University in Ohio was her only choice & application.
That Summer of ’69 our folks were gone many weekends ~ traveling, finding & buying our new home in Pittsburgh for a move by Fall as my father was transferred to Westinghouse Electric HQ.
It was bittersweet for Allison as she was leaving a closely-knit circle of friends & her Maryland home, yet that Summer I remember weekend parties at our house. In 1969 Allison was 18, I was 14 & I smile ~ the ‘times they were a’changin’ & we were a’groovin’.
Unhappily, our parents forbade Allison from going to Woodstock. I still feel sad about that, thought she would have enjoyed being with her people, that beautiful, pinnacle of a moment in time. For Allison: Jimi Hendrix ~ Angel http://bit.ly/t6on7h
The Fall of 1969, Allison went to college & studied as a freshman at Kent State University. The Krause family had moved to Pittsburgh, PA & I was in junior high back in the ‘burg. This was our second time in Pittsburgh for my dad’s job at Westinghouse.
Remembrance of the Fall into Winter of 1969 is mostly a blur. Can recall that Allison had met the love of her life quickly into being at college, that she had a large circle of friends, was thriving & learning. Allison traveled to Washington DC for a huge anti-war protest that Fall ~ http://youtu.be/AoeWqtjCJ_I She was also making plans to transfer to another college.
In the early Winter, Allison moved from a quad to a single dorm room closer in to the center of campus. She was into her art studies, her relationships & adopted a kitten, naming it Yossarian after the Catch-22 character, more here ~ http://bit.ly/fTEN36
Spring 1970 was also the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, my first Earth Day activities included going to an Earth Day event in Pittsburgh at Flagstaff Hill. More on Earth Day ~ http://bit.ly/gvbApV
Allison went to an even better venue for her Earth Day celebration in that it included Buckminster Fuller visiting the Kent State University campus in an expo, erecting his own geodesic dome on the commons. On Buckminster Fuller ~ http://bit.ly/fZRvIB
And Springtime meant birthday time ~ April 23, 1970 was Allison’s 19th birthday so I went to visit my big sis away at college, my first weekend adventure on my own, meaning without the folks in charge. Taking the train from Pittsburgh to Kent in just under three hours, Allison met me at the train tracks.
What a treasure that we were able to hang together on our own as sisters. We went to see the new movie ‘Woodstock’ together that weekend as my sister showed me her college world & introduced me to her friends.
My folks picked me up to go home that Sunday. Looking back now, realizing for the first time how blessed our family was to visit together that weekend.
Less than ten days later, on May 4, 1970 Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandy Scheurer & William Schroeder were killed by U.S. military gunfire. As Allison died, she was protesting the Vietnam war & the military occupation of her college campus by the U.S. government.
Sharing Allison as her family knew her, video by Walter T. Wynn, ‘Dear Allison’
Another video also by Walter T. Wynn in memory of Allison Krause who said, “What’s the matter with PEACE? Flowers are Better than Bullets” the day before her death by gunfire ~ http://bit.ly/fdGT6Z