[Touchstone, Summer 1994]
When I joined the college newspaper as a shy freshman many years ago, the editor gave me my first assignment: “Find out what’s all this stuff about women’s lib.” I was baffled as to how to do that; reports of feminism (which was then usually called “women’s lib”) were just beginning to titillate the public, just beginning to show up in Johnny Carson jokes about “bra-burners.” Was it possible to dig up any local “libbers”? My editor had a suggestion: go to the Student Union and have them announce over the loudspeaker, “Anyone representing the women’s liberation movement, please come to the information desk.”
Entries in Marriage and Family (54)
[Touchstone, Summer 1994]
[World, January 22, 1994]
As Christians today push for the renewal of moral values in our nation, they have a tendency to idealize the Fifties. Wouldn't it be great if families were like the Ozzie-and-Harriet households prevalent then? Strong two-parent families, where the dads worked and the moms stayed home with the kids. Where kids were cherished and not hurried through childhood. Where "family values" were celebrated by schools, the media, and entertainment. If only things were like that again...
...we could raise a new generation of Americans who would take drugs, burn flags, have indiscriminate sex, champion abortion, mock the faith, and complain continuously about what a lousy deal we handed them.
[World, October 23, 1993]
I arrived a little early to pick up my 11-year-old son at church camp. It was dinnertime in the long wooden hall, 263 kids noisily banging the cups and wolfing down cherry cobbler. Suddenly a table of boys burst into incoherent song--the words a blur, but the tone tauntingly playful. It was greeted with a mixture of applause and boos. "That's Cabin 44," Stephen grinned. "Every night they have a battle with Cabin 5. They make up rhymes about each other."
When a few minutes had lapsed another song struck up, this one all in girls' voices. "That's Cabin 5," Stephen told me. When they finished, I joined the yays (Go, team!) while Stephen went "Boo!" "I had to go 'boo,'" he explained to me, sincerely. "I knew they were making fun of men. I knew it was a sexist joke."
[Unpublished; written Summer 1986]
My grandfather lived to be ninety-four, and in many ways he was like a birch tree: small but springy and bright, with light filling his blue eyes. For over 60 years he signed his name George Frederick Oetjen, M.D. and (although he told his daughters that “M.D.” really stood for “My Daddy”) being a doctor was the joy of his life.