Baby Boomers (Born 1940-1964) – Billy Jack

As I’m turning 55 years old this month, I pulled out the Hallmark book that someone gave me when I was turning 50.  The introduction is as follows:

When John F. Kennedy accepted his party’s nomination for President, he spoke of “a New Frontier … of unknown opportunities and perils, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled threats.”  You were born during the tail end of the Baby Boom, and unlike older Boomers, you have few memories of innocent suburban bliss.  The war in Vietnam was already unpopular by the time you knew what it was, “flower power” had given way to drugs and race riots, and your first civics lesson was President Richard Nixon resigning from office.  yet you did share one thing with your generation:  a willingness to embrace change.  Thought the sky seemed dark, you truly were on the edge of a New Frontier …

I remember the moon landing but not the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr.  The movies that defined the era for me were Billy Jack and the Trial of Billy Jack starring Tom Laughlin.  While One Tin Soldier is best known, I can still sing Shed a Tear, a song from Trial, with just a little prompting.  I think this may have been a big factor in my interest in Native American Rights.  The movies’ themes actually caused funding and marketing issues for Tom Laughlin. (He wrote and produced Born Losers, which also starred Billy Jack, in order to get the seed money.)

The other movies that define the era for me are:

The Way We Were (Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand)
Breezy (William Holden and Kay Lenz)
All the President’s Men (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman)