May 4 seems so long ago. May 4 seems like it’s barely passed….
Forty-four years ago, on May 4th 1970, Walter Cronkite interrupted thousands of family dinners to inform us that soldiers in the Ohio State National Guard had opened fire on anti-war protesters on the campus of Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
While hardly the first time time government forces had fired upon unarmed citizens in America, it was the first time such a thing had happened in the era of modern mass media. Along with Watergate, it forever changed the public’s perception of, and trust in, their government.
One of my favorite songwriters, Neil Young penned the protest anthem Ohio, and within days Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young had recorded it and released it across the country. It became a best-seller and the anthem for anti-goverment sentiment.
This is a rather different song from one of my other favorite songwriters, Don Rauf of Life in a Blender, that presents one of his famously quirky fictional characters on a personal errand sometime after the tragic events of May 4, 1970. And it is entitled simply Kent.