Forty years ago today, I did my first bit of political work. For a few minutes during the afternoon of Saturday, June 1, 1968, I handed out bumper stickers for the Bobby Kennedy campaign. I was nine years old, and I figured I was a late-bloomer, seeing as how much younger kids had been active, demanding the right to drink out of any water fountain they wanted to use.
They had a campaign table on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard, close to my favorite toy store. I knew one of the young women who was working at the table. She gave me a stack of bumper stickers to pass out. Even today, 40 years later, I still remember the expressions on the faces of adults I reached out a bumper sticker to. Some people looked at me with a type of anger that I hadn’t seen before. Others took a bumper sticker and gave me a friendly pat.
Here’s a picture of me, taken a couple of weeks before my tiny role in the 1968 California Primary. I did it so my cat Tiger Paws and I could live in a freer, less violent world. The smart money was betting on the opposite outcome.