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Writing Historical Fiction - Essay Example

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Historical Fiction
When I reflect on my future I oftentimes think about the necessity of attending college, getting a job, and joining the modern workforce…
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Writing Historical Fiction
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Writing Historical Fiction

Download file to see previous pages... For a time I had decided after high school I wanted to pursue something different rather than simply entering college. I had no idea what I would do – get a job, study in a Buddhist monastery, join a commune – whatever it was it would ensure that my life was unique. One night I expressed this desire to my father, Daniel. Rather than rejecting my idea as I had expected he would, he empathized with me and told me that when he turned eighteen he had similar feelings. Rather than pursuing anything similar to what I had proposed, however, he went on a summer long excursion throughout the western United States. My father was born and grew up in Montana. Growing up in a large family he never really had the opportunity to travel throughout the country. After high school, before deciding on his next course of action, he and two of his friends piled into a Cadillac and started towards the western part of United States with nothing but a map and backpack of clothes. “We didn’t really have a plan” he told me. “Really, all we knew is that we wanted to see California and take it from there.” They passed through Idaho and Oregon, heading straight for San Francisco. It was 1972 when my father and his friends drove over the Golden Gate Bridge into the city. Throughout the late 1960s San Francisco had become the center of hippie culture. Protests regularly occurred there, bands and artists frequented the area, and songs were even written about the city. While San Francisco had experienced this great idealism in the 1960s, the early 1970s were a time of growing cynicism. “We pulled into the city with a great sense of naivete, believing there would be young people with flowers and guitars all over the streets. In reality we were a few years late” he told me. They made it throughout many of the characteristic spots, “We went to Haight-Ashbury, saw Alcatraz, and rode the cable cars.” I had heard of San Francisco as the epicenter of 1960s culture, so I was very curious as to what had happened to the area’s optimism. “The month we pulled into the city was the same month men had been arrested for the Watergate scandal. A few years before Charles Manson had been arrested for leading the Tate-Labianca killings. It seemed like the collective culture of the area had grown tired of itself.” They explored throughout the city nonetheless. While San Francisco was the heart of the 1960s counter-culture movement, the city also has an illustrious history dating back to the 19th century gold rush. “What I remember the most is walking along the peer where the fishermen brought in their daily catch. Stands had been setup where you could buy fresh fish and chips. We sat along that peer each night looking out at Alcatraz.” After a couple days in the city they decided to explore the surrounding area. They ventured up a hill that overlooked the city. “The hill had actually been an old Northern Civil War army base” he told me. It really surprised me to discover that preparations for the Civil War had extended as far west as San Francisco. While the area was a designated no camping zone, they were traveling on a budget; they waited until night time and set up sleeping bags out of site of possible passersby. “We walked out to the top of the hill before right before the sunset and looked out across the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of San Francisco. I thought about all the people that had looked along here before and all the development the city had gone through. It was truly an American relic” he told me. He would go to sleep that night, but be woken up by cats clawing at his face. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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