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INTERVIEW WITH MR. PHILIP JONES ABOUT THE DECADE OF 1960
Interview with Mr. Phillip Jones about the decade of 1960
From the assassination of President Kennedy to the collapse of the Berlin wall, the 60s will forever remain a crucial period for the world and US history. The age of Internet, as we became used to referring to nowadays, could not have been a reality without the invention of the internet in the 60s. This was quite a remarkable decade and today we have a guest who is 68 years old and happened to be a teenager in this decade to take us for a walk down the memory lane of the sixties.
Interviewer: (Extending his hand to reach for Greetings) Good Morning Sir? Please introduce yourself to our Listeners by telling us your full name and your occupation, please?
Respondent: Good Morning to you too. I am Mr. Phillip Jones and I am a retired elementary Mathematics teacher.
Interviewer: (Chuckling) Mr. Jones would you kindly tell us how old were you when the first presidential debate was aired?
Mr. Jones: (covering his head) (shooting point blank, huh?) Who would forget one of the best debates pitting Mr. Nixon and Mr. Kennedy? Their energy and charisma had the whole of America watching that night. I must have been 11 then, but the hullaballoo about the debate created by the media made me watch it together with my parents.
Interviewer: Wow! You must have been too young to understand politics. Where did you live with your parents back then?
Mr. Jones: My parents were teachers and often we moved around due to transfers but I remember most of my time in the sixties was spent between Maryland and Massachusetts. The publicity created by the media back then made everyone listen in that night and I am proud to have been among the 10,000,000 viewers of that debate. I am still a big fan of politics to date.
Interviewer: Politics are quite an interesting topic. (Smiling) I am tempted to ask you about the recently conducted elections but today we are here to learn about a whole other decade. Please, tell us what strikes you as the most important or significant events, trends, or ideas of the 60s?
Mr. Jones: please don’t open that Pandora’s Box here because the list is endless. How would one discount events such as the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the mass protests against it, the Apollo Moon landing, the assassination of our then beloved president Kennedy and a civil rights activist Martin Luther King, the invention of the modern-day internet, and the hippies’ cultural movement.
Interviewer: (sipping his coffee) Today world is about what designer the celebrities are wearing and what car one is driving. Please tell us, was that the case in the sixties?
Mr. Jones: Fashion in the sixties underwent a series of changes that inform the dressing stylet today. Mini-dresses came into the limelight back then with iconic British designer Mary Quant being the brains behind them, and the pillbox hat fronted by Jackie Kennedy. The hippie movement came much later but it also cannot be discounted for the impact it has made on the modern-day fashion.
Interviewer: (puzzled) You still have not told me what was it like to live back then in terms of food, movies, entertainment, and fashion styles for both men and women?
Mr. Jones: I would say the emergence of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) revolutionized the fast-food culture: the already hamburger-dominant market was changed by the introduction of chicken wings as well as nachos and tacos. These food innovations lead to taco-craze that gave birth to one of the biggest world food franchises - Taco Bell. Broadcast TV was the only entertainment since the cable TV was not developed yet. Most of our time was spent engaging in outside sports, such as baseball and kickball, or building tree-houses. Pop music was the most popular genre back then and it had only two branches: psychedelic and soul music.
Interviewer: I have heard that the 1980s decade was described as the ‘Me decade’ or the ‘Yuppie decade’. Please describe for us the decade of the 1960s.
Mr. Jones: Marred by violent protests across the country against the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights makes this decade one of the most turbulent times in the 20th century. The fear of a nuclear war sparked after the cold-war crisis and the assassination of Martin Luther King and President Kennedy.
Interviewer: And what were the things that you enjoyed back then and have waned over time?
Mr. Jones: I remember when we were young we were free-range children, we would leave the door on a Saturday morning and would not be back until dusk for dinner. Today children spend their time alone in the house on weekends playing video games or on the Internet. I could say we didn’t survive but we thrived and today’s generation only seems to be surviving.
Interviewer: Last but not least, please let us know what your thoughts are upon the Women Liberation movement and their role in the workplace.
Mr. Jones: I am a firm believer of equal rights and equal pay for the same work. Women should be respected as much as their male counterparts in the workplaces since they are the greatest pillar of our society. I cannot imagine a society without a mother.
Interviewer: Interesting! Finally? Would it be correct to name the sixties a melting-pot of United States modern culture?
Mr. Jones: That would be correct based on the events that happened then and their impact on the culture of the 21st century. These events will continue to shape the world’s culture not only in our generation but in many other generations to come.
Interviewer: (extending the hand for a handshake) Thank you so much Mr. Jones for honoring our invitation and appearing on our podcast.
Mr. Jones: (Smiling) I am honored to be of assistance to you.
A conversation of two or more individuals can provide a lot of knowledge and understanding about their nature, values and belief systems. The interview I conducted with Mr. Phillip Jones was quite eclectic and taught me much about the American culture. The interaction was an eye-opener on where we have come from and where the society is headed due to its heterogeneity. The interview was a success since it was educative as well as thrilling. The following paper is a response to the interview, and it will answer the following questions:
- What surprised me most about Mr. Jones’ answers?
- How does Mr. Jones’s Childhood differ from mine?
- Did Mr. Jones have difficulty answering any of the questions I posed him? If yes, which and why?
- What last impression stayed with me after I interviewed him?
What surprised me the most about Mr. Jones’ answers, was the eloquence and understanding demonstrated by the elderly man. It’s quite surprising that despite his age, he still has a vivid recollection of the events that occurred during the days of his childhood. As he gave the responses his eyes lit reminiscing the passion and energy of youth. His prowess in describing some of the events made me feel like I was experiencing the events first hand. It was quite a breathtaking interview.
Mr. Jones’ childhood seemed very different from mine. He spent his childhood engaging in spontaneous adventures which according to his stories were breathtaking. He told me of how he had gone wild turkey hunting with his grandfather when he was 10 and how he ended up with bruises all over the body after one of the turkeys attacked him. He still bears scars on his left hand but he says he learned one of the most important life lessons that day. As much as I can remember from my childhood, I went to a lot of summer camps but I did not enjoy these experiences since they were all so predictable and the routine never changed year after year and played a lot of video games with my friends. Judging from the few stories I heard from Mr. Jones about his early years, he had a more fulfilling childhood than I did.
Mr. Jones had no trouble answering questions I posed him judging from the responses he provided. It was evident he was quite knowledgeable in all the areas of the 60s culture. He even explained to me how people dressed with great precision and accuracy. The conversation would have lasted the whole day was it not time constraint. Mr. Jones is quite an interesting man to be around.
The lasting impression that has stayed with me since then is amazement by the diversity of knowledge possessed by Mr. Jones on important issues in the society such as politics and religion. He is a staunch Christian, like most people of his age and background are; he also went ahead to tell me that despite him being an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party he voted for the Republicans in the recent elections. His decision was premised on the fact that he was pro-life and not pro-choice person and that is why the Republican campaign agreed with him more. Mr. Phillip Jones’ charisma and humorous nature were evident during the interview and I would confidently say that they did not affect the reliability of his responses. Mr. Jones spoke from the bottom of his heart and it was lovely to see such passion and sincerity.