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Summer of '69: John Herman

John Herman, 58, of Dix Hills, a vice president in database administration for Citigroup

It was a great summer. I had graduated from North Babylon High School and was starting school that fall at Suffolk Community College.

I had bought my first car, a sexy, 1968 Plymouth Barracuda fastback. And then I had my first serious girlfriend.

I was working part-time at Big Apple supermarket. I arranged it so I could work four hours in the morning . . . then I would shoot over to Robert Moses beach and stay there until like 4:30 p.m., and I'd be back at work at 5 p.m., and I'd work until 9 p.m. I'd do the same thing day after day after day for the entire summer.

There was a sense of community then. I can remember walking from one end of the beach to another and listening to the same radio station, WABC. It's not like today, where everybody is isolated with their own iPods. I remember watching Walter Cronkite and the man land on the moon. I was home, watching it on the black and white television with my folks and my brother. It was hard to believe it was really happening. I had followed it all through the '60s. My father had worked at Grumman, and they used to have the Grumman newspaper, and they would have articles about how they were developing . . . the module. I was always interested in it. To finally see it happen was pretty amazing.

It was in contrast to all the other stuff that was going on by then. The war protests. A lot of people were - I wouldn't say against it, but they weren't really excited about it because they had another agenda. So it was a strange time.

Nineteen sixty-nine and 1970 were the two best summers. It was the most carefree I could be. -

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