Recalling the 1960s: a decade of startling, sometimes unwanted, social change.

CELEBRATION – To Sonny Buoncervello, the 1960s were the beginning of a dramatic amount of mobility that ended up separating families.
To Peg Dunmire, the 1960s represented the start of a huge government push to combat poverty that not only failed, but left the country with programs that this nation can no longer afford today.
Buoncervello, a Realtor in Celebration, and Dunmire, a business owner who lives in Hunter’s Creek, were both born in the 1940s and came of age during that critical decade. And they both believe that the impact of the 1960s is still being felt today – and not necessarily in positive ways.
As the Freeline Media Hour gears up to review this decade on Thursday, May 5 at 3 p.m., Buoncervello and Dunmire agreed this is a fascinating topic, with a lot of ground to cover.
Buoncervello recalled the 1950s being a very conservative decade – and one that was very family-oriented.
“I guess what I remember is what an old fashioned country we were in the 1950s, and during the 1960s, how we changed our habits tremendously,” Buoncervello said. “When you were growing up in the 1950s, you didn’t want to be disrespectful to your family, you didn’t want to do anything wrong in front of your family.
“But there were some people in your neighborhood who were stricter than your family — and you respected that,” he added. “You couldn’t go out of your house and be disrespectful to your neighbors. The parents of those children would thank you, saying ‘Gee I’m sorry I wasn’t home, but I thank you for stepping in and punishing Charlie.’ “
That kind of respect for the family and the values of the neighborhood started to change in the 1960s, he said.
“The beginning of the change started in the 1960s, and by the time we got to the 1980s, we heard ‘Don’t you talk to my child, you don’t have any right to talk to my kids.’ Wow, what a terrible transition. What I described in the 1950s was wholesome and represented the family.”
Bythe 1960s, people had become more mobile, and the family unit wasn’t nearly as close-knit, he added.
“It was the beginning of things dissolving in families,” he said. “In every home town, you had your immediate family, and your extended family, and in the 1960s, everybody started to travel extensively and start moving away from home. It was the deterioration of the family as people got separated and segmented all over the United State. There was no family structure, so the conservativeness from dress to speech was gone.”
Dunmire also recalls a lot of social and cultural upheaval in the 1960s – a decade she remembers quite well.
“I am from the 1960s,” she said. “That was my youth. There are lots and lots of things that happened. One of the things we deal with today is the effect of the Great Society and President Johnson’s leadership and guiding our country into believing that government is the solution.”
Following his landslide re-election campaign in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson promised this nation a Great Society that tackled poverty through programs like federal aid to cities, and the Medicare program covering health care costs for seniors, and the Medicaid program providing health care assistance to the poor.
However well intentioned these programs were, Dunmire said, they failed to eradicate poverty as intended, and today have left the nation with bloated entitlement programs that are moving the nation closer and closer to bankrupcty.
“Passing Medicare and Medicaid was the worst piece of legislation in our history, because it has totally distorted the costs, and now we have these costs rising and it has led to ObamaCare,” Dunmire said, a reference to the national health care program passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year.
In the 1960s, Dunmire said, the nation never envisioned that the expense of operating these programs would rise to the alarming level seen today.
“We were a very wealthy county, we were a very optimistic county, and we believed we could solve poverty in this country,” she said. “And it has not resolved poverty and it has caused enormous problems. Now there are many, many people who believe Medicare and Medicaid have been tremendously beneficial, and I would not take away the medical benefits people got from it. But the mechanism for having a centralized government be able to address or take away poverty, we can say without exception, this is a failure. We still have poverty today. So big government is not the solution to poverty.”
On the other hand, Dunmire said one of the greatest legacies of the 1960s was the civil rights movement, which ended racial segregation.
“The civil rights movement was very much front and center in the 1960s,” she said. “I as a white person think we did a pretty remarkable job having integrated blacks, Hispanics, Vietnamese and all other minorities into our society, and we have a robust black middle class today that we didn’t have in the 1960s. That is a huge change.”
Dunmire also remembers the innocence of the 1950s fading as the 1960s brought about huge social changes, starting with the controversial war in Vietnam which deeply divided the nation, often along generational lines.
“I am of that era of being very suspect of the military and the government, and I think that has had an enormous impact on the psyche of our nation,” she said. “Those were years of protest and trying to make a difference in the country, and thinking we really could solve the problems in the world. Many of the problems we have today are directly attributable to the 1960s.”
Mike Freeman and Dexter Miller, co-hosts of The Freeline Media Hour, will look back at the 1960s from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday.

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Freeline Media Hour moves to new time slot on the Phoenix Network.

Sean Heaney, Dexter Miller and Mike Freeman will host the Freeline Media Hour at 3 p.m. starting May 3.

ORLANDO – The Freeline Media Hour, a locally produced news and information show heard exclusively on The Phoenix Network (www.PhoenixNetwork.US) since January, will be making some significant changes in the next few weeks.
The hour-long talk show is currently heard on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m., in the Phoenix Network studio located in historic Hovey Court overlooking Lake Lucerne — just a stones throw from downtown Orlando.
On Tuesday, May 3, the program will shift to a new drive time slot from 3-4 p.m.
The Freeline Media Hour is hosted by Mike Freeman, the editor and publisher of the Freeline Media online news magazine. Freeman will continue to be joined daily by his co-host, Dexter Miller, and on Wednesdays by their special guest host, prominent Orlando businessman Sean Heaney.
Under the new format, Freeman and Miller will devote the Tuesday afternoon shows to local events, with guests from throughout Central Florida joining them in the studio to discuss a wide variety of topics — business, politics, theater, entertainment, sports, real estate, tourism and more. The Freeline Media Hour has your community covered.
The Wednesday afternoon show will focus on national issues, and Thursdays will be a “open mike.”
“The Freeline Media Hour has grown dramatically in listenership since January, and we’re looking to reach a wider national audience through this scheduling change,” Freeman said. “Part of the reason Dexter, Sean and I are so excited about this change is because of the phenomenal growth that both theFreeline Media Hour and Phoenix Network have experienced in four short months.”
“Hang on, it’s going to be an exciting ride,” Miller said. “We’re moving from 3-4 for many reasons, none the least of which is an ever expanding market in the Midwest and the West Coast.”
The Phoenix Network is host to a growing roster of programs, including The Guetzloe Report and The Lady Liberty Hour, both of which insure that the fledgling network builds up nationwide recognition. In a state that remains one of the strongest in the nation for tourism, is a pivotal swing state politically, and has an amazing international flavor, it’s clear that the Orlando Metropolitan area is at the center of it all, and is an ideal location for Phoenix.
“A fast-growing number of people are listening in to find out not only what’s happening locally in our tourism industry, our real estate market and our business world,” Freeman said, “but also to find out who Sean, Dexter and I have lined up to share their thoughts on global issues.”
Until May 3, the Freeline Media Hour will continue to be broadcast from 10-11 a.m., and will be replayed at 3 p.m. The final segment in this time slot will be Thursday, April 28, the date of the Phoenix Network Open House. The studio is at 545 Delaney Avenue in the Phoenix Building at Hovey Court.
That event kicks off at 5:30 p.m., and affords an opportunity for area businesses and residents to check out the studio, enjoy food and drink, and get to meet the players behind the radio programs and the talent working behind the scenes for both the Freeline Media online magazine and Phoenix Network news site. Those websites can be accessed by logging on to and www.PhoenixNetwork.US.
The Freeline Media Hour will also have a special broadcast on Tuesday, April 26 program to review the history of Freeline Media and the growth of the Phoenix network, in anticipation of the Open House.

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The Freeline Media Hour looks back at a decade that proved to be a turning point in American history.

Entire books have been devoted to this single year, 1968, which many observers think changed the world.

ORLANDO — Why the 1960s?
And why look back at that decade today?
Dexter Miller remembers the decade well. He graduated in the class of 1964 from his high school in Maryland, and immediately joined the Navy.
“I enlisted,” said Miller, who runs Revenue Management Systems Inc. in downtown Orlando.
“I did not worry about the draft, would not have worried about the draft,” he added. “I was not ready for college, so I went in the Navy.”
That was in August of 1964. Within a year, he was in South Vietnam, an early part of a war that eventually tore this nation apart — and in many ways permanently changed the way Americans look at their government, their cultural values, and their society.
“I got to Vietnam in October of 1965,” Miller said. “We were way early of the deployment over there. We were one of the first groupings.”
Miller, the co-host of The Freeline Media Hour on the Phoenix Network, will have a lot to say about how the 1960s proved to be one of the most pivotal and influential — in both positive and negative ways — decades in our nation’s history. On Thursday, May 5, The Freeline Media Hour with Miller, host Mike Freeman and special co-host Sean Heaney will look back at the 1960s, and why that decade still resonates today — politically, culturally, and in a host of other ways.
“It was the evolution of the revolution,” said Doug Guetzloe, president of the Phoenix Network and host of The Guetzloe Hour. “The 1960s was a catalyst decade. Young people for the first time got involved in the political process. But they also got involved in drugs as well.”
The 1960s actually started out as a decade when people felt optimistic about their future. The nation had elected the youthful senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, to be America’s first Catholic president, shattering an old religious barrier, and people still believed in the government as a tool to improve their daily lives.
“The thing about the 60s,” Miller said, “is it started with us listening to American rock ‘n roll, and then came the British invasion with the Beatles,” he said. “Things started to change, it seems to me, with the assassination of President Kennedy.”
But even after Kennedy’s tragic death in November 1963, the nation still seemed to believe in its government. Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, ran for re-election in 1964 promising Americans a “Great Society,” with an expanded social safety net that attacked poverty in America. Johnson won a landslide election over Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, a conserative who called for reducing government spending and turning more powers over to the states — the precursor of many in today’s Tea Party movement.
“We went from the assassination of Kennedy to the Great Society, which is bankrupting this county even today,” Guetzloe said.
Miller said another turning point was when President Johnson urged Congress to authorize military action in Vietnam following the Gulf of Tonkin incident between North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. That happened on Aug. 2, 1964, when the destroyer USS Maddox was engaged by three North Nietnamese Navy torpedo boats, resulting in a sea battle. One U.S. aircraft was damaged, prompting President Johnson to call on Congress to authorize the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving his administration authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be threatened by “communist aggression.”
It was the start of the decade-long Vietnam war.
What was truly different about this war, Miller said, was television. In-between wholesome television programs like “Gunsmoke” and “Bewitched” were news reports from Vietnam — bringing the violence and choas of that war home in stark reality.
“Television brought our involvement in the Vietnam War right into our homes on a daily basis,” he said. It also led to a growing skepticism that what was happening in Vietnam was as rosy and optimistic as the Johnson administration claimed.
“The class of ’64 in my high school, it just seems to me 1964 changed everything,” Miller said. “Even people who graduated in 1965 had a different outlook.”
The optimism of 1964 led to a growing sense of pessimism in the next few years. Miller came home to Maryland in November of 1967. Today, he still recalls 1968 as one of the most tumulous, unsettling and traumatic years in American history.
The Tet Offensive, launched on Jan. 31, 1968, may have become the moment when Americans started to lose faith in what their political leaders were telling them about how the war was progressing. Johnson was challenged in the Democratic primaries by Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy — and ended up dropping out of the race altogether. Martin Luther King Jr. and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy were both assassinated. The Democratic Party convention in Chicago that nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey as its presidential candidate was the scene of violent rioting between anti-war student protestors and Chicago police.
“It was a wild year,” said Guetzloe, who was 13 at the time and started off 1968 as a McCarthy supporter. He eventually would gravitate to the man who won the election that November, former Vice President Richard Nixon.
“There were more young people supporting Richard Nixon than Eugene McCarthy,” Guetzloe said.
“I think the world changed in the late 1960s,” Miller said. “All the people who were hippies then are running the country today. They’re all the people who are adults in charge of everything. Look at how it’s changed America since then. Our hearts and minds are different today than they were in the late 1960s.”
“It’s a fascinating decade to look at,” Guetzloe said. “It was just a shocking, dramatic, vibrant decade, and there’s never been another decade like it.”
Tune in on Thursday, May 3 at 3 p.m. on www.PhoenixNetwork.US to hear a frank discussion on how the 1960s brought us to where we are today, in the spring of 2011.

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