As the summer of 1969 began, a decade that would define America, the Sixties, was coming to a close. John F. Kennedy's inauguration in January of 1961 had created an atmosphere of hope and exhilaration. Defining the decade were the space program, rock and roll music, long hair for men, hippies, women's liberation, marijuana, 1967 Summer of Love, Civil Rights Act of 1964, hot pants on girls, muscle cars, the pill, hitch-hiking, Johnson's Great Society, discovery of dyslexia as a learning disability, and rock festivals. There were also the sorrows that came with the Vietnam War, John and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations, Martin Luther King's assassination, campus riots, and violence related to the civil rights movement.
Brian Hamner, a unique individual with a gift disguised as a problem, is seventeen when he accepts his high school diploma on May 18, 1969. I refer to Brian's problem as dysgraphia but research in communication disorders would better define it as a specific spelling dyslexia. Deciding to see the country before he commits to college, he leaves the safety and comfort of his hometown, Montapielier, on an adventure in a Volkswagen van given to him by his parents as a graduation gift. While traveling the southern United States, exploring life, romance, and searching for someone to help him solve his problem, he meets a number of colorful characters and develops an unlikely friendship with a raven called Poe, whose advice proves invaluable.
Rowl, Role, Roll Your Weigh is a tale of personal challenges that all of us face as we discover the courage, desire, and perseverance to become the person we want to be.
Having graduated from high school in Marshfield, Wisconsin in May 1969, my life and Brian's are parallel in many respects, except I never had a spelling problem, an intelligent raven, or a Volkswagen van. I hope you find Brian's adventures and entertaining friends as interesting and amusing as I did, bringing them to life.