Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – #Life #1960s A Birthday Reflection by Gwen M. Plano

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post from author Gwen Plano from August 2020 and is a reflection on life on her birthday.

A birthday reflection…

Sometimes birthdays take us back through the years. We remember that which we thought we had forgotten. Today I share a bit about my past when I was much younger…

I confess to being a child of the Sixties. I know what it is like to dream big. I remember innocence, a time when I thought I could change the world. While a college student in San Francisco, I danced to the Grateful Dead in Golden Gate Park and the Doors at the Fillmore West. When my friends left for Vietnam and did not return, I marched with others to end the war. I carried a flower, offered a song, and followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Then the world turned upside down with three assassinations: President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The streets became angry with lost dreams.

More than fifty years have passed, and we are again facing a pivotal cultural shift. Some march with a cry for racial justice, others riot for unclear ideological ends. Buildings burn, businesses are destroyed, innocents are injured and some die. City streets are violently angry, but I’m not sure why.

When I was in my twenties, I stopped hoping. I had seen too much, felt even more. For years, I ignored Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley, because I didn’t trust what they had to say. As a student of psychology and an eventual counselor, I did a lot of soul searching. There were mountains to climb, rivers to cross and oceans to maneuver. I was not well-equipped to do any of these, but I tried.

Rather than hopelessness, I feel helplessness these days. Not because of an ill-fated war or racism, rather because I realize that there is nothing I can do to turn the tide on senseless violence. I’m not an elected official. I’m not part of the Police Force or the National Guard. I’m just one of the many who shudders in disbelief at what I see in the streets, one of many who aches for those who have lost their livelihoods, one of the many who cries with the injured and all those who have lost loved ones. Yes, I am one of the quiet many who simply pray for peace.

More than fifty years have passed since I was in my twenties. I remember the flower I carried and the songs I sang. Now I look at my three sons and daughter and wonder where the time has gone. I’m grateful for each of them. As well, I’m grateful for my beautiful grandchildren. Together they remind me with their hugs and kisses that someday, yes someday, peace will reign. ♥


©Gwen Plano 2020

About Gwen Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she out and about in the beautiful Ozark mountains which she now calls home.

Books by Gwen Plano

One of the recent reviews of Culmination

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Thriller with Strong Characters  Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2021

Book three in a series, The Culmination reads easily as a standalone novel. A political thriller, that addresses denuclearization, tensions in the Middle East, and the fate of refugees, much of the story echoes current headlines. The plot is complex involving multiple heads of state, along with the strategical give and take of political maneuvering on a global level. The author clearly put an extensive amount of research into this book, and it shows. Adrenalin-fueled scenes alter with more cerebral moments, and even a few romantic interludes.

I especially loved the evolution of the relationship between the two central characters, Margaret Adler, VP of the United States and Ivan Smirnov, acting President of Russia. During the course of the novel those titles change, and we learn more about each, including richly developed backgrounds. I was thoroughly invested in the difficulties Margaret and Ivan faced, both on personal and political levels. Their scenes together were among my favorites of the book. There’s also a young refugee child who factors into the story and who stole my heart.

A unique combination of character-driven and plot-driven fiction, I recommend this compelling tale to readers who enjoy strong character development and complexly-plotted intrigue.

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand  : Amazon US – follow Gwen : Goodreads – website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano


Thanks for dropping in today and I know Gwen would love your feedback … Sally


Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021


74 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – #Life #1960s A Birthday Reflection by Gwen M. Plano

  1. Ohhh, I love this reflection Gwen. I just celebrated a birthday earlier this week, and I find that the older I get, the more I reflect. My husband, who is 8 years older than I, probably passed you by while you danced at the Golden Gate Park and marched for peace. We didn’t live together in the Bay area until much later, but until recently, I always loved walking the streets of SF and feeling the vibe of change and peace and freedom from “the status quo.” Lately, San Francisco has become a city of the wealthy “has a lot,” and the poor “has nothing.” Sad.
    You have built a beautiful family and in that way, brought love and hope into the world. Congrats!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Good to revisit recent history and reflect. I remember reading this when the country was indeed torn in half. It will take a slow rebuild, and I doubt the haters from both sides will give up their vitriol. Thanks for posting Gwen’s birthday message, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a child of the sixties – but in the UK. I learned the guitar because I wanted to play ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone.’ It was so popular for a while that, like all things, it fell out of fashion but I have it on my iPod and still listen to it. It was an amazing time, wasn’t it? And we thought we could change the world and make it fair and free. I worry about the rise of some world leaders today whose popularity and rhetoric disturbs me. However, in every country there are new voices standing up for democracy and that’s the way I trust and hope it will always be. The good, decent people quietly lead by example behind all the horrific headlines and I take comfort from that. I love the photo of your family and your daughter is a dead ringer for you!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Fantastic post from Gwen. Sadly, I have to concur with her feelings on racism and the shenanigans going on in the US. It’s almost like it’s two countries in one. Love the vid, I used to love that song as a kid. ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. History seems to have these turbulent times followed by calmer periods. It’s the responsibility of all of us to do our part to live in a society where we represent liberty and justice for all. Those words are hollow if we let injustice go unchecked.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – 14th – 20th March 2021 – Tom Jones, Egg Boxes, Poetry, Stories, Reviews and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  7. Hi,
    A very intense look at the years gone by. I remeber the three assasinations. They shook my world too as well as what happened with the Chicago Seven and the decline of real justice for people of color. The ideology of the Black Panthers stirred my blood and I joined the cry for justice.. We were probably protesting from different sides, but I believe we all had, at that time, a desire to see change in a system that wasn’t working for everybody. It was working only for the few.
    So nice to see you hear, Gwen. Let us hope that your grandchildren experience the peace that we so desire to see happen.
    Shalom aleichem,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely heartfelt post from Gwen, Sally. Thanks for sharing. It’s so easy to feel helpless and I feel that way often when I watch the news. But we have the power to “be the answer,” by practicing love and kindness and protesting for a better world instead of against the one we have. Here’s to a brighter, more compassionate future for our children and grandchildren everywhere. Great family photo!


  9. Beautiful words about such heart-rending subjects, Gwen. I felt them deeply as I read, and am glad I had a moment to stop by today to appreciate this profound post. Your family is as beautiful as you are, too!

    Thanks for sharing this one, Sally! And Gwen, no one could read your words and not be moved. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

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