This is Kate
She was walking in front of me with her dog on her walker. As I caught up to her, I walked beside her and commented that her dog was lucky to get a free ride. Kate is 70, born in Australia . She came to New York City in the late 1960s for several reasons. She said of Australia: "There are just so many trees and kangaroos that anyone can look at. It was boring." She also needed to look for work, but the driving force why she needed to get to the United States, and New York City, in particular, was politics, the war in Vietnam and what was going on here in the United States. She saw the demonstrations going on in here and wanted to be part of the war resistance.
Kate talked about needing a walker. In her youth, she had been a competitive swimmer and was very athletic. She now has pain in her hip when she walks, but none when she swims. She tries to swim several times a week. When it was first recommended by doctors that she use a walker, she resisted. For months she refused a walker and used a cane instead. When one of her close friends gave her a walker, she found walking with the walker to be so helpful that she finally gave in. She now uses it every day to take her dog out.
When Kate arrived in New York in the 60's, she joined S.D.S . (Students for a Democratic Society.) She recently saw a movie about the Weathermen and expressed sadness that the spirit and activism of the 1960s have disappeared. She is saddened that the people who had expressed so much idealism and political energy have abandoned their ideals and moved into the mainstream of society seeking financial success rather than political goals. She asked me if my wife and I still maintain our political ideals and political activity. She believes that most of the men she knew who were politically active had given up their views, while the women seemed to maintain their activism.
I took the photo below April 5, 1969, at a demonstration in New York City on 6th Avenue near Bryant Park, one of the demonstrations that Kate might have attended.
Kate had been married for 17 years. Her husband died a few years ago, and she now lives alone with her dog. She gets out every day so that the aches and pains of getting older do not stop her from feeling that young politically active woman within her. Getting out every day helps her feel connected to the New York City that she came to as a young woman.