UH NEWS Liberated Press

The UH NEWS Liberated Press and the
Student Revolution at the University of Hartford

by Benedict M. Holden


My dad had ALS, and I went to U of H because I helped to take care of him and had to live at home (and could never pass the math requisites at Trinity).

The second day of freshman orientation I met Bill Walach. We shared History and English AP classes. In this program we completed all required courses for graduation in those subjects in four semesters. Thursday of that week we had a cookout; Bill and I met this guitar-playing folk singer with a thin, high voice.

It was Jack Hardy. He had these beautiful Martin guitars; he sang St. James Infirmary Blues, Stormy Monday, and Dylan songs, and he wrote songs too. Jack was in our English class also. Bill Walach played bass and Hawaiian steel guitar with a band called the Vibrations. At some point Jack became the singer in Bill's band and they changed the name to Some Dead Bears. Shortly thereafter Barney Spector joined on lead guitar and Young'o became their girl singer.

I was looking for the civil rights people. This area was of great interest to me – I'd already been hit, which made it my fight too. U of H had a club, Links, which was a discussion group – a socialist discussion group: civil rights, the Spanish Civil War, fascism, the Holocaust, the fake government, nukes, etc., et al. We had a guest speaker in October – an organizer from the SDS national office. I paid my $5 and became a card-carrying member.

Many colleges had anti-war teach ins: NYU, Michigan, Berkeley, Colorado, Wisconsin, Harvard, and more. The University of Hartford sponsored a pro-war teach-in in November. Experts from the State Department, the War Department, leaders, and bosses who all became famous under Nixon and Reagan spoke. I can't remember any of their names – five pro-war guys, one token guy against.

I sat there astounded that I could see that they were wrong – incorrect facts, bad arguments, errors, and falsehoods. I was only a freshman with a deep background in military history but I knew better than they. Could not be done. I asked a question about national interest and acting contrary to it. This teach-in created an opposition to the war which had not previously existed.

I got A's in all the classes I liked, played Setback for money a lot, and took care of my dad. He held his book in his hands before he died on March 17, 1966.

It was a bad year. School was painfully dull; the school newspaper couldn't use me... they were beyond help. Nothing going on but the folk singers in Links.

Bill's band opened a show for the Turtles at UConn.

Next: 1966-67

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