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May 4th – Part 1

posted on April 17, 2021

Both Chuck Ayers and I were students at Kent State in the years leading up to the May 4th shootings. Last year during the 50th anniversary of that event, it was suggested to me by several readers that I rerun the story about May 4th that initially ran in Crankshaft on the 30th anniversary. By the time I got those suggestions, it was too late to do that, but I kept the idea in mind and decided to do it this year.

Chuck was on campus and I was teaching school when the shootings occurred. We were both more than familiar with the territory. The charging of the national guard up Blanket Hill took place adjacent to my former dorm. Chuck was a witness to the events as they occurred. So when we sat down to work on the story it came from a shared sense of time and place, which gave the work some verisimilitude and weight. Over the coming days, the story will unfold here…  just as it did 51 years ago.