|It was in the late Winter or early Spring of 1966. I was in tthe 11th grade. One of the guys in my honors American history class was also in Young American for Freedom, though I made all the meetings and he made none. One day, he handed me Anthem and told me not to read the last page until I got to the end of the book. It was a thin book, so that was easy to do. I was hooked.|
I read The Fountainhead and then Atlas Shrugged and found more of her books in the local stores. ( I tried We the Living, but "Petrograd smelled of carbolic acid." sounded a lot like Doestoyevksi. I finally got around to it. I actually read it twice, a few years apart. It was not as painful the second time.) In The Virtue of Selfishness was a card for The Objectivist or The Objectivist Newsletter. In either case, I began buying back issues.
In September 1966, I signed up for the Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures. (Nathaniel Branden delivered the opening presentation.) I still have my hard cover first edition of Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal.
The intellectual stuff was pretty easy. It was just another set of arguments. Our family was not religious, and obviously we were conservative. So, there was not much resistance to my teenage rebellion against not much since no one in the house would disagree with me.
But, you see, I had a girl friend... And she read Athem, The Fountainhead, (and We the Living), and Atlas Shrugged, and then the non-fiction. And all through that, we learned to take each other's clothes off. Life was pretty good. In fact, in January 1967, my mother and brother went to the Bahamas. I did not go. Hmmm... choice: (a) Go to the Bahamas, which is a lot like Florida or (b) stay here in this 9th floor apartment on the Gold Coast of Cleveland overlooking Lake Erie, Downtown, and the industrial flats and have use of the car and have my girlfriend over every afternoon.... You know, I did not even think it through in those terms. There was just this instanteous and complete understanding that I needed to be in Cleveland by myself.
(So, there was this time in the school cafeteria, when I came up the table and Janet said, "Hi, Frisco." and I said, "Hi, Slug." and everyone stopped talking because "slug" was not a word they knew, but it sounded like one they did and they could not believe that I said that to my girlfriend -- in such a cheery way -- and that she smiled back.)