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Busted in Bloomington: A Tragedy in the Summer of '68

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Investigative journalism at its best. Husband and wife authors Greg and Candy Dawson interviewed over 100 people whose lives intersected during the 1960s in Bloomington, Indiana. The central figure is a charismatic English teacher who introduced his students to the joys of edgy literature and cinema, the poetry of Simon and Garfunkel and illicit encounters outside the clas Investigative journalism at its best. Husband and wife authors Greg and Candy Dawson interviewed over 100 people whose lives intersected during the 1960s in Bloomington, Indiana. The central figure is a charismatic English teacher who introduced his students to the joys of edgy literature and cinema, the poetry of Simon and Garfunkel and illicit encounters outside the classroom. He took them to England during the Summer of Love where some smoked pot together and came home almost unrecognizable to their midwestern parents. He encouraged them to stand up to authority but the story ends by confirming that, as John Mellencamp sings, "authority always wins." A bust, a death and a scandal all became A Tragedy in the Summer of '68. A tragedy that has haunted everyone for the past fifty years. BustedinBloomington.com Author Biographies Greg Dawson stumbled into journalism in high school when the sports editor at the newspaper in Bloomington, Indiana, offered him a part-time job on the strength of a letter-to-the-editor on which Dawson unaccountably forged the name of a classmate. He was hired anyway and, like Satchel Paige, never looked back. Over the next 49 years, Dawson worked as a reporter, TV critic, metro columnist, and consumer columnist at newspapers in Bloomington (IN), Boca Raton (FL), Grand Forks (ND), Wichita (KS), Boston and Orlando and as a humor columnist at Orlando Magazine. He has written two books based on his mother's experience as a Ukrainian Holocaust survivor. www.gregdawsonbooks.com Candy Dawson grew up in a newspaper family and while in junior high school, began writing for the Fernandina Beach News Leader on Amelia Island, Florida. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, she had a lengthy career as an elementary teacher and reading specialist in Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Candy has written two plays and a screenplay and produced a documentary fi lm, all based on husband Greg's two previous books. This is the couple's first truly collaborative effort (except for raising children, Chris and Aimee) and through it all, their 43 year marriage has somehow (so far) survived. www.lovemy60s.com


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Investigative journalism at its best. Husband and wife authors Greg and Candy Dawson interviewed over 100 people whose lives intersected during the 1960s in Bloomington, Indiana. The central figure is a charismatic English teacher who introduced his students to the joys of edgy literature and cinema, the poetry of Simon and Garfunkel and illicit encounters outside the clas Investigative journalism at its best. Husband and wife authors Greg and Candy Dawson interviewed over 100 people whose lives intersected during the 1960s in Bloomington, Indiana. The central figure is a charismatic English teacher who introduced his students to the joys of edgy literature and cinema, the poetry of Simon and Garfunkel and illicit encounters outside the classroom. He took them to England during the Summer of Love where some smoked pot together and came home almost unrecognizable to their midwestern parents. He encouraged them to stand up to authority but the story ends by confirming that, as John Mellencamp sings, "authority always wins." A bust, a death and a scandal all became A Tragedy in the Summer of '68. A tragedy that has haunted everyone for the past fifty years. BustedinBloomington.com Author Biographies Greg Dawson stumbled into journalism in high school when the sports editor at the newspaper in Bloomington, Indiana, offered him a part-time job on the strength of a letter-to-the-editor on which Dawson unaccountably forged the name of a classmate. He was hired anyway and, like Satchel Paige, never looked back. Over the next 49 years, Dawson worked as a reporter, TV critic, metro columnist, and consumer columnist at newspapers in Bloomington (IN), Boca Raton (FL), Grand Forks (ND), Wichita (KS), Boston and Orlando and as a humor columnist at Orlando Magazine. He has written two books based on his mother's experience as a Ukrainian Holocaust survivor. www.gregdawsonbooks.com Candy Dawson grew up in a newspaper family and while in junior high school, began writing for the Fernandina Beach News Leader on Amelia Island, Florida. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, she had a lengthy career as an elementary teacher and reading specialist in Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Candy has written two plays and a screenplay and produced a documentary fi lm, all based on husband Greg's two previous books. This is the couple's first truly collaborative effort (except for raising children, Chris and Aimee) and through it all, their 43 year marriage has somehow (so far) survived. www.lovemy60s.com

38 review for Busted in Bloomington: A Tragedy in the Summer of '68

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    This is a true story that happened in my conservative and unlikely hometown of Bloomington, Indiana at the high school my siblings attended. It is a story of drugs, sex, and rock and roll amidst the massive cultural and social upheaval that began with the immortalized Summer of Love in 1967. At the center of this story is a 22 year old, avant garde and controversial first year English teacher named Chuck Walls who the students followed like groupies for a year or so until a still unsolved traged This is a true story that happened in my conservative and unlikely hometown of Bloomington, Indiana at the high school my siblings attended. It is a story of drugs, sex, and rock and roll amidst the massive cultural and social upheaval that began with the immortalized Summer of Love in 1967. At the center of this story is a 22 year old, avant garde and controversial first year English teacher named Chuck Walls who the students followed like groupies for a year or so until a still unsolved tragedy ensues. The authors have interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses and Chuck's former students (including my brother and sister) and friends in an effort to paint an accurate portrait of the times. The authors also tell the diverse stories of others who lived in Bloomington, but always at the center is the enigmatic and charismatic Chuck Walls. I still remember coming home from college and hearing my parents talk in hushed tones about Chuck after they had invited him to our house to discuss his choice of books assigned to students. They were concerned about other issues as well, but I don't want to leave a spoiler. For anyone who lived in Bloomington, attended Bloomington High School, or was affiliated with Indiana University, this book will hold an added measure of interest. The names of people interviewed will be very familiar. Many were our family's neighbors and friends. For other readers the reminiscing of the 60s in such accurate detail will be a reward in itself. Some parts of the book drag a little, and occasionally it is difficult to figure out the timeline, but overall this is a great book for those of us who lived the Sixties, or for younger generations to understand that period and how it affected their parents and grandparents.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dotty

    Absolutely fascinating and compelling story about the town where I grew up. I am familiar with many of the people mentioned in the book. This period of time (1968) was enormously important in my own life and in the life of this small Midwestern college town. I highly recommend it to anyone who lives or has lived in Bloomington, Indiana - or anyone interested in the social and political changes that were happening in the late ‘60’s.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Margaret (Peg) Daisley

    I found this a fascinating read, but perhaps that's because I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana in the era in which the book is set, though graduated BHS just before the main teacher-character came to teach there, poor soul. He seemed, indeed, a tragic character -- idealistic, "turned on" to all the changes that were happening all about us in the mid- to late 60s, and wanting to pass all that "knowledge" along to his students, most of whom, it seemed, lapped it up. Unfortunately, it seemed that he I found this a fascinating read, but perhaps that's because I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana in the era in which the book is set, though graduated BHS just before the main teacher-character came to teach there, poor soul. He seemed, indeed, a tragic character -- idealistic, "turned on" to all the changes that were happening all about us in the mid- to late 60s, and wanting to pass all that "knowledge" along to his students, most of whom, it seemed, lapped it up. Unfortunately, it seemed that he didn't know exactly where to draw the lines and transgressed most of them, and ultimately it all caught up with him, leading to his -- oops! don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it yet. The writing, and in fact the whole endeavor, is journalistic, and in my estimation it was pretty well researched. The descriptions of the whole town-gown conflict that was -IS -Bloomington, Indiana resonated deeply with me, just as it did with the quintessential Bloomington movie, BREAKING AWAY. And I should know, as I had to straddle that town-gown line, having a father who was a professor at the university, and yet we lived on the "stonecutter" side of town. These were my classmates. This was my high school. Like watching a car wreck in the process of happening to read this book. I recommend not just to everyone who has ever lived in Bloomington, Indiana, but to anyone who has ever lived in a university town, and anyone who ever came of age in the 60s, anywhere.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Compelling story and interesting to read about Bloomington in the 60s, but not well written - repetitive, wandering, full of extraneous details that bog down the story -- still, if you live in Bloomington, it's irresistible to catch this glimpse of another era in the city's history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    DNF

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elinor

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan Host

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Thieman

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill Jolliff

    If you're a local, it's interesting to read some community history, and it's a kick to read about people you know. That's about all I can say for it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dave Grossman

  12. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Frazier

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Fable

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jim Moore

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter LoPilato

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Topolgus

  19. 5 out of 5

    Georg'ann

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Hillier

  23. 5 out of 5

    Geicodave

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kay S Shapiro

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacki Ferguson

  26. 4 out of 5

    C.C. Wiley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debra Proksch

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean Cunningham

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Beeman

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bbsteph

  31. 5 out of 5

    Deidre Drake

  32. 4 out of 5

    Mike Fleener

  33. 4 out of 5

    Greg Dawson

  34. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

  36. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Aranda

  37. 5 out of 5

    Christy Jolliff

  38. 5 out of 5

    Carol Keskeny

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