David Fenton's Revolutionary Photos of Tom Hayden and Bill Ayers, With Caesar Dressing on the Side

Snapshots of the long, long trip from Chicago '68 to Chicago '08

The next day, still basking in the exquisite unreality of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama, I decide to continue my exploration of the '60s and how that decade fucks with your emotions, even if you were born years after Mayor Richard J. Daley unleashed his Chicago cops in 1968. (Another exquisite irony—you can't make this stuff up—is that current Chicago mayor and fervent Obama supporter, Richard M. Daley, is the son of Richard J.) I am certainly not alone in this enthusiasm—the windows at Henri Bendel presently salute the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol—their slogan is "Peace is the new black"—and Barneys plans to unveil '60s-themed holiday windows in a few weeks.

I skip these big stores in favor of a place called Free People, whose very name could have been coined in a squat in Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love. I go there because I'm a free person, even though I know this place is meant for shoppers far younger than I (at least its moniker, unlike the dastardly Forever 21, doesn't throw sand in my face) and because there is a wonderful velvet flapper dress on the racks, a perfect replica of the vintage clothes that people first started wearing in the '60s. Of course, back then, a '20s dress was only 40 years old. (Now, an ugly dress with shoulder pads from the '80s qualifies as a vintage garment, but that's another story.)

I gear up my courage and try the velvet thing on, in a fitting room that has walls splattered with psychedelic flowers and a thick shag carpet on the floor. My plan is to treat this garment as a top, since, of course, it's way too small, but who cares? I'm in no mood to let one tiny frock take my joy away.

lyaeger@villagevoice.com

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