On May 18th, under Project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon, becoming the 6th nation to do so. [The first five: United States (1945), Russia (1949), United Kingdom (1952), France (1960) and China (1964).] On June 26th, the Universal Product Code was first scanned on the sale of a package of Wrigley's chewing gum. The Watergate Scandal brought an end to the presidency of Richard Nixon, when, on August 8th, he announced his resignation. The next day Vice-President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. Erno Rubik, a Hungarian architecture professor, invented the Rubik's Cube. On March 4th, the first edition of People came to the newstands; Mia Farrow was on the cover. On April 6th, a Swedish pop group, ABBA, won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo.
This summer, it seems, we graduated from camping to staying at a rented a cottage. The wonderful beaches of Prince Edward Island are on the north side of the island, so too are crowds of tourists and ritzy places at which to stay. We found our cottage on the south side of the island, on the Northumberland Strait, near Victoria Beach and Crapaud. Anywhere in Prince Edward Island is not far from anywhere else, so to get to the wonderful beaches on the north side from Crapaud, is but a short drive away. The shoreline at Victoria Beach has a special flavour all its own, its sandy flats run away from the shore for a considerable distance and I can still see, in my mind's eye, our dog, Jasper, running along the flats hell-bent to catch a sea gull; as for the gulls, it seems they were out to tease the dog.
The big event of 1974, of course, was the achievement of the goal that I steadily had in mind since 1969: to graduate from law school. I remember the ceremony at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on University Avenue. It was a proud moment with my friends and family all about me. At the reception, who should come up to me with congratulations, but Sister Ann Catherine. I mentioned her in Chapter Eight, "Cubs, Scouts & Penny Candy: 1950-54." She had been the principal of Saint Thomas Aquinas School from 1929 to 1969, a period which included my attendance at the school. While at Saint Thomas Aquinas, Sister Ann Catherine seemed to take a particular interest in me; and here she was twenty years later; and she remembered.
Having won an award with Occidental Life, Louise and I attended a sales convention at the Taminiment Resort and Country Club, Taminiment, Pennsylvania. Louise and I set out on September 24th and returned October 2nd. We first went to Washington and spent a few days there. Then travelled into the Poconos Mountain Region of Pennsylvania. On the way back we paid a visit to my brother Paul in Connecticut. I have the letters that I wrote home to the girls which set out our adventures.
At this point, in the autumn of 1974, I had my degree so I could go into the practice of law. For a time there, I thought to stay in the insurance business. I had gotten quite good at it, and, needless to say, the Life Insurance Company to which I was licensed wanted me to step up in their operation. However, it was to the law that I turned. I finished my Articles of Clerkship at Horne and Langille, in Dartmouth; and, that November, having been admitted to the Bar, joined the firm.
The movies of 1974: Chinatown, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, and directed by Roman Polanski; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz which was a Canadian comedy-drama starring Richard Dreyfuss, it was based on a novel of the same name by Mordecai Richler; and The Great Gatsby, starring Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan and Robert Redford as Gatsby, it was based on a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the script was by Francis Ford Coppola.
Songs of 1974: The Streak, by Ray Stevens; Bennie and the Jets, by Elton John; Top of the World, by The Carpenters; You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive; and, Rikki Don't Lose That Number by Steely Dan.
NEXT: [Chapter Twenty-Six, Small Computers & The Death of Nancy, 1975]