In 1961 we left Baylor declaring that “We’ll do things that can’t be done! We’re the Class of ’61!”
In 1962, I traveled in Europe and crossed over the Berlin Wall. I listened to the U.N. debate the U. S. blockade of Soviet ships. Concerns about the future began to impinge on our brave graduation claim.
By 1963, our world was shattered by the brutal assassination of President Kennedy; chaos seemed to be descending on the country we believed was so strong.
In 1965 while we were both teaching in Longview, Texas, I met my husband, Bob Brick. On TV we witnessed riots in Los Angeles and wondered why Malcolm X was assassinated.
I found myself in graduate school in 1966 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After completing my master’s degree, I worked for a U.S. Senator.
By 1968 I married Bob. He worked for the Peace Corps in the Philippines. We wanted to bring peace, education and democracy to the world. But chaos struck as I heard the radio announce “Martin Luther King, morte, morte,” and in June, I heard the same words announce the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Summer of 1968, we returned to Hawaii. Friendships with different ethnic groups provided a soothing relief, but riots spread across the country, military flights left for Vietnam and people realized that the war wasn’t ending soon.
In 1970, the birth of our first child brought sanity. Six years later, we were blessed with a son. By then we were back in Texas and Bob had a full time teaching position at Texas A&M.
From 1976 on our lives were consumed with parenting, jobs, graduate school and all that comes as one “matures.”
In 1980 we moved, for business, to Illinois, Hawaii, Pakistan, and Indonesia before returning to Texas. The moves were opportunities that allowed us to see ourselves and our country in a different light.
In 2001, we watched the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., trying to understand why the U.S. had once again become the target of hostility.
Fifty years later we’re wondering if we’ve “done things that can’t be done.” As I look back, I treasure Baylor friendships and I value the opportunities Baylor offered me.
I believe, Jefferson’s “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is actually “The Good Old Baylor Line,” and in turn, I’m trying to pass those values on to my family, friends, students, and community.
Blanche Henderson Brick, Ph.D.
Class of 1961
Blanche Brick teaches U. S. History at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas, and serves as Division Chair of Social Sciences. She is a graduate of Baylor University, George Washington University, the University of Hawaii and Texas A&M University. She and her husband have lived in Texas, Illinois, Hawaii, Pakistan, and Indonesia. Her husband, Robert Brick, a graduate of Texas Tech and the University of Hawaii, is Vice President of Blinn College for Applied Science and Workforce Technology.