Stamp of Approval- Digital Collage 4" x 6"

I was a Scout during the turbulent early 1970s. Under the sway of the era's radical politics, Mr. Feinman took to incorporating its rhetoric into our weekly scout meetings. As far as I know Troop 143 was the only one in all of the Scouts which concluded its pledge with, "Can you dig it!" The fact that we were white and comfortably middle class didn't seem to matter. According to Mr. Feinman we had an obligation to fight the Man. Our fight against the Establishment took the form of creating a whole new series of merit badges conceived by Mr. Feinman as more pertinent to building a "groovier" future. During that Fall, we found ourselves working toward badges for traditional categories such as Civic Mindedness, new ones like Environmentalism, along with Mr. Feinman's categories which included, Righteousness, Sitar Appreciation, and Doing Your Own Thing. As I recall I also picked up a merit badge for introducing the Troop to the Isley Brother's song, Fight the Power.

The following Spring Mr. Feinman announced that he was moving to Sausalito, California. He was leaving behind his wife and his son, our fellow Scout, Jimmy, to pursue his own thing: making driftwood furniture. At that last meeting he told us it had been an honor to be our scout master. Then he opened a cardboard box and handed each of us a copy of I'm OK, You're OK and assured us it was the only book we would ever need read. He then raised his index and middle finger in the familiar peace sign and walked out of our lives forever.