Kip Sieger

Profile Updated: April 4, 2018
Class Year: 1975
Residing In: Cedar Park, TX USA
Spouse/Partner: Barbara Webb Sieger
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: Author, "A House Divided: A Saga of the Sixties;" Elementary P.E. Teacher (not to be confused with dodge ball coach!) in Round Rock, TX, just outside of Austin.
Children: Abbey, born 1990 (and husband Daniel, granddaughter Eliza, born 2016); Laura, born 1993; Heather, born More…1996.
Attending Reunion

No

Comments:

It was 50 years ago today! :(
Unfortunately, today (April 4th) marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. A swirl of conflicting thoughts come to mind as I consider the senseless tragedy which cut short the life of this father, husband, orator, and tireless preacher of non-violent resistance to injustice.

As a ten year-old watching TV in the living room that tragic Thursday evening, I’d heard of Martin Luther King and was aware of him being a leading figure in the civil rights movement, but understood relatively little beyond that. I do recall, however, when I left the TV to tell my mother about the stunning news bulletin which had interrupted some show I don't remember, her reaction was one of shock and horror, because as an adult she understood, beyond the tragedy of the killing per se, this was a slaying of enormous magnitude, given King’s standing in the civil rights movement.

Fifty years later, it is instructive to look back on those tragic events. Though great strides toward racial equality and tolerance have been made since then, it’s also clear that we don’t yet live in a post-racial society. In terms of King’s specific legacy, not everyone in our divided country is a fan of the late civil rights leader, but he is nevertheless respected by a sizable majority of Americans. At the same time, much of his legacy has been sanitized over the years, whitewashed out of history, if you will, and in a span of less than one lifetime!

Coincidentally, April 4th marks not just the anniversary of King’s assassination, but also marks the 51st anniversary of a landmark speech which the Reverend King gave. Today, school children are mostly taught about King’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August, 1963, and about his staunch commitment to non-violence as a means of protesting injustice and segregation in places from Montgomery to Selma. But there was far more to Dr. King than his I Have a Dream speech. By April of 1967, he had made the momentous decision to speak out against the escalating war in Vietnam, despite the cautionary advice of many who warned that taking a public stand against the war risked harming his standing and influence with the Johnson administration regarding the civil rights issues near and dear to his heart.

Yet speak out he did. In his April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech, delivered at New York City’s Riverside church, King unequivocally condemned the immoral nature of the war in Vietnam, linking oppression at home with the war abroad, all while referring to the U.S. government as ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.’
Not surprisingly, this speech was not well received by many in the white establishment. Indeed, King was already on shaky ground with much of the white power structure well before delivering this speech. On the one hand, moderate and conservative whites did favor his commitment to non-violence over the more militant advocacy of groups like the Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam.

And yet King continued to rock the proverbial boat in ever more confrontational ways. Beyond the sweeping condemnations in his 'Beyond Vietnam' speech, King was also helping organize an ambitious Poor People’s Campaign, which was to include another massive march on Washington, D.C., calling for a real war on poverty to help the poor of all races. In so doing, King was not only linking the deadly and escalating military spending for the war in Vietnam as an immoral diversion of resources from the much needed war on poverty, but was also challenging national priorities which encouraged exploitation and extreme inequalities of wealth in any form, racially based or otherwise.

Given these radical positions, and given that we still live in a country marked by growing wealth inequality, an absence of universal health care, and a bloated military whose spending exceeds that of the next seven countries combined, it is both fascinating and troubling that King’s legacy has been mostly reduced to his calls for racial equality. Those were important, but there was so much more to King’s message, and particularly given the troubling tenor of our times, and the fact that, had his life not been cut short by assassin’s bullets (or a subsequent stroke, heart attack, or other western lifestyle disease), an 89 year-old Martin Luther King might still be with us today, passionately challenging the direction in which our country has gone.

Link to MLK's "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" speech, delivered at the Riverside Church in N.Y.C. on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before King was shot in Memphis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E48Ef3p8eEw

It was 50 years ago today!

No, not Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But, March 31 is the half-century anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson delivering a nationally televised speech outlining the steps he would take to reduce hostilities in the ever-escalating war in Vietnam.

After channeling Abraham Lincoln and conceding that a house – and country – divided by spirit of faction, religion and party cannot stand, he then shocked the nation by announcing he would not be seeking re-election that year. This left the Democratic field open for anti-war rivals Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, as well as Vice-President Hubert Humphrey (with the Republican nomination being a contest between Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller).

LBJ's stunning announcement came on the heels of the war's pivotal TET Offensive, and RFK's belated entry in the Democratic primaries; and just four days before the assassination of Martin Luther King - and two months before assassin bullets ended RFK's life and bid for the White House.

If you're interested in how these events played out in one middle-American living room, excerpts from LBJ's speech, including his title-inspiring reference to a divided house not being able to stand, can be found in my recently published novel, "A House Divided: A Saga of the Sixties."


Check it out! I've just had a book come out!!

It's a full-length novel titled "A House Divided: A Saga of the Sixties" (Yep, it's about a family - and country - coming unraveled in that turbulent decade known as the 60's!)

It's available in ebook as well as trade paperback format.

Amazon's kindle edition was the first to go live - Just go to Amazon and type in Kip Sieger and it should pop up. (Unfortunately, entering only the title results in a list of other books sporting the same title, at least for now. Imposters!!)
Or go to this link:
https://www.amazon.com/House-Divided-Saga-Six…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

If you have a different ebook reader, Barnes & Noble has it available for their Nook; it's downloadable from Apple as an iBook; at Gardners and several other distributors; and there are links on Goodreads to boot! (Just go to the site and type my name in the site's search bar!)

It can also be ordered directly from the publisher's site at:
https://store.bookbaby.com/book/A-House-Divided

If you do get it - and like it enough, obviously - you could be one of the first (or the first!) to write a glowing review, whether it be on the seller site; or on Goodreads, Facebook, whatever! Or share on your FB page, pass it along word-of-mouth, or anything else you can think of!

Curious? Here's the description included on the various sellers' websites:

Set against the tumult of the 1960's, including the fabled Summer of Love, contentious civil rights and anti-war demonstrations, and the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, teenager Paul Milton suddenly finds the racial tensions and intensifying War in Vietnam are no longer just distant events playing out on the evening news, but bitter upheavals fraught with with potentially fatal consequences that could tear apart both his family and country.

Gum-chewing Paul's plans for a carefree summer are turned upside down when the turmoil plaguing America descends upon his family's otherwise quiet split-level suburban home. As another school year draws to a close, Paul's relaxing, gone-swimming, baseball-playing days of summer beckon until Mary - his older, anti-Establishment sister - drifts in from college with her granola munching roommate just in time to attend their brother Chris' high school graduation. After a commencement marked by the valedictorian's inflammatory protest speech, Chris- recently jilted in his pursuit of glory on the football field - begins making noise about marching off to boot camp instead of going to college. This unexpected prospect offends Mary's strident anti-war sensibilities, and the resulting spat between the two siblings quickly escalates into a Vietnam-sized conflict that leaves the whole family reeling.

(In addition, more info on the the 60's, and on the book itself, can be found at:
https://sites.google.com/view/a-house-divided/home…

Wishing I could have made it to the reunion, but unfortunately the timing didn't out for the 2010 reunion. It sounds like it swas a true blast from the past though. Mega thanks to Tom G., Chober, and Tom S. for all they've done in putting this together! Hopefully some great stories and a few pics will emerge from the weekend.

School Story:

Okay, one question, one story.

First, I was wondering how many people attended the three-week party at Jock Brand's house during the Spring of '75 when his parents made off to Florida and left the little house on the hill at the mercy of the class of '75??

Next, I remember freshman year when we moved over to what was still called the "new" high school (after being the last class to get a taste of the old Hampton Jr.-Sr. High?). Fifth period study hall that year was held in the two side wings of the auditorium, with the curtains pulled closed to shut them off from the main auditorium.

By the time we were a few weeks into the school year, people started figuring out that roll wasn't being taken every day, and that it was a whole lot more fun to roam around in the cafeteria for two or three of the lunch periods than it was to be stuck in the boring old auditorium.

At first, it felt kind of cool just to be cutting class (even if it was only a study hall) in the big, bad high school. After awhile, though, it became routine, no big deal until someone - still don't know who - figured out that you could get backstage behind the auditorium curtains when study hall was going on. Better yet, there was a ladder leading up to a network of metal catwalks crisscrossing the whole auditorium above the drop ceilings they had for acoustics. So there we were, about a dozen or so mangy misfits and marijuana smoking miscreants cruising around on the catwalks thirty feet above our fellow students who were being held captive in the auditorium below. It was a bit of a challenge to keep the noise down, but you could look down through the openings where the stage lights were set and get a birds-eye view of the whole study hall going on down below. Since it was light down there and dark up above (and who was looking up?), the chances of being seen didn't seem nearly as high as the penalties for being caught would have been.

The sense of adventure was added to by the fact that several of the upperclassmen decided this was not only a cool place to hang out, but also a pretty good place to get high as well. Being the Fall of 71, the class of '75 really hadn't hit it's full party stride yet, so this felt like a pretty big leap at the time. :)

Truth be told, I never caught an actual buzz up there myself, though it wasn't for lack of trying. It may have been that I was green and needed more practice inhaling (yeah, yeah, I know; that sounds like Clinton or one of those other high-profile, cover-their-ass weasels saying, 'I tried it, but I never inhaled!"). Or maybe it was that deal where you didn't get high the first time you smoked. Either way, I may have missed out on the full effect - which was probably just as well, since who knows what it would have felt like to get stoned for the first time in that situation! But, it was still a gas. :)

In the end, I don't think anyone ever got busted on those catwalks, though I think a couple of kids down in the study hall may have spotted us a few times. (Rick Siess or Dan Soss maybe??) I do remember eventually getting busted for skipping that study hall though. I guess it was one thing to cut out once or twice a week or not come back from second period lunch, but to not show up for a month or two straight was a bit much. Of course, back in the day, the "penalty" for skipping class wasn't much of a penalty at all - you got suspended and got to stay home for a whole day - or two or three! Felt more like a reward at the time. :)

I remember when I got back in the schools on the teaching end of things (who'd of thunk it, right?), it blew me away when I first heard of the beast called in-school suspension. Get busted and have to do time in school, instead of staying home, sleeping in, watching Andy of Mayberry and the Beverly Hillbillies? Man, that would have really sucked!

I guess it evens out in the end, though, since kids today might be stuck dealing with an in-school suspension when they're on the wrong side of the law, but they can amuse themselves on the sly with their i-phones and other cool gadgets that our generation helped dream up. :)

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Mar 10, 2018 at 12:10 AM

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Kip Sieger has left an In Memory comment for Jock Brand.
Sep 01, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Very nice story Jamey, it sure brings back loads of memories from HHS days gone by. Hope you're doing well.

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Laura, 17; Heather, 13; Barbara; Abbey, 20; and Kip on overlook above Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park in June, 2010.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Barbara & Kip in the Tetons.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
With Abbey on overlook above Yellowstone Falls; June, 2010.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
With Heather at the base of the Lower Yellowstone Falls.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Yellowstone River at Dusk, a couple of miles upstream of the falls.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Laura relaxing after reaching the summit of Quandary Peak, one of Colorado's "fourteeners" near Breckenridge, CO.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Coming off the summit on a beautiful June day.