CHILD OF THE 1960s: A Day in the Life by Craig J. Carrozzi (Colombia)


YA Memoir

Child of the 1960s: A Day in the Life
by Craig J. Carrozzi (Colombia 1978-80)
Independently Published, July 2023
Young Adult
268 pages
$22.00 (Paperback)


Child of the 1960s: A Day in the Life, is Craig J. Carrozzi’s seventh complete work. It is a memoir of a coming-of-age adolescent growing up in San Francisco’s Mission District in the tumultuous 1960s. The author/narrator experiences both personally and through the mass media the Kennedy assassination, the end of the beatnik era, the beginning of the hippie era, abusive nuns at Catholic school, gang fights, Hell’s Angels and Gypsy Joker bikers, race riots, the damaging effects of drugs, the flight of blue-collar jobs and people out of the city, and other epic events of the times along with an overview of the cultural zeitgeist of the decade.

It also features a good look at the local professional sport teams of the day. With looks at the San Francisco Giants, the then San Francisco Warriors, and an especially close look at the San Francisco 49ers and their influence and impact on the youth of the community.

December 18, 1966

The narrative is constructed upon a single momentous day, Sunday, December 18, 1966, and orbits around the young boy (almost 12) and his father going to an extremely rowdy NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Colts at historic Kezar Stadium located on the edge of the Haight-Ashbury and the foot of Golden Gate Park. (The game ended in a riot as the fans invaded the field and forced the officials to call the game a few seconds before the final gun.)

The boy’s dad is a World War II veteran of the Battle of Leyte Gulf (The largest naval battle in history.) who had come of age during the Great Depression in poverty-stricken circumstances and sees the Sixties through the prism while the boy is feeling his way along and trying to come to grips with an ever-accelerating rate of ethnic and economic change in his Mission District micro-world and the great city beyond.

In the course of this one-day journey, the story of his immediate family of seven, a mother who suffers a nervous breakdown while giving birth, a father, two brothers and two sisters of various ages, is told through flashbacks and leaps into the future. The background of his four immigrant grandparents, Italian and French, is also sketched into the picture. With special emphasis on the grandfather who survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire that leveled San Francisco.

The narrative is written in an easygoing vernacular style which reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the neighborhood with a strong Latin American flavor. As noted in the story, it was a “Rainbow Coalition Neighborhood” long before Jesse Jackson came up with the term.

In the postscript, the author recaps his life of travel and adventure and how his Mission District neighborhood influenced him to make some of the choices he selected.




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