This is a reprint of an earlier article
This article deals with reflection, something that is an important thing to do every so often. I, like a fair amount of you, grew up in the late fifties and sixties. From our perspective at that age it seemed like a simpler more easy going time. We never really knew about the stress and anxiety our parents were going through, we were happy playing with our friends, reading books or watching TV, secure in the fact we always had a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. For some of us TOO much food in our stomachs. It wasn’t till we got much older that some of us learned that even though the world appeared to be more secure and simpler it really wasn’t. Our parents, trying to protect us, shielded us from the everyday problems, the everyday stress and anxiety that is simply life. It’s a trap every generation growing up falls in to.
About 20 years ago I had a long talk with my Mom about it. She laughed and filled me in on what was really going on. Money was tight then too. My Dad was a Bridge and Tunnel Police Officer in NYC and it was just as dangerous for Cops then as it is now. Woman weren’t any safer either. My Mom told me whenever she would go out she always carried a sharp scissor in her purse just in case. Houses were cheaper but unaffordable for most just like today and most could not afford going out to dinner more than twice a month. Pornography was readily available if you knew where to look but not as accessible as it is now thanks to the internet. And kids disappeared back then too but reporters didn’t hound the grieving parents like they do today. Those were the days when the nightly news was just that “News” not entertainment. Where newscasters actually researched and wrote the stories they reported on and those stories lasted more than a 30 second sound bite.
Homosexuals were around but still in the closet and drug abuse and alcoholism were just as bad as today. People were out of work and homeless and cancer killed more people than any other disease; we just didn’t know it at the time. There was no air conditioning except in the movie theater and for me that in itself is a deal breaker. Growing up in New York, where the mercury in the summer danced around 98 degrees with 99% humidity, made me really, really, really appreciate AIR CONDITIONING. To this day I still feel we need to make the day air conditioning was invented a national holiday and its inventor given the Nobel Prize for anything.
Back then the family doctor was just that and house calls were common place. But medicine was still in the dark ages
compared to today. If it wasn’t for today’s medical advances millions of people who are now alive wouldn’t be; me included.
There were no terrorists per se back then but how many of you who were kids back then didn’t lose a couple of nights sleep a month worrying if the Russians were going to drop an “H” bomb on your head.
And if all of you out there think Pelosi and Reid are bad we had a Republican Senator Name Joe McCarthey. During his reign of terror in the early 50’s thousands of lives were ruined by his unsubstantiated statements branding half of Hollywood as communists.
TV and movies were much more innocent and more unbelievable. And nobody but Robert Young and Hugh Beaumont ever wore a jacket and tie to dinner. “Swell” was the word of the decade and everyone was either clean shaven or just home from the beauty parlor. It was Hollywood’s fantasy world at its best but you know what? It worked. We all bought into it and some still do today. Those times weren’t any better or any worse, they were just different.
If we as adults and parents did our jobs right our kids will fall into the same trap. Unfortunately their childhood was a lot shorter than ours. The change in the way news is presented on TV, the advent of computers, cell phones and the internet has forced our kids to grow up a bit quicker than our generation had to. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.
Each generation will have its “Good old Days” and that is as it should be but go back to those days……no thanks they are
where they belong, in our hearts and in the past. That’s why they’re call the “Good OLD days”.
Woody Allen’s closing narrative in “Radio Days” says it best.
“I never forgot that New Year’s Eve when Aunt Bea awakened me to watch 1944 come in. I’ve never forgotten any of those people or any of the voices we would hear on the radio. Though the truth is, with the passing of each New Year’s Eve, those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer.”