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Old 08-20-2013, 08:07 PM
3,671 posts, read 6,779,250 times
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I was reading a post about people telling what they remembered from those past, some has some pretty cool things to say! Fountain pens and ice boxes etc. a lot of posts ended with "those were the days".. I often wonder however, is that saying used because most were kids during those times. The most carefree time of your life arguably and therefore gave people a skewed view on the 40's/50's/60's. I've heard a lot about alcoholic mothers and fathers from the monotony of everyday life, particularly in housewives back then.

Is there anyone on here who wasn't a child in those times (particularly the 40's or 50's the "golden age" of America) that can tell their experience with these times. Was it certainly a better time or what it simply portrayed that way because it was easier to not talk about the issues? Now obviously ever persons has different experiences in life so this is more of a generalized opinion of first hand accounts.

My husbands grandfather was born in '22 and doesn't talk much about those times , even with my barrage of questions!
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:34 PM
Location: NE Mississippi
18,599 posts, read 10,884,661 times
Reputation: 26044
I was born in '45, and raised by an impoverished single mother.

Given my circumstances, I believe I am better for having gone through the 50's the way I did - having to work delivering papers and giving the money to my mother - than today's counterpart. The kid raised today who has my equivalent position is provided with his needs by various organizations. And the net effect is that as he gets older he begins to sabotage his life so that he never disqualifies for all his "benefits".
Put another way, he learns the qualifying numbers and makes sure that he never makes too much.

It was hard for us poor kids, and there weren't all that many of us, either. But all of us - richer and poorer - played baseball all summer, and rode our bicycles all over town to each others house. It required an independence that is gone now. I have said of today's kids that if you gave them a bag full of baseball equipment, they still couldn't get up a game without a coach or adult to get them started.

And today's adolescence! It NEVER ends! My grandchildren can talk about pop culture and sports and almost nothing else. And the oldest is 27! That was unthinkable back in The Day. We were required to go into the service back then and by the age of 27 most of us had it done. Meh.....I could go on and on about today's kids, but in the end I have to say that they are the product of public policy and little else.

School is dumbed down so they can pass, everyone gets a trophy, their parents proudly accept free meals at school, they know if the get pregnant someone else will pay for it, you get to vote on everything. I put the blame on public policy and they way it discourages personal accountability and leads young, inexperienced people to believe that their wishes and whims should be met.

I count myself as fairly successful. I'm not sure I would do as well if I was born in 2000.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:04 AM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,487,311 times
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Life actually keeps getting better, but we tend to view as the best age of our life, that period when we felt things most passionately. For the majority that is ages 15-30 and we clean up our memories to create mythical lost Golden Ages. Any age anyone wishes to identify as the superior past, it is certain to have featured older people complaining about how everything was going to hell and it all was so much better back in glorious Yesteryear.

The fallacy occurs when we conclude that how we felt when we were younger was the product of the prevailing society rather than simple chronology. Those things which have changed since that time when we were feeling our oats, become seen as responsible for our no longer feeling as idealistic or as romantic or as athletic or as attractive...or as alive.

All of which comes together to generate the YNMYDAY syndrome......"Why in my day children respected.....Why in my day we didn't need any.......Why in my day people believed in......"

The YNMYDAY outlook requires filtering out all of the crumby stuff from the past or converting it into martyr virtue. "Why in my day I worked 16 hours a day, six days a week.....Why in my day if we talked back to our father we got a whipping with his belt...Why in my day we walked seven miles just to...."
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:59 AM
Location: Peterborough, England
472 posts, read 831,218 times
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It's like one of those "some good news and some bad news" jokes.

When I was a kid, the good news was that everyone on the street felt quite safe to go out and leave their front doors unlocked.

The bad news was that this was because none of them had anything worth stealing.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:54 AM
Location: Middle Tennessee
210,034 posts, read 80,624,950 times
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It was good times in the 50's for sure. We would go to the beach for a few days with the house unlocked, my room full of guns with ammo on the dresser and when we returned nothing bothered. Can't do that now. I could carry a shot gun through town and stop and get shells to go squirrel hunting and no one even took a second look. Kids could eat junk food and stay thin because we played basket ball instead of video and computer games. What TV shows there were were like Roy Rogers, Sky King, My Friend Flicka, Fury, etc. No beat 'em up power rangers. Real had drawn cartoons that were funny instead of violent. Back in those days the good guys shot the villain in the arm and called it winging them and took them off to jail instead of a bloody killing. Yeah times have changed and not for the better. We had it the best that America ever was. People had gardens and raised chickens and were far more self sufficient even inside small cities. Neighbors visited on screened porches instead of families holding up in AC'd family rooms with a TV. Neighbors looked out for neighbors. It was a totally different way of life. I've got a first hand education from my parents of how it was during the great depression and even then it was better because people shared like never before. Now we have a dog eat dog atmosphere to live in. We don't build what we need we import cheap junk from third world countries. I could go on and on but this stuff gets to me when I see the headlines in the news. A school shooting was unheard of. We carried knives everyday to school to use as a tool. Cutting cabbage, broccoli, and making rope halters. We will never be the same as a country unless the economy totally collapses and people are force to make changes in the way they think and live.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:24 PM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,930,021 times
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I think Grandstander is dead-on.

I'm a child of the 1950s and a teenager of the 1960s ... during those "good old days" ...
  • somebody stole my bike from in front of my house when I went in for dinner; I was in kindergarten (1955)
  • we lined up in the school corridors for the first mass polio vaccines (1955 or 1956)
  • my paternal grandparents lived in the country without central heat, hot water, or a full bathroom; my parents added all that before we moved there (1957)
  • my first recollection of a news story was about President Eisenhower sending the National Guard to Little Rock, AR to quell the race riots that erupted over school desegregation (1957 or 1958)
  • we sat on the back porch and watched Sputnik I wink through the sky (1957 or 1958)
  • JFK was elected the first Roman Catholic POTUS (1960)
  • we had air raid drills at least as often as kids today have fire drills (had those, too)
  • we watched rocket launches on TVs set up on desks in classrooms (1962-1963)
  • the US and the USSR almost went to war over the US blockade of arms to Cuba (1962)
  • I was sitting my 8th grade social studies class when the principal announced over the loud-speaker that Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, TX (1963)
  • I really worried because my parents didn't build a fall-out shelter (1964-1965)
  • my parents had nothing good to say about the music I liked, especially about the "Motown sound" (1964)
  • my guidance counselor was horrified when I said I wanted to be a veterinarian, specializing in large animals, specifically horses; that wasn't a career girls went into, of course
  • my uncle gave us his old color tv when he bought a new one ... adios, B&W!
  • there were race riots in Buffalo, the nearest big city to us, and numerous other cities around the country (1965)
  • the first Vietnam war casualty from our town was the son of a family my parents socialized with (1965)
  • a boy I had dated a few times nearly killed himself in a car wreck (1966)
  • two senior boys drag racing on a back road slammed head-on into another car, killing all three (1966)
  • I got my driver's license on the first try, but my parents wouldn't let me drive much (1967)
  • our prom remains infamous in town history for the fact that the band never showed up (1967)
  • the Vietnam War was in our living rooms every night along with student riots and other assorted violence (1968)
  • Martin Luther King was assassinated (1968)
  • I graduated from high school and lit out from small town America for the Big City (Buffalo), thinking I'd never come back (1968)
Don't fool yourself. It was different then than now, but not necessarily better.

When you juxtaposition your life beside what was happening around you, you might come to another conclusion. When you look critically at some of the things that went on just in your school or clique during your adolescence, you sometimes wonder how you and your classmates and friends ever survived to become adults (I won't even go into college).
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