The Baby Boomers
I think that my generation, our so called “baby boomer” generation has been awarded the privilege and had the luck to grow up during the last, best America which will ever exist.
I don’t say this as a matter of contention with other generations either before or after the boomer generation, but it’s just my considered opinion.
We were the first television generation. Except instead of CSA and Bones, we had Ed Sullivan and Bonanza. We played outside in the sun and rain. We ran and ran, playing hide and seek, freedom, pick up baseball with paper tape balls and broomsticks, tackle football with no pads, and any other active game we could conjure up, including a lot of “cowboy and Indians” (please pardon me my native American friends)
Our Moms and Dads wore us out for lying, bad homework, cussing and back talking. Most of us don’t resent it, or feel like we were abused. There was rarely a parent who didn’t know when to stop. Some abuse existed, but I don’t believe it was as bad as today’s society. We had a lot more newspapers and a lot fewer news channels. A lot more reporters, and a whole lot fewer pundits.
Elvis was alive and singing, and you got his music on something you could hold, and not something you “download” Rock and roll was born, and songs had lyrics you could understand and melodies that stuck in your head. Think about “Unchained Melody” right now and then see how long it takes you to get it out of your head. There’s a reason they still use those songs in movies.
You could go off for a day and not lock your doors. You helped your neighbor with his garden and he helped you with yours, and people shared the excess with others. You could pull your car up on the curb and do most of the work on it yourself, but if you needed a mechanic you got somebody with a pouch of tools and not a computer.
People were not afraid of sweating during the Summer, or wearing a few more clothes to keep warm during the Winter. The clothes we had also had to last us an entire school year. There were no “designer” clothes unless you considered “Levi-Strauss” to be one.
Our parents didn’t like us to waste food because “children in India” were starving. They would have been welcome to a lot of the stuff that Mom tried to make me eat, mainly the foods that fell into the “green” food group.
Most of all, we were all primarily happy. We weren’t afraid to walk to the movies or to school by ourselves. We were embarrassed to think about even kissing or holding hands with a member of the opposite sex. We knew all the cops and postmen by their first name. We weren’t afraid to roll in the dirt and get filthy, dirty and sweaty.
We dreamed of doing big things, and some of those things got done. Some of the impetus to do them got lost in the late 60’s and never got reclaimed. Its still not too late through. There is still time left for we fifties babies to do a lot of good if we will just remember that it was our purpose in life to make the world a better place for children, dogs and all other living things. Peace.