Skip to comments.A Nostalgic New Year's Look At The 1950s
Posted on 12/31/2012 6:51:01 AM PST by NYer
New Years observances blend recollections of the past, celebrations in the present, and anticipation of the future. For a variety of reasons, Im feeling nostalgic this year. Ive been giving a lot of thought to the decade of my childhoodthe 1950s.
In October, my wife and I saw a play in which people weary of the hectic pace of contemporary life could escape to an authentic 1950s community where the more relaxed pace of the past had been recreated. In the play, the benefit of relocating to the 50s was a simpler, less stressful life, but it came at a priceenduring racial and sexual prejudice. The problem was that the playwrighta man in his 30shad zero feel for the era. He simply reproduced various one-dimensional stereotypes about the 50s that he had heard or read.
... snip ....
My view of the 50s is more benign. I recall it as a happy, safe timealmost a Golden Age in American history. ... snip ... Im glad I got to be a kid at a time of peace and prosperity.
In the 50s, homes were smaller, cars larger, attire more formal, and the range of consumer products far narrower. A sense of order prevailed. Neighbors watched out for everyones kids. We left our homes and cars unlocked. Kids behaved in school or were expelled. Most of us toed the line, because we knew that our parents would take the teachers side. Teachers were respected and principals feared. People accepted responsibility for their actions. If you hurt yourself doing something careless, you never thought of suing the company that made the thing with which you hurt yourself. Most of us went to Sunday school or synagogue every weekend, learning right from wrong and that we are accountable to a higher power.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
For those who share these memories and those who wish they did ;-)
In a nutshell ... a lott'a psychological health in those sentences
Even with regular Air Raid Drills and gruesome descriptions of nuclear war (”Don’t look at the flash or your eyeballs will melt!) I STILL felt more secure and safe in my Beloved America in the Fifties than I do now.
Remember Khrushchev banging his shoe on the desk? LOL!
The Good Guys were Good and the Bad Guys were BAD. I Loved the Fifties!
OK...I know the “shoe thing” was probably in the early 60’s. The “Fifties” ended on November 22, 1963. For me, anyway.
I remember when my brother and I were told to be in before the street lights went on guess what we were or else.
Parents were non existent on any given day ut for aan ankle and foot in a doorway in a distant room. But they knew what we were up to.
Tehere were older siblings, and they were sanctioned if we did something to embarass the family.
And we were not allowed to be in the house during the day. We had to brave a lot for that.
Once, someone fixed the lock on our front door so we could lock it. I was in my twenties.
The teacher was NEVER wrong. But she was a good person, out for my welfare.
People dressed appropriately. I still do, and I get treated well for it. Dressing well is easy and way underrated.
It was a privilege to grow up in the 50s.
During my period of great despondency immediately following the stolen election, I was lamenting the loss of our republic, when one of my elder sisters stated, “We got to live in the best part of it”. Still makes me tear up to type that, as it reminds me of what my grandchildren will never have.
I love Norman Rockwell!
Happy New Year, FRiend!
As we have been told, the cause of all of the current shootings is ‘the easy availability of guns.’
Well let me let everyone in on a little secret:
GUNS WERE ONE HELL OF A LOT MORE AVAILABLE DURING THE 1950'S THEN THEY ARE TODAY.
Most of the households back then had a father that had been in World War II. There were three M1 Garands in my neighborhood alone. One owner would load up all the kids in the block and take us out to the range to shoot his. Many houses had a 1911 Colt or some kind of wheel gun. None were locked up, and most were loaded.
And if you wanted to buy a gun, who here remembers, “Service Armament”? They were one of many MAIL ORDER gun companies. Just a money order and the Postman walked right up to your door and delivered.
My Dad said if I made all Bs in my sophomore year I could buy a pistol.I picked and Astra 9mm (I thought it looked neat, but it is really a poor design). I filled out all the paperwork and saved my money. To make a long story short, I still have the gun, and somewhere I may even still have the box it came in, addressed to me - a 15 year old.
If easy availability of guns was the problem, the 50’s should have seen daily school blood baths. It didn't. And that alone PROVES that the availability of guns has NOTHING to do with the causes of the current madness.
If you had said let’s take God out of the school system you would have to say, “how are you going to guard against the onslaught of the enemy?”
“If you had said lets take God out of the school system you would have to say, how are you going to guard against the onslaught of the enemy?
Not quite sure what you are trying to say, but if in the 1950’s you had said, “let’s take God our of the school system” my parents and a whole bunch of other very angry parents would have shown up - and been VERY LOUD.
The liberals are a lot smarter then we give them credit for. The work like water, just slowly wearing away the morals and sanity that creates a good society. They’ve been at it for the last sixty years. It’s just now that we are really staring to see the effects.
I remember one shooting at school in the fifties. A guy brought his shotgun to Massapequa HS and killed some other guy over a girl. The teacher who disarmed him was Alex Baldwin Sr.
Yes, those were the good old days for firearms. My dad owned over 200 firearms at that time, all easily available in the home and you know what? With the exception of when we went out hunting or to the range or to clean them, I knew if I ever put my hands on one, they would stay on them...no joke, I just knew better.
The rest of the 50’s were pretty calm to, once the Korean War was over. Schools were places to learn, not day care centers. I went to a local church grade school taught by mostly nuns. We were praised when we did well, and if we did something wrong, well, I always felt the principal nun was hiding out from Nuremberg for having run a concentration camp. Frightening woman. I don’t recall the police ever coming to school except to hand out the safety patrol badges and gather them up at the end of the school year. A big night out was when the family went to the movies. One TV, a few channels and no filth on it. My parents decided what was on and when we went to bed. Yes, “go outside and play” was a daily thing, no hanging about the house playing video games and the like. Touch football ran from october to March and baseball from April to October, either at the park or in the street. Water ballon fights and tag games....a wonderful time to be a kid.
Meanwhile, we had chores to accomplish too. Mostly helping out but nonetheless we were involved. Minor plumbing, painting, car maintenance, cleaning game both fish and foul. We were taught how to do things besides checking Angie’s list.
Yes, I remember at least a couple of those kinds of shootings as well.
But I'm talking about a kid just showing up and indiscriminately shooting people for no reason. Two guys having a beef with each other - yes, high school kids killing people just for fun - no.
It was a time when doors were left unlocked, children played outside until dusk and what few television programs shown, were entertaining, informative or faith based. Even our Jewish neighbors appreciated watching ...
Remember when I was in the eight grade about `62 the
school took us on a field trip to the local jail..8 cells
Today we have a jail built about 8 yrs ago to hold 500,now
they are triple bunking them because of over crowding
“A guy brought his shotgun to Massapequa HS and killed some other guy over a girl”
Bingo - first correct answer.
Almost every home back then with kids had a Mom AND a Dad. Mom was kind but strict, and Dad had a large leather belt. And there was order and politeness in society, from the home, to the neighborhood, to schools. But as the liberals will tell you, those were ‘terrible times that restricted children’s growth and development.’ Never mind that those kids went on to build the largest free market economy on earth and STILL pay a huge percentage of the takes.
Since then we have been taught that there must be ‘freedom’ and ‘understanding’. That under no circumstances should a parent ever strike a child. And that all of the bedrock American beliefs are wrong and must be torn down.
Working out really well, isn’t it?
Ditto! And it was reflected in television programming.
The shooter in Massapequa in ‘58 was already a ‘troubled’ kid and being treated by a shrink. It was such an anomoly that we remember it 55 years later.
Because those sentences reflect a society based on civility and respect for God.
I firmly believe that *everybody* was better off,overall,back then...even the perverts (AIDS was unheard of then).
I remember there was the Korean war, lots of tobacco related deaths, polio vaccines, beginning of VietNam problems, communism, women had fewer rights, pollution, no seat belts, McCarthyism, atomic bomb drills, LSD treatments for psychiatric problems, TB hospitals, lousy tv.
I think every decade had good things and bad things.
Ironic that we lost the election to our peers. God bless you, friend. Safeguard those memories and share them with your grandchildren.
We’re all a bunch of knuckle-dragging neanderthals just for clicking on the thread title.
Maybe in the 60's when we sort'a discovered our brains those things mattered .. but not in the 50's.
I was born in '48 ... "woke up" around 53,54,55 ... caught some terrific doowop before the beatle invasion ... etc., etc.
I was born in 1950. I remember iron lungs, polio vaccine on a sugar cube, Ike’s election, hiding under desks at school, and yes, getting yelled at for coming in after dark.
I was born with a physical deformity and I remember Ma going out on the March Of Dimes and filling cards with dimes from door to door donors.
I remember those cards with the little slots.
The "shoe thing" was in 1960.
For me, the fifties ended chronologically on December 31, 1959, a sunny and cold and snowy day in Big Bear Lake, Calif.--the lake was frozen, so we could walk out onto it, and the ground was covered with snow. Politically and culturally, I would say the fifties ended on January 20, 1961, a cold and overcast Friday in Whittier, Calif.
school took us on a field trip to the local jail..8 cells
I visited the jail in Whittier, Calif. in 1960, and it was about that size. We were allowed to tour it because there were no inmates. It's a safe bet that it's always full these days.
The whole point of getting God out of the school system was to make sure that there was nothing to guard against the onslaught of the enemy.
“the range of consumer products far narrower”
Sometimes a walk through Walmart (and other stores) reminds me of just how much “stuff” I do NOT need. Less IS more; but we just have to discipline ourselves in that way; I feel a bit dazed at times when I have to choose among 25 different versions of the same product. Of course, we’d probably complain if we only had one choice in an item.
I'm amazed at the amount of programming (psycological engineering) that goes on with American television.
There must be four or five each of talent searches, survivor series, races and bachelors, bachelorettes, and a few etcetera's that constantly bombard the viewer with ..
"Well, the way I see it, Brad is SO selfish and ...
So what IS reality?
Well Bill ... the way I see it ...
God will not be mocked.
It would have been hard to complain...all there was back then was mail, telegraph or telephone, and phone calls were likely to be party lines and cost money just to call across the country.
How else do you give people jobs if you don’t sell stuff?...more stuff for sale, more jobs.
The 50s was before my time, but I have no doubt it was a much better time.
You've hit upon a pet peeve of mine, and that is the fact that it's fashionable to be a slob these days. I'm in my 40s, and if I go out wearing boot cut jeans, a decent top, and heeled boots, I'm way overdressed compared with many. It's even worse during the summer. Most people look like they just came off the beach. I really do despise flip-flops.
Hey, ladies, here's a newsflash---exposed bra straps are not an accessory. They're meant to be covered up. Strapless bras have existed for decades----get one.
As for men, a Freeper (can't recall whom) was right when she said that many of them dress like oversized Peanuts characters. I've never forgotten that description; it was completely on target.
Thank you for your post. I believe that every generation can look back to a past period with a feeling of nostalgia. Every era has positive and negative aspects to it. We live in our own times, wishing for something or sometime else doesn’t change anything.
BTW, I remember duck and cover, Howdy Doody, polio scares etc. I even came down with Scarlet Fever one summer. I wonder how many cases there are of that every year in the US.
I was born somewhat later, but didn't hear much doo-wop with the exception of Peanuts by Little Joe & the Thrillers and the Flamingos' I Only Have Eyes For You. Our radio station of choice was usually KFI, now Rush Limbaugh's home in the Southland.
In the fifties, KFI featured variety shows such as "Hit the Road," a morning show that included a lot of popular music. Their play list included songs like The Ballad of Davy Crockett by Walter Schumann, Round and Round by Perry Como, and True Love by Bing Crosby, but occasionally a rocker such as Rock Around the Clock or Eric Nelson's Poor Little Fool would break through. We would listen to "Hit the Road" over a portable Zenith radio that usually sat on the gray Formica kitchen table beneath the big GE electric clock that was mounted on the wall.
Let's make steel and sell it all over the world
Let's make refineries and sell the refined products all over the world
The fact that liberals are always howling about what an evil time the 50s (and early 60s) were is proof of how good they were. TV shows with names like Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, and Have Gun Will Travel were on the air and nobody had a cow over it. Little boys openly played with toy guns.
I saw an old commercial on youtube for a cereal called Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops. The child actor (actually, the guy who grew up to be Micky Dolenz of the Monkees) had toy guns in the commercial and said, “bang, bang,” and the slogan was “shot with sugar through and through.” Yes, they bragged about the cereal having sugar, and guns and shooting were the theme of the ad! But there were few if any school shootings then, and less obesity.
I’ve even heard of high school kids in the 50s leaving guns openly visible in their cars in school parking lots because they planned to go hunting after school. Yet if two kids got into a fight, nobody ran out to the parking lot to get their gun. They settled the fight with fists. I’ve even heard of kids bringing guns on the school bus because they’d brought them for “show and tell”!
People are nostalgic for the safety and the morals of the 50s. I get email forwards all the time saying, “Remember the good old days when we didn’t have to lock our doors and the schools didn’t have metal detectors?” But nobody ever discusses why things aren’t that way anymore. That’s the elephant in the living room!
Yes, I hear you.
I was only 8 years old when the fifties chronologically ended, and was still quite politically naive.
Hopefully we will again in the future. In the meantime, we need to sell something, even if people don’t know they need it. I don’t think the world is a better place if the biggest $$$ things we can sell is munitions.
When I attended my last high school reunion, I wore a slacks, a sport jacket and a tie--and was way overdressed. In fact, I was the only one with a tie, and several came in shorts and sandals.
That is just completely unacceptable to me. I don’t know what people are thinking.
I forgot about Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob. That was the beginning of tv as a babysitter. I don’t know anyone that could watch that stuff nowadays, even kids.
“McCarthyism” is a term that was invented by leftists who know that Joe was onto them.
of Course the fifties weren’t perfect. No era is. But it sure was a lot nicer than the world we live in today.
All of us Baby Boomers no doubt remember Tony the Tiger, who flogged Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. I met the man who did his voice—he lived in my mother’s retirement complex. He passed away a few years ago.