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 ...
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.