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 ...
That’s one classy lady! Thanks for the post. I remember aspiring to look decent when going out. I took pride in my appearance. I’ll never understand this “poverty chic” look. Those who were truly poor tried under sometimes trying circumstances to look their best when stepping out. I see trashy people everywhere now. I remember once reading that in a sense the president is the one person distillation of the American people. I’m beginning to believe it. God help us!
I do believe you are correct.
My Mom grew up during the Depression on a small farm. Her Dad was allergic to work, so until her brothers got old enough to make things go, there was very little money. They all remember waiting until there was frost on the ground before they were allowed to wear shoes to school - although all their neighbors did the same. I can also remember being told, “Your clothes may not be new, but they WILL be clean!”
I think that is the difference that struck me most. People were expected to behave with some reserve and dignity. No slouching, no making loud noises, and keep at least SOME of your emotions to yourself. You might not be able to afford furs, but you could ALWAYS afford to clean your clothes and carry yourself upright and look folks in the eye.
She used to buy us winter jackets every year. She confessed to me that she envied the girls that could afford winter jackets, it gets Cold in Mass, and she didn't have one.
One must remember that during the 1950's, the culture was coarsening and welfare staters were busily hatching their collectivist schemes, as illustrated in the following books:
One Sunday at mass, the priest asked how many people knew what the id and the ego were. A few hands went up. “I see most of you didn’t watch Bishop Sheen Tuesday night.”
Sounds very pleasant, you must have some nice memories.
Happy New Year
That’s why my mom never wanted to go shopping. She was born in 1920.
Happy New Year to you, also.
You’re so right! Simple cleaning products do about as good a job as the industrial strength chemicals; and you don’t get all those awful caustic fumes. - I sprinkle DIATOMACEOUS EARTH in out of the way places; and for 27 years the only bugs I’ve seen have been few and far between and mostly expired. (Diatomaceous earth can get in the eyes and scratch like fire if you get it on your hands and happen to rub it around your eyes. Keep away from pets & children.)
And yes, BORAX is good and smells SO clean. - Most laundry detergents leave a residue on my clothes that burn my skin; so I get Arm & Hammer brand laundry detergent that has no additives in it, no perfumes and stuff like that. I clean my kitchen sink with BORAX or BAKING SODA with a little cheap white vinegar. I keep spray bottles of a mix of DISTILLED WATER and half 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE to spray on kitchen counters and bathroom counters, etc. It makes it so easy to keep things CLEAN ENOUGH, which is now enough for me.
I took that quiz and scored 92% for an A-.
I confess I was more into T and A than RPM
Thank you. And may God bless you, as well.
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