Recently i had a conversation with a blogger who commented on my piece: “When We Were Young.”
After a couple of exchanges she asked me, ‘’What does 1950s childhood mean to you?” in reference to the subtitle of my blog, before I removed it, ’’Poems and Short Stories About the Golden Age of America.’’
While answering her question I realized that I had become inspired. The following words flowed out of me. I’d like to share them with you.
What did the 1950s childhood meant to me, Deanne?
This golden age lasted ten to fifteen years after World War II … when small town America flourished.
There was just enough technology to make life comfortable; three television stations, t.v. went off the air at midnight. One car per family. Women could stay home and raise families while men worked local jobs or traveled to factories in nearby cities. F.M. radio didn’t even exist.
Decades of families grew up in the same community where there was a shared sense of history. It felt like you lived in a tribe.
Serious crime existed in the cites … but cities weren’t a dominant force in the U.S. like they are today.
There was plenty of empty spaces between towns for kids to safely explore. Kids didn’t have to be driven from place to place by their parents, to learn how to play different sports.
There was no t-ball or pop warner football. Kids learned to play sports by emulating older kids they watched at local sporting events. They practiced their skills playing impromptu games around the community.
Play and exploration were the only forms of recreation available. Nobody complained that they needed more to keep them occupied. All kids wanted was to be free to go and do as they pleased. In that environment, they were free to go and do as they pleased.
The downhill slide started in 1964 with the Kennedy assination. Then, Martin Luther King and later Robert Kennedy were killed.
Wide spread drug began in ’65 – ’66.
Viet Nam ratcheted up at the same time. Every town had someone who was killed. Four guys died from my class …