We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, August 10. 2021
I can remember many of those days, fondly. How about you?
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I remember most of those things but we at least had a bath tub. I hardly ever wore shoes and my Mom would get mad when I took a bath as I always started with my feed. Just put the dirt further up my body but I lived through it. Our favorite game was Kick the Can. Stayed outside playing, safe even in the dark until we were all called home by our father's whistle or mother's call. I hate what many children have to deal with today, the fear, violence and lack of innocence being forced on them by the "betters" of our land. Was it perfect, no, but things were easier even if we were poor. Not having new clothes could be embarrassing but now being poor is not having the latest smart phone and expensive sports shoes.
At first we had no running water, just cold water from a pitcher pump. Saturday night bath in the wash tub. I, my brother and sister all wore flour sack shirts. Sling shots, caulk gun burp guns, and we trapped and hunted at grade school age. The phone was wood and hung on the wall and a Christmas call to Grandma and Grandpa would require we stand on a chair. We lived in the country and found plenty to stay busy including farm chores. Milked cows by hand and rode on the hay wagon with grandpa and the team of horses during threshing season. We all had plenty to eat and plenty to do and not once did we feel poor. Every neighborhood kid lived a similar life and at high school reunions we were all glad where we were raised.
We were so unsophisticated that we never realized what we didn't have. So, we did not miss it.
Luxury was the Saturday movie. It was usually a double feature western, sandwiched around the obligatory serial episode--and air conditioning. The heroes were great, and could shoot a pistol right out of the bad guy's hand without touching him. If they had to die, the villains had the grace to do so without fuss. They were well worth the mile or so walk to the nearest theater, or the occasional ten cen street car ride down town. Mom had no qualms about sending a ten year old and his brother off to the show. It was safe,and age ten was certainly old enough to be responsible.
Some of the things I never knew about when I was a kid were drugs, random shootings, and child suicides. Still, most houses held a gun of some kind. It never occurred to anyone that guns were evil; although we knew that there were some evil people who might prowl the night. One reason for having a gun in the house.
There was the war, of course. Dad and older cousins were off defending us. The boy next door, and the one across the street didn't come home. It never occurred to us that we would not win; and it certainly never occurred to us that the U.S was not the greatest country in the world.
That's a good poem.Thank you.
I was lucky I got to live those times.
In addition to my own memories, I recently cleared out the old family homestead prior to sale. We had photos and letters and family bibles back to 1874, as well as much correspondence of a personal and business nature from 1905 through the early 1950's.
Grandmother was raised by the local newspaper publisher, and Grandfather compiled local histories from those files, which were sold for fire company fundraisers. All these materials, and the family histories and letters and postcards, illustrated life before my own time in vivid terms. Simpler and harder lives, but lots of folks looking out for the neighbors and family in ways we don't see anymore.
Sadly, the next generations beyond mine show no interest in even learning the basics of their ancestors' lives, or even of my generation. The materials I saved from the homestead will end up in a dumpster when I am no longer able to keep them, and a way of life from the past will become a complete mystery.
Is there a local historical society, group or university they could be donated to? 50 years from now in what remains of America they will be looked at again. After all the monks kept Rome and Greece from disappearing with handwritten materials. We'll do better.
Perhaps work to scan them? Saved digitally can really work to increase their longevity.
Remember most all of these things.
All is not lost - we have our share of screaming kids in this country neighborhood, and they're playing kick-the-can up to, and even after dark. When it rains hard, they body surf down the culvert's runoff.
The big difference is, they're not riding their PF Flyers, they've got the family off-road golf cart to go up to the fishing lake. I come out and see 4-6 of those suckers lined up in the road, I know there's a softball game goin' on.
Those dang golf carts, though. I see 8 year olds driving them on the road, usually responsibly. But I slow to a fast creep just the same, because you never know when they might make an 8 year-old move right in front of you when you overtake them.
Nostalgia is nice but also remember that things were the way there were 'back in the day' largely because we lacked the resources to make them different, not because we designed them that way.
I can remember those days quite well. My father was a school teacher, and my mother was a stay at home mom, until my younger sister started Kindergarten. Then she took a part time job, during the hours that my sister would be in school. I remember the milk man delivering the milk, eggs, butter, and margarine in the early morning, and the bakery truck delivering the bread, and various muffins, etc.. Our house was a simple Cape Cod style home on about a half acre. Every other house was about the same. The "suburban sprawl" had lots of families with lots of kids. We used to play until it got dark, and it was time for dinner. We rode our bikes everywhere. In school, our teachers were strict, but they made sure that we learned the material to the best of our abilities. Not everyone learned at the same pace. That's why they had tracking. There was a reason for that pastoral way of life. We developed a huge middle class following World War II. You also didn't need a college degree in order to have a nice comfortable middle class lifestyle. As the world's middle classes are shrinking due to the elites global plans, we are witnessing the beginning of the collapse of Western Civilization. What is coming? A small elite global ruling class, and a world of serfs. We are heading into very dangerous times.
I remember as well. The front door was left open so that the milkman could leave the milk in the refrigerator on the rare occasion my mother would not be at home. I learned to iron by ironing cotton sheets for our beds. In the fall, when I arrived home late in the afternoon, my mother would be frying up a "mess" of doves in the cast iron frying pan. My father was still at work, but her father, my Papa, had shot them. When I arrived home earlier, I helped to pluck and clean them. My father put a bathroom with a tub in a portion of the back porch he built in when I was six. All these memories--and I'm not 70 yet.