Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
- Community Blog
The start of a new week and, for my friend Brian, not a word about baseball!
I grew up in the midwest and one of the reasons I wanted to leave was all the "rules". There are some good things to say about tradition and for some of us, tradition without flexibility is like being slowly strangled. I have a different take on the Baby Boomers. Originally and foremost, they are the children born after the soldiers (inclusive of all services) came home from the war. That is WWII. This is just my own thing. The news makers spread it out over about 15 years. For myself, I arbitrarily choose to use, 1945-1952. My 'baby' sister is in the news definition. She is 14 years younger than me and I do not think of her as a Baby Boomer.
Rules are similar to torture, especially around the holidays (Christmas). You are at your Aunt's house on Christmas Eve, but home early enough to go caroling with Mom. Christmas Day could be confusing with a whole bunch of eating and drinking at the homes of relatives & friends (parents friends). I somehow felt that it was a show that went on year after year, with no real substance behind it. "The show must go on" I went my own way and decided that all gifts from me would have a particular meaning for the giftee. For many years, everyone received gifts that I made. Then it was books, picked with care for that particular person. Gift giving became important to me. I now know that it meant little to some and volumes to others. No matter, it was from my heart. I still like to practice that and I always hope people will recognize it. The holidays are a special, very busy, lots of hard work, time. I bake and bake and bake. I make nutbreads & cookies and my friends get to pick out their favorites. Christmas is now fun for me.
We are heading into the home stretch of our lives with some of you ahead of me! Dave Letterman said that at 50 years old, you pretty much know your life if half over. Nostalgia plays a big part in our lives. I rather like realistic nostalgia. Those are things I remember and sometimes believe they were real! There were family outings all the time. Lots of picnics and backyard barbecues. Geese that particularly liked biting one of my aunts. An old broken down rooster that Granny was rather fond of. The fruit & vegetable stand for a couple of summer months.
I am often appalled that the younger generations do not have a concept of, nor have they been taught, the historical significance of the sixties. Have you ever been at a gathering talking about "burning our bras"? Protesting was a moveable concept, borne out by the myriad forms it took. Sit ins, chaining to fences at Nuclear power plants, campus speeches both for and against the VietNam war. I believe that war changed the face of news, at least for those who watched it. People actually questioned what was reported. It was no longer 'the gospel truth'. My mother once commented that she didn't know where I got that independent spirit from. (That will make my English teachers happy). Parents didn't know what to think, or do, or say. This was a time of great confusion and challenges to the nuclear family. There were still arms on the octopus, but their grip was looser. Independence was happening, with some thinking it was a bad word. Farmers' sons' went off to school to become doctors and lawyers. The family farms could not compete with the conglomerates being formed all across the midwest and plains states. And, despite the vast array of ways to communicate, many in the midwest thought of California as the "land of fruits & nuts". A friend wrote that to me in 1969!
Even the world of music can surprise me. I was on the trolly recently sitting behind a group of teenage girls. They were having a debate and wondering if some singers were dead or alive. One of them asked about Paul McCartney & was assured he was alive, "but do you know, what was the name of the group he was in before Wings?"