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The Good Old Days

It's less good now.

Last week I mentioned that I used a bicycle to deliver papers when I was a kid and that sent my mind back to those days. Everyone drove their bikes to school and stuck them in a rack on a vacant lot across from the school. No such thing as a bicycle lock. At the end of the day the bikes were all there.

We here represent an age range from 20 to 80 (plus one who is 10) and from all areas of this and other countries. It seems as though nearly everyone has memories of the way things used to be and how it's not as good as the good old days. Of course the older one is the better it used to be. Memories are malleable. I will mention a few of my personal memories and try to be somewhat balanced.

When I was a kid no one was divorced. But undoubtedly many couples should have been.
Parents could say to kids "Be back for supper" and off they would go for the day, whereabouts generally unknown.
Mothers could stay at home and one job was sufficient to live a middle class lifestyle. Not all women wished to be stuck in the house, but not that many opportunities outside the home.
From the end of WWII there was a feeling of optimism; we won the war, the future was unlimited. Goods began to be available; DDT would make farming and gardening a snap.
Movies in my town cost 14 cents and haircuts were 50 cents. But my allowance was 25 cents.
There were vacant lots to play in and when the inevitable new house was being built that was even a better place to play.
If a kid wanted a job it was easy to find something from a newspaper route to soda jerk. But $1 an hour was a great wage.
There were many newspapers and viewpoints, less monopolistic media, and TV was in its infancy. But there were commies everywhere according to Joseph McCarthy and we were taught to duck under our desks in case of a nuclear bomb.
War was ended but then it returned in Korea. War, I'm afraid, will always be with us.

There's no end to these comparisons and perhaps others will awaken more memories and contrasts. But to end on a positive note, Spring is busting out all over, here. Fruit trees are in blossom, flowers are popping up all over, and most amazing to me, after such a long drought, I have to cut my lawn tomorrow.


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