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Old 15 October 2018, 15:59
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Exclamation CHILDREN OF THE 1930s and 1940s –

I am one of them, an I know that are a few more just like me are on the site. For you younger ones, have fun reading. How things have changed over time, some for the better, some well, I will blame that on our younger generation!

Born in the late 50's or 60's etc.




CHILDREN OF THE 1930s and 1940s – “THE LAST ONES”

Born in the 1930s and early 1940s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the “LAST ONES.” We are the last, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the war itself with fathers and uncles going off. We are the last to remember ration books for everything from sugar to shoes to stoves. We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.


We are the last to hear Roosevelt’s radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors. We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day.



We are the last who spent childhood without television; instead imagining what we heard on the radio. As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside until the street lights came on.” We did play outside and we did play on our own. There was no little league.



The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like. Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. Newspapers and magazines were written for adults. We are the last who had to find out for ourselves.



As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth. The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow. VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work. New highways would bring jobs and mobility. The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics. In the late 40s and early 50s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class. Our parents understandably became absorbed with their own new lives. They were free from the confines of the depression and the war. They threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.



We weren’t neglected but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves “until the street lights came on.” They were busy discovering the post war world.



Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and went to find out. We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed. Based on our naïve belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went.



We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future. Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience. Depression poverty was deep rooted. Polio was still a crippler. The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 1950s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks. China became Red China. Eisenhower sent the first "advisors" to Vietnam. Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.



We are the last to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland. We came of age in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, climate change, technological upheaval and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease.



Only we can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We experienced both.



We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better... not worse.


We did not have it easy. Our wages were low, we did without, we lived within our means, we worked hard to get a job, and harder still to keep it. Things that today are considered necessities, we considered unreachable luxuries. We made things last. We fixed, rather than replaced. We had values and did not take for granted that "somebody will take care of us." We cared for ourselves and we also cared for others.


We are the “LAST ONES.”
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Old 15 October 2018, 16:13
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I would say that children of the 60's, 70's and 80's also played outside until the lights came on. I recall playing in the rain, as our homemade boats made of a wine corks would sail down the street gutters. I was the "remote control" of the three to four stations on our new and only color TV.

It was the technological advances on the last two decades that have couched children.

I don't think your generation has the monopoly on enjoying life before the arrival of modern conveniences. I will, however, concede that life during WWII was vastly different than that of post Vietnam.
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Old 15 October 2018, 16:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildman43 View Post
We are the last to hear Roosevelt’s radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors.
I sure am glad we don't have those gold star families anymore. That must have been a sad time.
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Old 15 October 2018, 16:42
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JAFO's on target. Born in 1960, we were outta the house shortly after sunrise, left to our own devices for entertainment until when the lights came on, or until we heard mom yodeling (she was good at it, and unfortunately for us she knew we could hear her a half-mile away, as there was no traffic noise to mask the call) We made forts in the woods, looked for four-leaf clover in the HS football field just across the street, dug foxholes, built treehouses, worked on (greased chains and put cards in the spokes) our bikes and had any number of adventures.

Mom cooked simple meals, but they were on the table every day, and we ate the whole serving, every time. Dad controlled the remote to the B&W TV (us) that showed Gunsmoke, Batman, The Flying Nun, the Rifleman, and best of all, Disney.

At school we learned to duck and cover. We wondered why Dad wasn't making a shelter in the basement, but it certainly wasn't an item of any concern. We had a parade around the pool table in the basement (probably why there was no shelter being built) banging a drum and chanting Kennedy is Dead one day when Mom was upstairs crying because Kennedy is dead. That happens to be one of my very earliest memories, I was just shy of four.

Dad got mobilized for Berlin, but didn't deploy. He got mobilized several times for Vietnam, but the MASH he was assigned to never went. We played instead with GI Joes in the dirt out int he back yard.

I never heard of touch or flag football until I was a teenager; we played tackle, and got some injuries as a result. Dad treated them with mercuricrome and rubbing alcohol. He took us ground hog hunting regularly with his scoped pre-war Sako in .222 Rem. and cleaned the jaw bones of flesh at his lab in Kodak's chemistry lab so we could have nice clean ground hog jaws to play with. He went deer hunting in the Adirondacks every year with his shotgun but without us, and never failed to come home with at least one doe. He also took us pheasant hunting with our Springer Spaniel that never did get fully trained at the whole bird hunting thing, as it happened only a few times a year.

My next door neighbor's B-17 on which he was the navigator, was shot down over Germany on his 10th mission, and he spent the rest of the war in a Luft Stalag. A couple of doors further down another neighbor lost his son who drowned during a river crossing in Vietnam, assigned as a grunt to the 101st.

I don't remember Mercury, but every single Gemini and Apollo mission was front and center in our lives. Dad attended a speech that Wernher Von Braun gave at Kodak, describing the problems with fuel pumps the size of Apollo F5 engines that mult gulp ridiculous amounts of propellant per second, and the technology to build them didn't yet exist.

So, I'll disagree with you, Wildman. I was born in 1960, but had what I'd consider an idyllic childhood.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:28
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Whatever makes you feel good Pops.

What JAFO and B/275 said.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET1/ss nuke View Post
I sure am glad we don't have those gold star families anymore. That must have been a sad time.
They still have the Gold Stars for our Troops that are fighting in the sand Box.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:36
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Hey pops.... y’all had and raised the kids of the 50s-60s.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post

...I was born in 1960, but had what I'd consider an idyllic childhood.
This.

1960 was a great year to be born in...
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:47
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1961 here, 6 days after Alan Shepard went into space.

When I was very young, I can remember going outside to ride my trike (This would have been when I was only 3 years old ) and the only caveat was that I had to stay on the block, and when I say block I mean all 4 sides. That would be unheard of today.

As for TV, our set for most of my childhood, up until I was about 13 or 14, was an old Motorola metal cabinet 16 inch B&W that only picked up VHF channels, and when the antenna broke I was able to figure out how to use a butter knife to get decent enough reception (wonder I didn't electrocute myself). When we turned it off the screen went dark and the picture condensed into a horizontal line, and eventually reduced to a small white dot in the center. So I know what the narrator on the Outer Limits was referring to. Getting a color set with UHF was like getting cable. I think we might have still had an old Philco radio of the type Wildman had.

Rotary dial phones one step removed from a party line, and the only mobile phones I knew of were on TV, being used by Mannix and Banacek. We weren't concerned with what was fashionable or stylish, and in the winter the only thing that mattered was staying warm and dry. It might be time to hunt down a pair of black galoshes with those metal buckles that never seemed to stay fastened.

I was the youngest so I wore a lot of hand me downs, and when I played football I had to stuff newspaper or tissue up in the toe of my cleats so that they would fit. In a family of 7 kids, and tuition to a parochial school, there wasn't money to pay for something as extravagant as new up to date footwear, especially when there was a perfectly good, 10 year old pair lying around. We wore whatever was the cheapest, and my mom was an expert when it came to finding bargains. She grew up in the 30s and 40s too.

In the end, the more things change the more they stay the same. 50 years from now some 20 something from today will be talking about how simple and idyllic their childhood was compared to what will be available at that point, and young people will look at all of those i phones that folks can't get enough of now as quaint, ancient technology and laugh about how everybody always seemed to be staring at them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go listen to my archived tapes of Little Orphan Annie.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:48
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My grandmother (poor Italian family, mid NJ) asked me once if I knew what the greatest gift they could get for Christmas was during the depression. If they got this ONE THING, it made their entire Christmas she said.

I said "No Gram, what was that?"

She said "An orange".

I was like WT???

If they got ONE ORANGE for Christmas, they were overjoyed. Think about that.
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Old 15 October 2018, 17:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KW Driver View Post
Hey pops.... y’all had and raised the kids of the 50s-60s.
Yes we did, that was when the hippies, etc. generations started. an pot heads, LSD etc. I could tell you some stories of what they did. One day the wife came home from before I did, one daughter & her boy friend was spray painting his car, next to someone's car next to them, you can just imagen what was happening Made the ex-boy friend move his car. an not every come around again.
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Old 15 October 2018, 18:07
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Originally Posted by 19MIKE View Post
My grandmother (poor Italian family, mid NJ) asked me once if I knew what the greatest gift they could get for Christmas was during the depression. If they got this ONE THING, it made their entire Christmas she said.

I said "No Gram, what was that?"

She said "An orange".

I was like WT???

If they got ONE ORANGE for Christmas, they were overjoyed. Think about that.
A couple of toys, socks underwear, & pants, or shirt
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Old 15 October 2018, 18:43
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Oct. 26 1967. I hit 51 in a few. Sen. John McCain became a POW on my DOB.

We played outside sun up to sundown. After than we had to be in our yard. We had B.B. gun fights, beat the shit out of each other with Weeping Willow branches. Dug underground forts. Rode our bikes all day, swam in the river.

AOL is the one that kicked off my social media and internet experience late 1995.

I think I was 10 when Sky Lab fell to earth.

Who wore Garanimals?

I rocked my Snoopy Lunch pail.
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Old 15 October 2018, 18:49
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While y’all are remembering try remembering your geritol you old farts.
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Old 15 October 2018, 19:14
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I wish it was as easy as Geritol.

Kids were the TV remote and sometimes part of the antenna.

Watched Sputnik fly over.
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Old 15 October 2018, 19:35
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Pipe wrench on the outdoor antenna, had to turn that fucker just right if you wanted to watch, "The thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat."
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Old 15 October 2018, 19:38
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Mutual of Omaha....yeah, that was always a watcher. Fucking Marlon Perkins didn't do shit except sit in the banana boat. That big-armed fucker (Jim Flower) did all the asskickery-type shit.

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Old 15 October 2018, 19:57
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Pipe wrench on the outdoor antenna, had to turn that fucker just right if you wanted to watch, "The thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat."
I pick up what you’re putting down!

The days or yore!
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Old 15 October 2018, 19:58
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Marlon was the smart one.
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Old 15 October 2018, 19:59
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My parents are in their 80s. It is amazing the changes they have seen in their lifetime.

Thanks for the thread Wildman. Reminds me to thank my parents.

Thank you also Silverbullet.
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