Today I am dedicating a couple of hundred words to the subject of Faded Dreams. (If you want to bail on it now, I would understand)
As I understand it, there is a school of thought that says as we age, we tend to remember things of the past and do not necessarily look ahead to the future.
This could very well be true in my case, as I have a tendency to look back on life now, instead of wonder what might lie ahead of me, which I have to admit in all honesty, often scares the Be-Jesus out of me.
The Cracker Boy has said to me, “You ought to start a nostalgia page.” He could be right.
A friend of mine in Reno, Nevada made a comment the other day that has kind of stuck with me all week long. “He said that we had most likely lived thru America’s Greatest Moments, and that particular time in history, is now long gone. “
And then he put it this way. He said it was: “A time that was truly special to him, and most likely would never be seen or experienced again.” Both of us being “Baby Boomers” his comment at the time, made a lot of sense.
We grew up in a time when America was stretching her muscles, reaching for and achieving great heights, as a country and a society. When Hollywood made a movie that had moral character and backbone, when a politician ran for office because he actually thought he could improve things. We were growing then, we were making things, and the world bought our goods because they were built with pride by a people who knew who they were.
Bring back any memories?
We didn’t have fast food, we had an occasional trip to the Hamburger Stand and real french fries, not all this pre-cooked frozen crap. Most of the time, supper was a meal prepared at home by Mom, it wasn’t fast, but generally it was always on time. And if you didn’t like what was on the menu, you could sit there and think about it until you did.
At suppertime, you didn’t sit there like zombies, your face planted in some electronic device, you had real conversations.
At that time in life, you had ONE SET of parents. People who plopped down $10K to buy a house on a government loan, a father that went to school on the GI Bill, who wore jeans on the weekend and never heard of a credit card.
You did not ride to school in a car, you walked, if you were lucky, you had a bike to ride. Plenty of homework and frustration and fear, I still remember having to get under my desk for a “Nuclear Attack Drills” and wondering, “How in the hell is this going to save me?”
We didn’t have a television in our home until I was around 11 years old, and it was black and white, and the remote was either me or my sister. Later on came color television, with Hoss, Ben, Little Joe and Adam all of them lost each week on Bonanza. We had Leave It To Beaver, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny and no MTV Jackass.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home . . . but milk, bread and fruit and vegetables were. We used to have an ice cream guy come around, we could not afford the ice cream, but every now and then, he would allow us to scoop up a handful of chipped ice. Which on a hot summer day was often just as good as the real deal.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, seven days a week. Had to get up at 6 o’clock every morning and I had to keep up my grades, bad grades, no newspaper route.
Which meant no movie money, no candy bars, and no frills.
In the summer we played baseball at the park until the sun went down, in the winter it was football or stomp ball in the rain. We were outside, we were not overweight, we did not have onset diabetes or polio. We were living the good life and life was being good to us.
What you remember I suppose, reflects how old that you are.
How many items you recall is the image of what you have become. Headlight dimming-switches on the floor of the car. Ignition switches on the dashboard. Three speed column shifts, four on the floor. Using hand signals for cars without turn signals. How about those big old, ca-chunk, tape players, cannot remember the name of them right now (8 tracks?).
Fake Sweet cigarette candy in a box. Coffee shops with juke boxes right there in the booth, twenty-five cents, and you got three plays. All of it music your Dad could not stand, an added bonus. Skating at the Roller Rink, a kiss in the dark at the school dance.
Home milk delivery in glass bottles and before bottles, poured into a jug that was left at the front door each morning. Party lines on the telephone. Girl Scouts and Bluebirds hawking cookies at the front door. News reels before the movie and not being old enough to sit in the balcony. Your sister practicing tap dance steps on a hardwood floor. Skates with a skate key and wooden baseball bats.
TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (There were only 2 channels.). Transistor radios and four D size batteries. Sling shots. Vinyl records (33-45-78). Stereo Hi-Fi’s. Butch Hair cuts (and lot’s of Jelly Wax to make ‘em stand up).
Metal ice trays with levers, a Dr. Pepper bottle with a silver cap full of holes (Mom’s water bottle because she did not have a steam iron). Long drives on the weekend, just for the fun of it, and 18 cent gas. Gay meant you were happy.
Blue flashbulbs and Brownie Box cameras. Dick Clark and American Bandstand. Wash Tub wringers for the chammy’s at the gas station. A pack of Marlboro’s rolled up in the sleeve of your T-shirt … And the Viet Nam draft.
Perhaps my friend in Reno is right, it could be that the best of it, is now firmly entrenched behind us. It has gotten to the point where we cannot find one soul who knows how to (lip sync) sing our National Anthem or anyone of strong moral fiber to step up and say … Stop it, this is not right.
It appears that our means of salvation as a nation now is possibly divine intervention and nothing else. We seem to be running on a hope and a prayer … and not much more than that.
Possibly Related: Red Hill