The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

September 30, 2012

Baby Boomers have seen changes

PALESTINE — Baby boomers have experienced a myriad of changes, inventions, development and progress in most areas of their lives. The email below is a rather thorough account of the major changes -- some encouraging and contributive to society, others vile and destructive to the same.

If you were born during the early ‘50s or before, a lot of what Grandma has to say will be quite familiar.

How old is Grandma?

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandma replied, “Well, let me think a minute, I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.

“There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn’t yet walked on the moon.

“Your Grandfather and I got married first and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, ‘Sir’. And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, ‘Sir.’

“We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

“We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

“We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

“Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

“We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios. And, I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

“If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan ‘ on it, it was junk. The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and instant coffee were unheard of.

“We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

“And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

“You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

“In my day ‘grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was a cold drink, ‘pot’ was something your mother cooked in and ‘rock music’ was your grandmother’s lullaby. ‘Aids’ were helpers in the Principal’s office, ‘chip’ meant a piece of wood, ‘hardware’ was found in a hardware store and ‘software’ wasn’t even a word.

“And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us ‘old and confused’ and say there is a generation gap.”

How old do you think this grandmother would be? I bet you have this old lady in mind sitting in a rocking chair and knitting at a nursing home. You are in for a shock.

This woman would be only 62 years old.

 

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