History #2

14 03 2009

Back again. Hope you are enjoying the history lessons. They are not official you know, just from living this history. Anyway, to begin. Before World War II, a lot of people in this country lived in the rural, rural areas. They really had no shoes in the summer, no electricity, and no running water. This was very common. People in the cities had an entirely different lifestyle. Most of them had relatives out in the country, but they were not interested in living the country life, that was for sure. It was a hard life after the War. Those servicemen had seen the country and most had seen the world. They were not ready to go back to the sticks and raise food and animals anymore. They wanted that good life they had seen. So they took advantage of the GI bills and all the other schooling. I remember having some of them come back to school when I was in the 7th grade. They were too big to fit into the desks, but they wanted to learn what they had never had the opportunity to learn before.  

Then they could get a job and have a paycheck and buy those pretties they had seen in the previous years. Those shiny things that everyone else had really looked wonderful. And they told all their relatives and friends about it, too. So now, everyone wanted to move to town and get one of those great jobs. It was no longer acceptable to sit on the porch and say ‘there ain’t no jobs around. I can’t get one of those good jobs.’ Now there were lots and lots of jobs, due to the War years and the scarcity of items. For instance, if you needed a good refrigerator, you either had to have a friend of a friend of a friend who could get you one, or you had to beg someone to please sell you a refrigerator on the black market at an inflated price and you were glad to get it at any price. This was the world of 1946-49. And jobs were everywhere. Almost everyone from some of the small rural towns went to Detroit because big money was to be made there. Or maybe they went west to the airplane factories. Big money there, too. All you had to do was show up and you could get a good job. So the country was moving on and on and on in those days. New cars came out and it was an event in the showroom. They were shipped all over the country completely covered with tarpaulin so that no one knew what the new models looked like. And by the time they were shown, there was a waiting list to purchase one. Meanwhile, houses were being built by the dozens, hundreds, and  thousands. Pre-fab they were called. This caused everything to increase: bus service, rail service, schools, etc. Everyone was living the good life.  

And then, came the wonderful 50’s. They were truly great. Everyone was happy and prosperous. And then that new thing, the TV came along at this time, too. Every family in America had one of those things just as soon as possible. It was truly a wonderful time. Every morning, we woke up to the morning shows, lived through the day with the game shows and spent the evening together watching the sitcoms. And everyone in the country did  the same things together. Then the media found out how they could use these channels to tell the country what was going on everywhere at the same time. Soon, we were waking up to the news from around the country and it was presented constantly. And the weather was the same way. We knew exactly where that low was coming  from and when the high would arrive.  

Why, even the children got in on this one. Children’s shows were on in the mornings, the afternoons, and the evenings. And the music shows for the teens were on everyday so they didn’t miss out on all that new music and noise, and new dances, too. 

And then the TV began to sell and sell and sell. One Christmas all the children wanted that airplane that showed the pilot getting on and off the plane. Only the pilot didn’t do that, but all the kids thought he did and so they wanted that airplane so bad. We couldn’t afford one of those, thank heavens. We could hardly afford Christmas at all that year. So we bought cheaper toys that we didn’t know all ran on batteries and they were a huge disappointment when the batteries didn’t last very long, but we learned. So did everyone else. Soon, we parents knew what toys were ok and what ones were not, but the children still didn’t know the difference.  

And now, they were reporting a huge study had been done about sex in the country and seems everyone was indulging everywhere. Why, everyone you knew was supposedly out having an affair of one kind of another and some of those solid marriages were beginning to show the strains of hearing about this sex study all the time. Some of them even ended up in divorce court. Meanwhile, many years later, it was reported that the study was all a hoax and hardly anyone was doing any of that stuff, but the damage had been done. Television had been opened up to include sex. 

And now, we were hearing about the crisis problems all over the country. There was a fire here, a riot there, a family dispute that turned deadly, another robbery or murder, another problem. After awhile, you could hardly stand to hear it anymore- you just turned it down and out in your head. The afternoon music shows were still going strong though and the kids were still listening to all that noise.

And somehow things just didn’t seem the same anymore. So much noise, so much commotion, everyone on edge a lot of the time. What happened to the great life? What happened to the fun times that we had just a few years ago. Now everyone was trying to keep up with the Jones, whoever they were. The wonderful house wasn’t so wonderful anymore. We needed another living space. They called it a den and it required another TV in the house. More noise, more commotion, and now the family did not have to be together to watch the newest of the new. Some of them could be in the den and some in the living room. Progress! And mom in the kitchen soon needed to have one in there, too so she could keep up while she did the cooking. The car needed a tune-up, the clothing styles kept changing all the time, requiring newer purchases. Something just wasn’t quite right anymore. And another change had come in the early 50’s. No one really paid any attention to this one, but new mothers were told not to nurse their babies anymore. It was formula for everyone, now. The baby would do just as well and mother was free to live her own life without having to worry about feeding baby anymore. Just a minor change and everyone was certainly for this change, but somehow it wasn’t the same. Baby was sick sometimes now. We even had specialists called pediatricians for the sick babies now.  Before that, we just had family doctors, but now there were specialists for everything. Mother became mom and she was free to leave baby now.  No big deal. No big problems. Just a small change – for the better? See you tomorrow with more of history! Meanwhile, check out my booksbybet.com site and purchase a book or two.  If you enjoy this, you will most certainly enjoy my books.  Thanks, Bet

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