16 02 2012

I mentioned about the 1950’s last night and have remembered more about them today.  As I said, they were really good years.  Everyone was progressing and life was good for most people.  By now, we had the outdoor patios and the cookouts and the neighborhood get togethers.  It was a good time to be a young parent.

We had already lived through the War years and seen that horrible War come to an end.  I am always in awe when I read in the papers today that 2 or 3 men were killed in the latest War or that 20 were killed in a bombing.  In World War II years, the headlines read that 20,000 were killed in this battle or 15,000 in another battle.  If you don’t believe those statistics, make a trip to France and see the never ending white crosses in the cemeteries where our young men were slain and buried.  A horrible, horrible time.

But now things were going to be better and different.  Why even the new cars were coming out with all those fancy gadgets on them and those paint jobs were unbelievable and just look at that wrap around glass.  No one had ever even dreamed of such things before.  But progress was here.

After decades of a Democratic President and staff, it was refreshing to finally have a Republican in the White House.  Now things really would be different and better.  Right after we get over all the shortages created by the War years.  Eisenhower had been elected now and everyone was wearing the ‘I Like Ike’ buttons because they were so happy that things were going to be better.

During the Eisenhower years, all these wonderful new interstate highways were built all across our nation.  Now, families like mine could drive all over the country and actually see those sights we had heard about all our lives. Made it possible for the whole family to be canned in a station wagon.  The new theme parks were popping up because now people could actually go see them, not just hear about them.  And the price of gasoline was so low it was never even mentioned.  Why, we could even drive everywhere and sleep in a brand new motel, too.  The motels along the highways popped up everywhere. And now there were drive in restaurants along those same highways. It was truly a wonderful time for all.

But that drum was beating louder and louder everywhere.   There was trouble brewing in various ways.  People had so much in the way of goods and money to spend and happiness was bound to stay.  But that didn’t happen.  Now, the child experts began to tell everyone how to raise those children.  Thank Heavens, my children were all too young to be considered Baby Boomers.  And I was so happy that I was not one of those mothers.

Things had changed for them, too.  The doctors had all decided that mothers did not need to breast feed their children anymore.  So now, mothers  were taught to make formula.  And were given a shot that dried up the milk that their bodies   provided for that new baby.  And this way, mothers would not gain any weight, nor have laps that mothers had always had before.  It was just like being a teenager forever.  And those same mothers were expected to act young forever, too.

Now there were more appliances to help with the housework.  There were those new fangled washing machines that actually did all the work.  All we had to do was put the clothes in, add the detergent, push a button and leave the room.  Dishwashers had come onto the scene, too.  Not standard yet, but getting there.  And disposals that eliminated the ever present garbage. But we were still hanging those clothes outside on the line.  Dryers were also just around the corner.  And then someone invented the no iron fabrics and the polyesters and the wrinkle free stuff.  So now we didn’t even have to iron every afternoon as we had been doing before.

Why, mothers were almost unnecessary these days.  That house could almost run itself.  And the kids were happy with all their newer toys and friends.  What was a mother to do?  But then someone thought and said – why that young mother can just go to work.  She can make a lot of money and pay someone else to raise her children.  Why should she be stuck in that house all day when the world was moving all around her.  And she looks so good, too.  Why, she can buy all the new clothes she wants and be social all the time.  Hot Dog!  What a wonderful life she will have.   Back in those 1950’s.