Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where we’ve come from, as Boomers

   sunset2 Recently my cousin Jim wrote a letter to my brother Steve which was on Facebook.  I was so impressed with Jim’s recounting of the formative days of our lives as the Baby Boomer generation.  When you see history compressed like this it is quite impacting, at least to me.  Our culture has certainly changed rapidly in our lifetime.  I am trying to keep up and not be an old fuddy-duddy.  I want to be culturally relevant and yet maintain standards which some would call old-fashioned.  I think I’m becoming my own Grandma.

Jim said,

“I just found a picture in our archives with Jack and I wearing the same jackets and bow ties. It was dated 1960 , just 14 years after World War II, so I was 9 and Jack was 7-1/2. We look like innocent little men in that shot. It was the brief peaceful period of our lives before the perfect storm arrived in the mid 1960's. Then began a 10 year explosion of powerful music, civil unrest, and cultural change, driven by the upheavals of America at the time, that changed the country forever. The fear of the nuclear bomb we and our enemies have that could obliterate each other off the face of the earth. The assassinations of our president John F. Kennedy,his brother Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. The drug culture, Woodstock, pot, LSD, Timothy Leary, antidisestablishmentarianism , Patty Hearst and the SDS, The Weatherman- a subversive underground violent protest group, conscience objectors to the war, Charles Manson, bombings by violent protest groups and murders of police officers, hippies, the never ending Vietnam war- the most divisive and hated war of our lifetimes and unwarranted anger towards servicemen who risked their lives for us, major riots in the streets, sit-ins, the civil rights movement, protest songs and movements, the black panthers, the pill, communes ,the massive changing of social, sexual, and cultural mores, free love, do your own thing, tune in and drop out, if it feels good do it, country wide civil unrest, The Watts riots, the killings of 4 students at Kent State by the national guard, Watergate and President Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon, who resigned the office of President in disgrace, the loss of faith and trust in our own government. All of this happened by 1969 and are just highlights off the top of my head.”

I wonder what all this stress has produced in us. IMG_1364 My brothers and me, born 1950, 1951, 1952.


Gilly said...

There now - I missed it!! I was born a good few years earlier than you, and in 1960 settled down to being a new wife and home-maker. (Well, that's what the books of those days called us!)

And you just didn't DO rebellion, in England, in the 1950's !!

And I just can't believe how much life has changed since then!

Gilly said...

PS You do look a really lovely, happy bunch!!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas x Thank you so much for the book arrived Wednesday. Have started to read but going to be busy for the next few days, thank you again, All the best for 2011.

Flower said...

These are thought provoking views of "our years" of growing up. I do wonder, like you, what it has produced? Our culture has continued to move along at a fast clip and it's difficult to keep up! It would be a luxury to let go of the fast pace!!