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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Born to Privilege

 Where were you in ‘62

Few people will ever experience the life that I have lived especially, the cultural and Technical advances that were achieved in my lifetime.  I am not talking about the people that were fortunate to have lived a life in the same period of time as I did.  As an example, our parents experienced a lifetime that included the hardship of the war years; The Great Depression (1929-39) lasted until the start of WWII.  That experience as bad as it was made people of that era very resourceful, caring (for each other), united, thrift, tough, and I can go on forever singing their praises.

Those of us fortunate enough to be raised by parents with that kind of background were instilled with survival qualities that are hard to come by.  Eventually the children got to hear the horror stories of the hard times, and war years directly from our parents. As we grew up and had our own children, some of us felt that those times were not likely to repeat again in our life time.  So, many of our children didn’t hear those stories from us, or even the cautionary warnings that I know I and my generation benefited from.

Among the small subtle hints that I know I took to heart were; a penny saved is a penny earned, save for a rainy day.  I penny pinched beyond what I now consider normal without realizing it at the time.  One day the light bulb went on over my head and realized that I was living in a different economic time.  I wasn’t subject to my parent’s rainy day needs.  I had unemployment insurance; I also had health insurance, sick leave, vacation pay, and coverage for on the job injury.  That lightning bolt out of the blue, freed money savings that I was keeping for a rainy day, and my family and I began enjoying a much improved life style.

Discontent, rebellion and social change defined the 1960s in the United States, shaking the country to its core.  Included in the era was the advent of the pill which kicked off the sexual revolution.  When the question is asked where you were in ’62.  The purpose of the question is to determine where you might have been when history was being made.  If you haven’t seen the movie American Graffiti you should see it as soon as possible, it’ll catch you up with what went on.  The problem with living in a time when history is being made is that you are not aware of it until after it has taken place.  However, it is a great feeling to look back and know that you were right in the middle of it.

During my formative years I was witness to Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline (don’t want to leave my country followers out of it), American Band Stand, Ed Sullivan, The Rolling Stones (the young version), the Classic Muscle Cars, television, the start of fast food drive-ins (.18 cent hamburgers, and .16 cent tacos from Taco Bell), John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., I can go on and on.  With the Internet being what it is everyone today can be part of what I just mentioned, but like the old saying goes; “You Had To Be There!”

Five or six years ago, I would catch myself thinking; I wish I could live long enough to see what’s coming down the line next.  Unfortunately our fortunes in this country have taken a downturn as of late, and I see a lot more struggle before we clear the hurdles ahead of us.  Maybe just maybe the, tough economic times we are facing is the equivalent to what my parents lived through?  And like them, this generation will come out tougher on the other end.  I will still be around for a long time to be part of the team that helps our children and grandchildren climb out of the economic hole we are in.  The best is yet to come…

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