It has been an interesting week regarding the email we received.
The most fun was entitled "Marriage Proposals," from Dave
commenting on my last article, "Dad is a Dork." Thanks Dave,
you made my day. Actually there were several more from folks
who understood what I said, some with suggestions for other
columns as well. My sincere thanks to you all.
The interesting part for me is there were some folks
commenting on our Bulletin Board who really didn't 'get it.'
It took me all week to figure it out. (Sorry about that,
I'm getting old.)
Here's the thing, those of us who are (forgive the term) older,
did live in a time when things were very different. Some of
the things were mentioned on the Bulletin Board comments, such
as a kid could ride a bike all over town without fear of anything.
The standard household rule for kids was "when the streetlights
come on you better head for home." Kids commonly walked to
school. Alone or with neighborhood friends. No big deal - no
problem. Pick-up baseball or football games were common. No
organized anything. Some kid had a ball and someone else had
a bat. Gloves were optional. The vacant lot or street worked
Rape? I distinctly remember a really big fuss in 1953 when a
rapist was caught in Flint, Michigan. That was about 70 miles
from my home. It was front-page news. I suppose if I did a
search of the local newspapers of the 50's there could be more,
but trust me, it was not an everyday thing.
Drugs? I do remember a lot of gossip about a drummer in a famous
big band who "used drugs." I did not know anyone in my school,
either high school or college who used drugs of any kind.
Yes, there were beer parties. Usually around graduation time.
From the time I was a junior in high school I had a job. On
the weekends I went with my parents to Bay Port, Michigan
where they kept a boat. We fished, swam and socialized.
There were bar-b-ques, pot-lucks, and my dad's annual pig
roast. The kids I knew hunted, fished, and worked odd jobs
for gas money.
A couple of the boys I knew trapped turtles. Snapping turtles
at that. Once caught we delivered them to a restaurant in the
next town which served the turtle fried and real turtle soup.
We also had a trot line for catfish. Those were sold to the
local fish house - gas money. And there was the movie theater
(show house) in Caseville. No one had a lot of money, and we
did steal. We stole hot smoked fish from Grandpa Charlies
smoke house. Years later we found out he always made sure
there were some really nice smoked chubs just inside the door.
Grandpa Charlie was my friend Bill's grandfather, a retired
great lakes captain.
I do recall getting up and going out to the lobby of the show
house. The movie was The Blob. I didn't like scary
movies then, and I don't like them now. The Blob doesn't even
register on the scary movie scale today. After that my male
friends insisted on taking me to any scary movie - they were
teasing me of course.
Times do change. When Jim and I moved from Michigan in the early
70's to Montana, there had been enough bad stuff going on that
you did not allow children to go to the show house without an
adult in Michigan. When my girls wanted to go to their first
movie in Livingston I took them. I was the only adult in the
place. Montana gratefully was behind the times. It was the
last time I took the kids to the movies.
It's pretty obvious, if you were a kid sometime after the 70's
you don't have the same frame of reference. You don't imagine
or don't see what has happened in this country. You some how
take for granted the coarseness of the common speech. The
vulgarity of music and television. The violence which is
everywhere. You accept it as normal. And even worse, it
is what your children are growing up with.
How terribly sad.
It doesn't have to be this way. I don't accept it.
And one more thing, I didn't know of one person who "packed
heat" while fishing then. But now . . .?
~ The LadyFisher
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