In his most recent collection of essays, Joseph Epstein recounts growing up in the 1950s. It sounds like a pretty good era. This passage really struck home with me:
Play was not yet organized. The endless cycle of lessons and special tutoring for middle-class children had not begun in furious earnest. Little League baseball had not yet been fully formed. Children were left pretty much on their own. Far from wanting our parents hanging around, we were pleased to cut loose from them. The father of one of my acquaintances used to come to all our softball games, and was contemptuously tagged by a Latinist among us as the Omnipresent.
That sounds great. Really, really great.
Of course, I’m typing this after twice this year being stuck in a westward facing dugout on hot days. The temperature in the dugout was, no exaggeration, at least 110 degrees and I’m guessing 120 degrees or more. Our team, which is otherwise in first place, got shellacked in both the games. I think Japanese POWs had it easier during WWII.
Another feature of the 1950s that sounds pretty good: fathers weren’t admitted to the birthing room. I’m told we sat in the bar, waiting for the call to come that a baby had been born, then we bought a round for everyone, had a toast, and scooted over to the hospital.
No little league. No birthing rooms. Working 9:00 to 5:00 with a two-martini lunch.
Them’s was the days.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList