Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation.
We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s. We are the “last ones.”
We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.
We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.
We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.
We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.
We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the milk box on the porch.
We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.
We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.
We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.
As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside.”
We did play outside, and we did play on our own.
There was no little league.
There was no city playground for kids.
The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.
On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.
Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall (you had to crank them).
Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.
I grew up on a dairy farm where you worked first and maybe played on rainy days or when work was complete. We had a milk man who picked up milk, an egg man who picked up eggs, an ice man who delivered ice for the ice box, a gas man, and later a propane man who brought LP to relieve the wood range from cooking in summertime.