Born in the 1930’s to the early 1950’s, we exist as a very special age group.
We are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900’s.
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”.
There was no little league. There was no city playground for kids Soccer was unheard of.
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 sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons that were at least a week old..
Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).
Computers were called calculators, they were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.
The ‘INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist
Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our radio in the evening by Paul Harvey.
As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.
The GI. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.
VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new Installment payment plans opened many factories for work.
New highways would bring jobs and mobility. New cars averaged $2,000 full price.
The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.
The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.
Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.
We weren’t neglected, but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.
They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on or Mom called us for supper.
They were busy discovering the post-war world.
We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed, enjoyed ourselves and felt secure in our future. Although depression poverty was deeply remembered.
Polio was still a crippler.
We came of age in the 50s and 60s.
The Korean War was a dark passage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.
Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China.
Eisenhower sent the first ‘Army Advisers’ to Vietnam.
Castro took over in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in Russia.
We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. The war was over and the cold war, Muslim terrorism, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.
Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty, we lived through both.
We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better not worse
We are “The Last Ones”.