Since I was born in the late 1940’s I qualify as a baby boomer spawned by the return of hundreds of thousands of GI’s after the end of World War II. Maybe I am looking through rose colored glasses but I can not imagine a better place and time to grow up. True we had the cold war to contend with and it was always in the background. But to a kid growing up and having fun it was not a big deal.
In many ways, as a baby boomer I had the best of two worlds. I am able to remember the magic of listening to radio programs that allowed me to use my imagination plus I was there for the birth of nationwide television that introduced me to the magic world of moving pictures sent through the air. That was a miracle that still amazes me. It was a time of magical Saturday morning movie matinees with a comedy movie, cartoons and a serial thriller that left me on the edge of my seat and waiting for next week.
Believe it or not I grew up in a “Leave It To Beaver” neighborhood. Many of those old episodes mirrored exactly the world I lived in. I had a paper route and rode my bicycle everywhere with no fear. We played in the street or backyards with all our neighborhood friends. We were required to be home for supper at 6:00PM to be with our families but we would return for more fun and games until well after dark with no fears of strangers.
I know it has been said before but we really did not lock our doors. All the neighbors looked out for each other and I was at home as much in their homes as my own. By being the neigborhood paper boy and mowing lawns I knew just about every family for several blocks. It gave me a great feeling of security.
The decade of 1950 to 1959 saw the birth of rock and roll that still shapes music today and I believe the automobiles built during that time were works of art. Believe it or not we looked forward to the new models each year and visiting the showroom to view them was an annual event. Young males could easily tell the difference between a 1955 model and a 1956 model. Each make took pride in having a disticntive look.
We all walked to school and the only security guard was the older boy that acted as the crossing guard called the “School Boy Patrol”. Woe unto you if you did not heed his warning to wait for his OK to cross the street. It was an innocent time and I now know that our parents, teachers, coaches, ministers and scout masters worked hard to shield us from those things that would mess up a child’s life. But I would not trade that life experience with any other time since then.