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Author Topic: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...  (Read 4020 times)

Tom Hoffman

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THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« on: August 13, 2017, 05:17:23 PM »
THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...

(and for their children - so they will understand)

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, that 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 also the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to lard to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans for the war effort.

We collected scrap iron and old clothing to support the troops.

We hand mixed ‘white stuff’ with ‘yellow stuff’ to make fake butter.

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. [A friend’s mother delivered milk in a horse drawn cart.]

We are the last to hear Roosevelt ‘s radio “fireside chat” assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors.

We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day.

We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their Cape Cod style houses, some pouring their cellar, tar papering it over and living there ‘til they could afford the time and money to build it out.

We remember trying to buy a new car after the war. Some new cars were coming through with wooden bumpers.

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 ‘til the street lights came on.”

We did play outside and we did play on our own with neighbors.

There was no little league.

There was no city playground for kids.

To play in the water, we turned the fire hydrants on and ran through the spray--or swam in the nearby creeks and lakes.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was really like.

Our Saturday afternoons though, if at the movies (which cost a dime), gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between cowboys and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared and hung on the wall.

Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The ‘internet’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that didn’t exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by H.V Kaltenborne and Gabriel Heatter.

We are the last group who had to find so much out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

Veterans Administration loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The military veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

In the late 40’s and early 50’s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class (which became known as ‘Baby Boomers’).

The radio network expanded from three stations to thousands of stations.

The telephone started to become a common method of communication and “faxes” sent hard copy electronically around the world.

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 outdoors by ourselves ‘til the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post-war world.

Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and started to find out what the world was about.

We entered a world with overflowing goods and opportunities; a world where we were welcomed.

Based on our naive belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went.

We enjoyed some luxury; we were at peace and felt secure in our future. Of course, just as today, not all Canadians shared in this experience.

Depression poverty was deep rooted.

Polio was still a crippler.

Then came the Korean War which was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks--just as we did in the 1940s.

Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China.

Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisors’ to Vietnam; and years later, Johnson invented a war there.

Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in Russia.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland.

We came of age in the 40s and early 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, technological upheaval, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was at peace, security, and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better not worse. “Worse” came later.

We are the Silent Generation -- “The Last Ones”.

I feel privileged to have lived in the best of times!
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

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JackL

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 05:35:39 PM »
Born in 1936 for me.

 I remember it all, but I still like today better than yesterday.

 If we could only get rid of the TV news media, (ABC, NBC, CNN and the rest of them) we would be in a lot better shape !

Jack L

SeilerBird

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 05:51:41 PM »
If this is the silent generation then why are you shouting?
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:39:06 PM »
When our granddaughter asked me what people did before TV, personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, etc. I told them since we didn't have those things, we had the time to invent them...
Dutch
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 06:54:44 AM »
It was a good time for a lot of us. However, for many US citizens it was a time of great uncertainty and terror. Jim Crow laws prevented many of our citizens the right to vote. One turning point was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After this past weekend I am afraid the US is back peddling in this area. Women did not get the right to vote until 1920. That's crazy. Although the times the OP speaks of were great for many of us I would not want to go back to them. Not for my grandkids sake, who are mixed race, or the many folks that were possibly going through the worst of times. I would gladly give up my "best of times" for these folks to enjoy half of the freedoms I enjoyed. The Declaration of Independence states all men are created equal. Not so. The Pledge of Allegiance states "Liberty and Justice for all". A truly false statement.

Bill N

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 08:15:10 AM »
Born in '39 and would go back to those days in a New York minute.  Yes, there were problems then but they don't compare to what is going on today.  Thankfully I won't have to see much more of it.  I guess if I turned off the TV and radio I would not have to see or hear any more of it.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 08:20:36 AM »
Maybe some folks enjoyed the "good ole days" because they either didn't know what was happening or simply didn't care-maybe both.

TonyDtorch

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 08:27:56 AM »
I thought that was a wonderful reminder of the Children of the Silent Generation.   Children that lived through but did not have to participate in a war,  are almost forgotten about.

I was a Vietnam child,  many of the memories were fun.  Thank you.

OldGator73...I've seen children play in the middle of a war zone...you can find moments of Peace anywhere.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 08:57:01 AM by TonyDtorch »

Utclmjmpr

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 07:55:54 AM »
 41' and can remember replacing the  cardboard in my shoes,, they were not rubber then.>>>Dan
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taoshum

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 08:10:13 PM »
 If I'd been born in the 30's I'd be dead by the 50's.  There was no cure for some of the illnesses then that are available now.
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SargeW

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 08:26:07 PM »
I think we can all look back to our childhood as a time of innocence. Probably less because of what turmoil was going on at the time, but rather it didn't "touch" us as youngsters.  I have 2 grandchildren now. And I think that some day a long time from now, they will look back on these  days as "the good old days".
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Bill N

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 06:34:48 AM »
   The Declaration of Independence states all men are created equal. Not so. The Pledge of Allegiance states "Liberty and Justice for all". A truly false statement.
Just noticed your post and sorry to see a fellow retired USAF veteran put out so much vitriol.  Those are your opinions of course and you live in a country where you are free to express them but thankfully I hope most would disagree.  I do.

Bill
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 07:03:45 AM »
Just noticed your post and sorry to see a fellow retired USAF veteran put out so much vitriol.  Those are your opinions of course and you live in a country where you are free to express them but thankfully I hope most would disagree.  I do.

Bill

I apologize to the moderators in advance but I must respond. What does me being a fellow AF member have to do with what I stated? If you think all men (people) are created equal in the US you need to look at prison statistics and watch how non whites are treated. Justice for all is a pipe dream. With the current administration investing in for profit prisons you will see many more folks put in prison that do not belong there. You and I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Many folks do not know what is contained in that document.

jubileee

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 10:24:28 AM »
Back to the topic. My great grand children (9) invariably ask,at one time or another, why I eat honey on my breakfast cereal. When I tell them I picked the habit up in WWll when sugar was rationed there usually is disbelief.

Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 11:11:02 AM »
My wife says her Dad would not eat Spam. Supposedly because he was served it quite often when he was in the Army in WWII. We spent 5 years in the U.K. I love bangers and mash but not a big fan of British sausages. They have a lot of filler added. That's because meat was scarce during the war. And I think beans on toast was another cheap meal started during the war.

Isaac-1

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 11:17:40 AM »
I am one generation removed from these memories, both of my parents were born in the late 1930's and I recall hearing about all of these things from my parents and grandparents as I grew up.  One that was not mentioned was rural electrification, my mother grew up on a farm about a mile outside a small town in north east Louisiana, where such modern day essentials of life as electricity were slow to arrive.  Though being on the main highway and just outside of town it did arrive shortly after my mother's birth so she has no memory of living life without it, she just remembers many friends and family members not being as lucky.

On the other side of the family my father grew up in the town where I still live, a town of about 10,000 people in western Louisiana, he was the youngest child of a local banker.  Living in town they always had electricity growing up, however he still recalled having an ice box and regular home delivery of ice to keep food cold.

While all of this may seem strange to youngsters today, I having been born in the 60's recall the stories told by the older generation as I was growing up.  My father's mother was the daughter of the owner of a general store in what was once a booming lumber town along the Louisiana / Texas State line, though today its population is under a thousand people, there was a time it had 3 movie theaters, and 2 car dealerships.  She was a teenager when she saw her first airplane, a barnstormer that came to town and landed on the highway.  She also told tales of going with her siblings and father (her mother left them when she was 5 or 6) to get supplies for the store in Lake Charles 40 odd miles away, sometimes they would take the train, but usually it was a 2 day horse and wagon trip.  They would travel all day to get to the ferry where it crossed the river Calcasieu river, camp out for the night.  In the morning her father would go into town, and she would care for the younger kids, make breakfast, etc. and then they would travel home with the loaded down wagons arriving late in the evening.

It really is hard that we have gone from that to ordering on Amazon in only a little over 100 years
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2017, 12:53:21 PM »
"...sometimes they would take the train, but usually it was a 2 day horse and wagon trip.  They would travel all day to get to the ferry where it crossed the river Calcasieu river, camp out for the night.  In the morning her father would go into town, and she would care for the younger kids, make breakfast, etc. and then they would travel home with the loaded down wagons arriving late in the evening.

It really is hard that we have gone from that to ordering on Amazon in only a little over 100 years."

I retired from the AF in 1999 and went to work for a company that does gas pipeline inspections. It was suggested folks have an RV for this job since you would be moving around the country quite often. I was sent to Smithville Tennessee. The gas company supplied a guide since we would be sniffing for gas leaks all across rural Tennessee. My guide was Jimmy. Jimmy was a little younger than me (I was 49). One day I asked him where he grew up. He told me Dismal Holler. I didn't believe him at first but once he started telling me about his childhood I came around. He said his Mom and Dad did not have a vehicle. I asked how they got their food and supplies. He said they raised pigs and chickens and grew a garden and they hunted. He told me the pot and pan man came through about once a month. A man actually drove a horse and wagon around with staples like sugar, salt and flour and fabric for clothes. This probably in the late 60's early 70's.

taoshum

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 11:09:34 PM »
Believe it or not, there are many places in the SW part the US that do not have utility power today.  Some have generators for intermittent power, some have made the leap forward to solar/battery power and some just do without.  Of course, other countries have many, many people without. More glaring examples of the gigantic disparities these days.
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2017, 11:28:33 PM »
 ^^^^

Taos, NM is one of the most beautiful places we have visited. My wife wanted us to sleep on the RV roof and watch the stars while in Taos but I was afraid we would roll off in the middle of the night.

John Beard

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 04:38:53 AM »
Many of us (maybe most of us) are children of WWII vets, and Depression era parents. What was not mentioned was the father who returned home, married and had families and who had undiagnosed mental disorders related to their combat experiences. My father a WWII vet who served in the Philippines, and New Guinea had undiagnosed PTSD, severe anger, substance abuse issues, etc.,  etc.

I lived with these two Silent Generation parents...it sucked.

I am sorry and do not mean to offend, but...
John & Susan
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TonyDtorch

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 05:32:43 AM »
My Dad was a WW2 vet,  He was hard and serious,    I am a Vietnam vet,    yes....There were times of hardship in my past.

 now that I am getting older I endeavor to think of all the good times I've had in my life.... and let go of the bad times.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 05:35:52 AM by TonyDtorch »

Bill N

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 06:21:06 AM »
I apologize to the moderators in advance but I must respond. What does me being a fellow AF member have to do with what I stated? If you think all men (people) are created equal in the US you need to look at prison statistics and watch how non whites are treated. Justice for all is a pipe dream. With the current administration investing in for profit prisons you will see many more folks put in prison that do not belong there. You and I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Many folks do not know what is contained in that document.

One thing I learned in serving my country - PRIDE in my country.  End of discussion.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Rene T

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 06:49:22 AM »
One thing I learned in serving my country - PRIDE in my country.  End of discussion.

Bill

And respected the flag and the Anthem.
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Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 08:19:58 AM »
One thing I learned in serving my country - PRIDE in my country.  End of discussion.

Bill

You can have pride in your country and still want your country to be better. We, as a country, should strive to always be better. When America was in its infancy only white men had the right to vote and hold office. It took many, many years hardship and bloodshed for people of color and women to obtain those rights. There are many examples of inequality in our history. We as a nation are getting better but we cannot just sit back and say we are done. We have to continue to work to make things equal for all as stated in the Constitution. I served my country for 36 years. I do not want that 36 years of service squandered by our country backsliding into what some call the good ole days.

Oldgator73

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 09:10:47 AM »
And respected the flag and the Anthem.

The best way to respect the flag is to follow the guidelines set forth in US Code Title 36 Chapter 10. I would say that all the folks riding around with the flag displayed on their trucks, used as clothing, used in advertisement are the folks disrespecting the flag. As far as the National Anthem, there is nothing written that indicates you MUST stand during the playing of the song. If it is someone's opinion that if a person decides to sit or take a knee during the playing of the anthem is somehow disrespectful then I would have to point them towards the First Amendment of the Constitution. If a person sits or kneels during the Anthem in protest they are exercising their First Amendment rights according to the Constitution. It would be unpatriotic (and probably illegal) to force someone to stand during the Anthem. I have not seen any outcry from anybody about the fans at sporting events that rush to the concession stands or the bathrooms during the Anthem.

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 11:03:56 AM »
The best way to respect the flag is to follow the guidelines set forth in US Code Title 36 Chapter 10. I would say that all the folks riding around with the flag displayed on their trucks, used as clothing, used in advertisement are the folks disrespecting the flag. As far as the National Anthem, there is nothing written that indicates you MUST stand during the playing of the song. If it is someone's opinion that if a person decides to sit or take a knee during the playing of the anthem is somehow disrespectful then I would have to point them towards the First Amendment of the Constitution. If a person sits or kneels during the Anthem in protest they are exercising their First Amendment rights according to the Constitution. It would be unpatriotic (and probably illegal) to force someone to stand during the Anthem. I have not seen any outcry from anybody about the fans at sporting events that rush to the concession stands or the bathrooms during the Anthem.
I searched but couldn't find US Code Title 36 Chapter 10
http://www.usflag.org/us.code36.html
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/301
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

TonyDtorch

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2017, 11:44:53 AM »
sounds like one of the O.J. jurors....."not guilty because of racial injustice".

I wonder if any of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen would take a knee during our national anthem ? 

Because you have the right...does not make it right.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 12:23:02 PM by TonyDtorch »

Paul & Ann

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2017, 01:21:00 PM »

Because you have the right...does not make it right.

Does that apply to guns as well?
Paul & Ann  Iowa
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TonyDtorch

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2017, 02:01:37 PM »
Does that apply to guns as well?

Absolutely. You have the right not to own a gun if you think it's wrong.   :)

Paul & Ann

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Re: THE CHILDREN OF THE SILENT GENERATION...
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2017, 02:08:54 PM »

Because you have the right...does not make it right.

Does that mean that even though we have a Second Amendment right, does not make it right?
Paul & Ann  Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
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