Well, maybe. I'm discussing that with the Lord, and with all of you, if anyone responds. There certainly are plenty of "characters," some who make me cry, some who make me laugh, and others, yes, who make me want to scream.
Two events put me in mind of their place in our nation's history. One was a blog of growing up in the '50s and '60s (and that's more my generation's story than the story of these folks).
The other way a concert by the "piano man." He specializes in performing Elvis Presley songs. The lobby was nearly full of people who spend much of their time asleep or mumbling to themselves.
Listening to the King's music transformed them. They were toe tapping, hand clapping, singing along with the performer. And I looked at the white-haired ladies and thought, "these people were the first rock-n-rollers. As girls they went crazy at Elvis concerts." How time changes us all.
These seniors won't be remembered as the greatest generation. Most of them just missed it, growing up during the war, changed by it, but not leading. Their time came a decade later. They led us into the uneasy peace after World War II and into the space and atomic eras. My mother, now home with the Lord, is part of this generation.
When I think of what happened from, say, 1945-1960, I think of these events:
- Televisions became a staple in nearly every home.
- A seamstress and an unknown preacher started a boycott of a segregated bus system that swept through the nation, changing us forever.
- The first ship went into space.
- America emerged as the first (and only, so far) country to let loose an atomic bomb on an enemy.
- They married and had children in record numbers (I'm one of them).
- They raised their children, terrified not by the threat of planes crashing into buildings (as terrible as that was); no, they feared that Russia would bomb them and kill entire cities. They built bomb shelters and taught us to cover our heads and roll.
- They fought the Communist menace with every resource at their disposal, with all the passion we now spend on fighting "terrorists" (Muslim extremists or other kinds).
- They elected the first (and to do, date, only? I think) non-protestant president.
- They fought in the forgotten war in Korea and by the end of the the 50s, they were already heading for the little known country of Viet Nam.
- Senator McCarthy emerged as the leader of an extreme anti-communist movement.
- They rejected their parents' music.
- The miracle of the polio vaccine and pennicillin brought new hope at a time the threat was real, before vaccines made the scurge of childhood illness largely a thing of the past.
I'm sure I would come up with a dozen more if I stayed here long enough.
Do you hear the echoes of what today's generation contends with?
These are the people now in their 70s and 80s. In this home, most are frail of body and even frailer of mind. But when I think of all they endured and accomplished, I must admire and honor them.
Even if the constant fault-finding drives me crazy.
P.S. Add to my list of important events during the time period.
P.P.S. How do you like the idea of a book (a novel, of course) with these seniors as the protagonists?