Magnolia-opus 2

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So the War has been declared over, the Peace Treaties have been signed. War-torn countries are starting to focus on rebuilding and the victors are lending them a hand. Peace began to be waged. More subtle and even more demanding, perhaps, than even the War had been, plus there would be no "treaty" to mark its conclusion. Indeed, such a conclusion has not been reached!

But this is about the end of WWII, and even in countries and places where no battles had been waged, there was much to be restored to "normalcy", much less "peace". Rebuilding torn cities and buildings in the war-ravaged countries and places may have lent a more "real" aspect to the process, but where it was mostly psychological, economic, and cultural, it was more difficult to realize.

The one thing, though, as we look at it from our vantage point, that is apparent is that 'normal' will never again be the same as it had been before. The old-fashioned concept of home and family - even of work - will be forever different. One can't say it changed, because that would imply it was in a certain form and shifted from it while in progress. But the War interrupted all that, though it wasn't noticeable to the participants because the foundations of the way it had been for them before were simply - gone in the world to which they returned. Those kids left home knowing only the way it was "at home" and discovered a totally other world "over there". They returned greatly matured but without the realization of what the differences were "at home". In their enthusiasm to start real lives without bombs and destruction, they were returning with expectations and aspirations for which they had no step-by-step understanding, and to a world which had no foundations for it, merely expectations.

They quickly began to bring children into an all-new world which was new even to them, except that they expected - and aspired - to enjoy both what they remembered and what now seemed to lay before them! Among themselves, these new parents shared their expectations, which encouraged them in them. In fact - among the members of each of the generations, the understanding and support was found to encourage themselves and their perspectives, while further widening the gap between the generations, a gap which would erupt in one of the most dramatic youthful rebellions perhaps the world has ever experienced - the 60s!

So right after the War there was a huge difference in the way things were, but it was insidious. No one fully realized or understood that life as it had been had metamorphosed into a brand-new form and the old form had vanished with the first rallying to war. So the pre-war expectations were groundless, though they continued to seem valid to those who came from there. The parents of the returning heroes expected them to take their places in the established family world and work, and even when it was attempted, it most frequently either fell through or changed from the older folks' visions to the returning hero's expanded ones. But this was not measured or figured into the direction the world was moving. It all had come too swiftly and wrought its dramatic changes too thoroughly!

So "things" hadn't simply continued "back home" as they'd been; and the warriors were so different themselves in so many ways that they didn't notice that ways they had known growing up had become things of the past. They were the heroes, and expectations OF them were also flourishing. So they themselves were not the same young people starting out who had left home. No one really realized that, either. It was a strange form of confusion, with everyone thinking he knew what was going on and almost no one really knowing!

And now they were producing offspring whom were expected to just "know" what they remembered. Of course, this new generation born into this all-new world had no real connection from which to know of that remembered one. Their parents were in search mode themselves. Real lines of communication weren't actually being built due to the many circumstances and demands of the new life. These boomers were virtually "on their own" to try to figure out how to fit into their world and still please their parents and other elders - who seemed to just expect them to know.

It's difficult to describe, by the same token as it was difficult for them to fully realize what had happened and was happening, being caught up in the midst of it! To have been so major and blatant - it actually was, to the participants, subtle, if not hidden!

So for all of the people in the "boomer" family of our story here, while the new house would be an exciting experience, especially for the boys, since they’d only lived in fairly cramped little houses all their young lives, it was not ever to be the same inner experience home had been for their parents as children. Their parents' early experiences with "homes" were ingrained as part of how they were and thought, but to the boys, this was just a bigger and better house. They were literally part of a NEW generation and not the products of a smooth continuation of an earlier one.

They'd gone to a good school where many of the kids lived in much finer houses. It was no big thing to them. Junior got along well with those kids and Sonny was shy in general. He just accepted things as they came.

The boys were enrolled in a "good" school where many of the students already lived in bigger and better houses. Junior seemed to fit right in with all his classmates with ease. Sonny was younger and shy. He made friends, too, but they were some of the other shy kids who were sometimes bullied, - he didn’t know why. His brother sometimes bullied him, so he thought it was something older kids did to younger ones. He had no idea what changed a person from a bully-victim, though.

Joyous GIs getting home
Joyous GIs getting home
The Service Guys Were Discharged & Met With Families
The Service Guys Were Discharged & Met With Families
They Began Returning to Civilian Life
They Began Returning to Civilian Life
Much To Do In The Late 40s & Early 50s To Get Established
Much To Do In The Late 40s & Early 50s To Get Established
Veterans registering for classes, 1946
Veterans registering for classes, 1946
Fraternity Guys Hanging Out
Fraternity Guys Hanging Out
Good Old Greyhound Bus Helped With the Commuting!
Good Old Greyhound Bus Helped With the Commuting!
Lots of Pay-Phone Calls, Too
Lots of Pay-Phone Calls, Too
Life In the Fifties- Marriages & Finding Homes
Life In the Fifties- Marriages & Finding Homes
Soon - Appearance of Boomers. . .
Soon - Appearance of Boomers. . .
Things looked very different!
Things looked very different!
Getting Serious
Getting Serious
Smoking and Drinking Were Part of the Lifestyle
Smoking and Drinking Were Part of the Lifestyle
Music Was In The Air
Music Was In The Air

But before we take up their story, let's retrace a few steps so we know how they got here. . . Their parents had to meet after the War!

Each of their parents had somewhat different backgrounds before the War. Though each of them, as children, had lived in quite fine houses, these were just taken for granted and in quite different circumstances. Their Dad’s homes growing up were mostly “up north” and their mother's had always been right in this same city where they were to grow up. As young marrieds they were not close to having such homes themselves. Their Dad would have much to do to get reoriented to civilian life and she had personal problems in progress during that time.

His father, whom the boys would call "Pop", had been successful in city government positions in various northern cities until the Depression ravaged the country, at which time he had sought other work. Their Dad, whose name was Timothy, as a boy had lived in several northern cities where his father had been called to administer their Parks and Recreation facilities.

After the Depression caused his positions to dwindle, he'd returned to the same southern city where his son, Tim, had been born in the early 1920s, before he'd begun his own northern work and before the Crash. It was the city where Tim's future wife lived but they didn't yet know it.

After holding several administrative and marketing positions, though, Pop decided to study Law at an age when most men were getting near retirement age. Several lawyers and judges had preceded him in his family and though he hadn't fancied the law as a career when younger, he decided to take the plunge. After he'd finished the course, he set up his law practice in another town West of that city, actually where the boys’ parents would meet at college when Tim returned from service and went back to college himself.

Their meeting at the university would be casual, with Tim being recently discharged. His mind was fixed on finishing college and getting into the swim of things. The activity following the war was unlike anything before it. The air seemed charged with a dynamic energy and opportunity. Tim was eager to get in on it.

At college he became friends and fraternity brothers with a young guy named Bill. They enjoyed all the typical fraternity antics of the times and had many a midnight discussion about their futures. Tim dated casually but his focus was on the business of college and getting out into the civilian world. He'd met several fellow servicemen from various parts of the U.S., one from a quite prominent and well-known family who had taken a liking to Tim and offered to help him get started in any field he chose, but Tim wanted to return to his own family and make it "on his own". Even so, he was well aware that he had a likable personality which had served him all through his life thus far. So he felt confident in his future.

His friend Bill dated Jane, a “Big Woman On Campus" (BWOC) and when their fraternity had a dance, Bill took her as his date, but also invited his sister, Marion, to come and meet Tim, as a "blind date". Bill invited his sister to cheer her up, because she had recently emerged from a first marriage to an older, quite wealthy man and the marriage had ended rather badly. Tim agreed to it out of the same sentiment. Besides he was proud to be squiring her around. She was a very attractive girl and had a lot of self-assurance, which impressed him. His own mother was a gifted artist with an aura of excellence surrounding her and their doting nanny who still had lived with them was everything nurturing a woman could be. He thought Marion probably had a similar personality. It was part of the expectation of things being as remembered, and we must not forget that Tim was practically a kid when he went off to war and, though he had matured in many ways and had become a good judge of other men, he was fairly naive when it came to women!

Bill and Marion's family was affluent and were prominent citizens in the same rapidly-expanding city where our main story takes place. The postwar boom was good to its economy.

To Marion, being mistress of a fine home was her full expectation and she usually fulfilled her expectations. They began to commute back and forth between the college town and the city to date steadily during the remainder of his senior year. They continued dating after graduation until they married during that summer.

For a year or so out of college, while Tim was getting established in his profession, they lived rather simply in her family's city. They'd quickly begun their family, first Tim, Jr. the first year and a few years later, Sonny, who was named for a favorite uncle who had been nicknamed Sonny. No one called either of them by their actual name, Edward.

Marion applied herself to taking care of the boys and often visited her mother with them. Her family home was in an exclusive neighborhood and her mother was a precise housekeeper. Both she and Marion expected the boys to behave perfectly when they visited there. In fact, Marion made it a rule in their modest house, as well. She was an over-protective mother, terrified of exposure to germs or other influences. But she was proud of her children and took lots of pictures of her fine-looking sons.

Tim was well aware of his growing responsibilities and especially of the high expectations by both Marion and her family. He applied himself tirelessly to the business of fulfilling them. Armed with a good education and a winning personality, along with the grace that his own family life had instilled in him, he was soon on his way to promotions and better titles. All through his school days, his Navy days and college years, he'd been amazed at how opportunities seemed to open up for him, almost to drop into his lap.

He’d learned to work independently as a boy when his family had moved from place to place, where he was always the new kid on the block. He’d developed a knack for making things run smoothly. Co-workers respected him and he could be at ease with them without losing authority. He had been seen as capable of commanding a ship in the Navy and given his own to command, though it was about the time the war had ended and when faced with the choice to stay on and build a military career on that good start or going home, he had chosen to go home and seek a civilian path.

He had a knack of winning approval and advanced in his responsibilities and titles. He went almost immediately into the lower management positions and lingered there shortly before being assigned to full management.

It had gone well, but never as rapidly as hoped. The pressure to get his family situated in a better house was irresistible. He was focused on it. The only respite from pressure was when he and Marion had little get together with friends. They got together with Bill and his Jane, whom he’d married, and with a few other friends from college.

Some cocktails and dancing were a welcome change of pace after a busy work week. They felt they had a good social life with great future prospects. They could easily visualize moving "up" and into a better house before too long!

The Day Has Come!

Getting Moved
Getting Moved

Brave New Move!

And so it was that as soon as humanly possible they abandoned the less ostentatious dwellings for that magnificent house mentioned earlier, located in the brand new development, expected to rival the oldest, finest, most established “good addresses” in the city, including Marion's family's neighborhood. So Tim was pleased that he was able to provide it by wrangling a stiff loan for its purchase and, of course Marion’s first goal was at least established. There could be no looking back. Their sparse furnishings were moved into the generous rooms and they all began to occupy the new dwelling.

This 'n That
This 'n That

Out With The Old - In With The New!

Tim's next project was to earn enough to pay for the house and satisfy her growing list of “wants or needs” while, hopefully, keeping her sharp tongue and general dissatisfaction from preventing his being able to effectively deliver at work. What kept him inspired was his dream of one day having a houseful of happy kids and grand-kids visiting the home on many happy occasions, as he had experienced growing up in his own home. It all seemed abundantly worth all the effort and hope and surely possible if he just worked hard enough.

Dreams Coming True!

Marion Unpacked Her "Hope Chest"
Marion Unpacked Her "Hope Chest"

Make It Beautiful!

Marion's focus was on making HER new home as fine inside as possible! Nothing could upset that. Not muddy shoes, not rowdy children. They quickly learned to be “good little boys” and to “play nice” and leave their shoes at the door. They learned the lessons of disobedience or failure quickly, though Sonny was still just tagging along, too young to quite understand how to “play the game” of compliance without losing a sense of who he really was. It just seemed to him that was just the way things WERE. If he were deemed out of line, he got the punishment for it. He had no idea how to sidestep it. He was just a tyke.

All new fashionable furnishings were rapidly being purchased in view of many soirees to be hosted in the magnificent open downstairs living room and family room where guests could circulate and congregate in its expansiveness! The inside entrance-way of fine terrazzo which was also part of the dining area and the living areas would be the first glimpse inside as their family and friends gathered to celebrate and socialize at many parties and occasions! Marion was in her element! And her boys would be perfect little gentlemen.

Built-In Baby-Sitter . . .

Soon a new and improved TV was added and the boys were entertained by popular programs on it.

The Lone Ranger - Early 50s Hero

Looking The Part!

A car and fashionable clothes were acquired, all the latest buzz was followed. Tim could ride the bus to work if Marion needed the car. He rather enjoyed the bus ride. Gave him the chance to talk to other men from his neighborhood about golf or even work, without "girl-talk" and other distractions!

The Next Big Project. . .

Next, the exterior entrance-way simply had to measure up to the interior! This was to be a prospect about which the boys were even excited!  They begged to be in on it, in fact! .  . .

See Previous: Magnolia – opus1      See Next: Magnolia – opus 3

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35 comments

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

To my mindthis is what I would expect from a professional author. The first four paragraphs especially have that "something" which I cannot define.

You should really show this to someone more qualified than I to judge serious non ficion. WELL DONE! :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, DG!! I appreciate those kind words! I'm just trying to express something I feel needs expressed. :)

Thanks for reading it. I'm working on the next segment now and looking forward to seeing your new hub! ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Ah, the memories this well-written hub evoked, Nellieanna. Especially the one of the elegant woman wearing gloves.

I can remember when my mother got all dressed up and added gloves and pantyhose to her ensemble just to go .... shopping at the market.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

I can remember getting all dressed up and wearing gloves and hose with a garter belt - before pantyhose made their debut! LOL. And yes - I never went out anywhere without being properly attired. sigh - now look at me! haha! Jeans and Ts. I dress up for operas, weddings and funerals or an occasional special night out and those are all on the rare side!

The last opera my husband & I attended, my pantyhose' elastic had become so old it gave way. I was very glad for the dark when we made our way to the car afterward because the hose were down to my knees by the time we reached it! Fortunately it was cold weather & I was wearing highheeled Ferragamo dressy boots or they'd have made it to the ankles, I'm sure!

Thanks, drbj - there were certainly some values which fell through the cracks. So glad you came by and read it. I'm getting the next 'opus' ready to post.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

You're absolutely correct, Nellieanna. It was hose with a garter belt that she wore for those plebeian pursuits. Did I also mention heels? She wore those, too.

What a pleasure today's world is - we can wear our jeans and tees and sandals almost everywhere with pleasure and without censure.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes - heels too, of course. One wouldn't have been caught dead dressed up and wearing flats unless one's partner were a shrimp and it was to be for a dance - or one had a broken foot! (possibly from wearing heels!) LOL.

I saw a "funny" in which the older ladies were wearing sweatshirts with this message emblazoned across the fronts: "I'm retired! This is as dressed up as I have to get!" lol - and in a way it's true. One knows when one happens to be at the store after 5PM and sees all the gals teetering in their heels and dress-for-success suits that they HAVE to work and one's self doesn't! haha


Gail Penry 6 years ago

Fantastic stories and images. Your feedback to readers (e.g. your panty hose so worn they fell apart) is hilarious. You are so correct about seeing the women in their heels and business suits after work in the grocery. That is why I never go to the store when the "worker bees" are out---too many people in too much of a hurry. I lived that way for many years.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Gail!!! What a delight to see you here! Glad you visited and enjoyed. And you know - sometimes the feedback is more fun than the hubs! LOL.

You're so right about the timing at the store. The times I go during "those times" is only on the way back from the bank after waiting for the mail with the check in it needing to be deposited immediately; - and while I'm going past Casa Linda, might as well stop for the stuff I need. But it's not the ideal time to shop, for sure. Even worse at Sam's on Friday nights or weekends! lol. Hope you visit again. I'm getting the next Magnolia segment ready. . . Thank you! And I do think you'd be at home here.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Sure brought back some pleasant memories of growing up in the fifties since I was born in 48. So much of what you are showing in the pics and videos I remember clearly. I even remember my mom with her garter belts, stockings that clipped on to the garter belt. Fish net stockings to. The Lone Ranger was my favorite cowboy and Superman what more can be said about the mighty man of steel. hah. Amazing how simple life was back then, never locked our doors at night, friendly people everywhere. I was so happy to have lived through the 50's and 60's great years in my life, except for the sometimes bad men my mom would bring to live with us, as you know I talk about that abuse in some of my hubs. Thanks for the memories as Bob would sing, it was a delight watching you again weave your magic in your stories, can't wait to read the next chapter. peace


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

So happy that it brought good memories to those times for you, Ken. There were certainly some really good things during those years. I was very happy in the early 50s - at college, studying fashion design which I loved more than anything, at SMU - which was a very nice school to be attending here in Dallas and I must say I was bedazzled by Dallas and then - to Houston and a very glamourous job - but tragedy interrupted the joy. Life deals from both top and bottom of the hands, huh? We just take the threads and weave them into a better design.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

You lead a very interesting life by the looks of what I have read, although your right, we do suffer some setbacks now and then and believe me I have had a few of my own. But it's all reflection as I plant my feet firmly on the floor and thank God for one more day, look at myself in the mirror and tap myself on the shoulder and say well done Ken. It's so nice to be able to look back in time. Life deals us blows butI love your analogy of threads. for me life is all about chapters, it's certainly a task getting through them. I have a few left to share, God willing.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

ah - yes. I'm of an opinion that we're each "of a piece" all along - it's what could be called integration. But we seem to have to go through times when we don't have a clear vision of our own integrated beings. Seems to be one of life's challenges to dig through the "stuff" masking it & we find our own intregity, our core, where we're secure no matter what-all happens exteriorally. It comes with some living, though, doesn't it? Thanks again for your comments!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I like that women wearing gloves, Mam Nellieanna, this is so rich in history and intelligently written. Oh war, it changed family in a sense and people remember. This is a good life though, remembering, Thank you so much Mam, Mam Nellieana, I have an email for you! Thank you for the share, Maita


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank YOU, Maita! I was so pleased to receive your e-mail, as I am to read your comments about this hub.

I've just done some fairly minor - but significant - revising of this hub because it is in it I feel I need to make my main point - that not only did the War change things (especially in this country where the changes were less physical than psychological, not having been phsycially attacked and torn apart).

I feel strongly that the changes which were so subtle account for much misunderstanding that followed and in some cases still haunt the lives of the boomers and their own offspring - and theirs. What was touched off - innocently - was a huge "pill to swallow" for humanity, really. Much good came of it too - the boomers have been enormously creative, innovative and have taken leadership well, in general!

But meantime, family has become more and more difficult and "at risk" for people, it seems. The instances of that are too varied and numerous to list. From divorce and "domestic abuse" & violence, to so-called "date-rape" of youngsters barely into puberty, to almost stealing childhood from kids in order to promote their superior IQ scored so as to guarantee they'll get into the best colleges - while giving their rearing to virtual strangers whose intelligence and honesty is unknown till too late, who more and more seem to turn out to be child- molesters, "good" children turning into crass bullies and on and on.

These are not trivial consequences in my estimation. They're not in every home behind every closed door - but too often and numerous to be ignored and definitely not good for our world and its future.

There's no returning to simpler times - would solve nothing, in fact. Our world has advanced and its own life-force demands that people understand and embrace it. But perhaps a trickle of understanding of how it came about might be enlightening. When this occurred to me, it was. I was there and observed from the sidelines,, yet only recently did I sort out & "connect the dots" and notice what was not noticed but was almost inevitable after the war - what changed things so dramatically and not always for the better.

The first paragraphs are what I've changed now a bit,in the effort to better clarify it.

Thanks again for your very clear vision and valuable comments!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Did I forget to comment or did Hub Pages swallow my earlier comment?!! I could have sworn I posted something laudatory here! You believe me, don't you, Nellieanna? :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

FP - well - there are now 4 segments - the Prologue and 3 opi. You've said very nice things on the other three - maybe this one fell through the cracks. As far as I know all the comments are here. Of course, I don't keep score! lol. Not to worry. You're always so wonderful to actually read and comment with real perception!! Thanks!


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Really enjoyed part 2 Nellieanna, so interesting for me as a Brit to read about US then and compare to what I've been told and read about Uk at that time. Basically we were miles behind and with the exception of 50's fashion, the time you so evocatively describe compares more with the 1970's when I grew up and I was lucky, my parents were affluent. Rationing did not stop in the UK until 1954!! There was no price for a dozen eggs until then, as only 1 egg per person every 2 months was allowed, and powdered egg too was rationed on points! There was austerity long after the war ceased. Watching american and british films of that era poignantly highlights the contrasting lifestyles. Perhaps that's why many British women married American soldiers and emigrated? I visualise this 'Marion' being rather like Doris Day. First class writing, thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thanks again, Jamie. It's equally amazing and interesting for me to hear more about how it was in the UK then! Previously all I'd really heard was - as you - in the movies about it and then my friend whose father wrote about his son's birth DURING the 1939 London blitz. That was when they all almost died, but for an amazing twist of fate which prevented them from getting into their bomb shelter! The shelter was totally destroyed when the bombs dropped, along with most of their house EXCEPT the heavy dining room table they crouched under as the only place they had time to find after finding the bomb shelter flooded! If it hadn't been for that flooding in it, they'd have perished. Amazing stuff. Later their family emigrated to Canada where my friend still lives. His Dad wrote a book dedicated to his amazing wife, and the story of the blitz was in one of the chapters.

Now that's amazing that eggs there were sold by the unit! WOW! They were dear here too - because most eggs were reserved for the troops.

What has haunted me about the movies of the wartime was & still is that arrogant swagger the US guys had in the other parts of the world. I can understand that they hardly realized they were doing it - they had a lot of confidence & verve - but it's embarrassing to me to think how it had to portray my country to others. It set up a longstanding dislike for Americans, I'm sure. Tourist often did little to rectify it, if stories of their attitudes "over there" are true.

It's not unlike how I feel watching TV commercials which portray all Texans as smart-alecky rednecks who can't utter a good sentence in even acceptable American English! Oh, I say "ya'll" & "fixin' to" sometimes. But those horrid ads make it seem that all Texans are ignorant - and proud of it. Not nice!

Well - at times I notice the same impression coming from various of our state's leaders, as well. (blush) But we're really fine folks! Just ask us. See what I mean?

And, in all fairness Brits have their own swagger too, it's just a bit more suave & admirable. (wink)

Anyway - it is sad that people so often stereotype themselves & then all who are related to them, however distantly can suffer the same images.

I think of people as individuals. I like some better than others but it's their own actions which define them.

I like to hope that the American-British wartime loves & marriages were every bit as genuine & romantic aa the movies portrayed. They were quite memorable to a young girl entering her teens as I was then. And some of the songs in them - wwwwwwwwwwooooooowwwwwwwwww "I'll Be Seeing You", "The White Cliffs of Dover", among many others.

"Marion" was a lovely young woman, yes, but she also had her demons. I never knew her personally, only know of her effects on others. Perhaps the same may be true of Doris Day. . .

Thanks again for reading with so much perception, Jamie!


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Your mention of the panty hose that gave up the ghost made me laugh out loud! Aside from that, I am immersed in this time and place now and seeing it as never before. Mesmerizing.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

(wink) Well - that was an aside from that time, too - it was only a few years ago about the falling pantyhose! My next funniest joke on myself involves a liquor store. Haha.

Glad you're "into" the times. I hoped for that. I certainly went back into them, but from different perspectives, in writing this.


M Selvey, MSc profile image

M Selvey, MSc 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Nellieanna,

It got late last night so I was not able to finish reading this part until this morning. Again, wow! I am just amazed at how your words just transport me to another time! Even though much of this was before my time, I do remember some of the effects and the aftermath of what you are talking about, this effort at creating the "ideal". Years ago, I don't remember the dates now, but Disneyland used to have an attraction which was sponsored by General Electric and the theme song was "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day..." And, it gave this impression that the new post-war America was evolving as a Utopia. The husband and wife robots in the production were the perfect image of America, the wife with the perfect hairdo and manicure, and the husband with his moustache and pipe and the beautiful home with the latest gadgetry.

It is so ironic that there was such an emphasis on manners and ensuring the image was flawless - but I could not help but notice your comment above to Jamie. A few Americans, when in foreign territory, soon lost this sense of gentility and transformed into something somewhat babaric in their manners. And, then tourism as you mentioned...I remember going to London in the 80s and being utterly ashamed by the rude and obnoxious behaviors of fellow Americans. Seeing these behaviors made me want to tell people I was Canadian! I often wondered if it had something to do with such grooming of Americans to believe that theirs was the best country in the world and that Americans were the most privileged citizens in the world. Perhaps,this pride turned into a bit of arrogance for a few. I don't know. It is baffling and embarrassing.

Moving on now to Opus 3!


Juliette Morgan profile image

Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

Hi Nellieanna I'm following this story too and have to say kitchen tables saved many a life during the blitz, that and hiding in the cupboard under the stairs, as it was often the strongest retaining structure. I know the 'over here' sayings you are referring to with the US soldiers but they were not all like that. My Grandmother, who lived in Yorkshire near an American base had a policy of inviting an American soldier every Sunday for lunch - (not to marry off her 3 daughters!) but to give the homesick guys some home comforts and real connection - many of them kept in touch with her long after the war and were well-mannered young men. I'm off to read the next installment - love it, thanks. Juliette


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes I can recall the gradual, even vague awareness I got that our American image abroad (& in areas, at home) was over-stuffed to the point of being obnoxious - and surprisingly I noticed it in the films which, I'm sure, were aimed at promoting the natural "right" & excellence of the American way, while ignoring many deeds and characteristics which were anything but right or excellent.

I was far from being a "liberal", but I must have had a sort of unbiased view of some facts. I remember wondering who gave us the right to dictate or assume such leadership. Of course, I'd always been the little kid & didn't expect anyone to pay attention to my opinions so seldom voiced them, in fact, was inclined to question them if they seemed out of step! But I wish I still had some of the "essays" I wrote for myself about things I noticed and questioned.

As for the returning vets and their aspirations, yes - they were firmly set on fulfilling those idealistic pictures and believed it was the right thing to do. That is, in fact, where I perceive that the gulf was set up between them and their offspring, who didn't have that background, nor were they so shy about rejecting whatever didn't make sense to them in their state of awareness, which was that of youth.

They found camaraderie in each other & satisfied their questions among themselves, where previous generations were closely guided by elders and looked to them for guidance. They built a certain wall & when they had to be told things by elders, they had a certain common sense of unity & trust in their own conclusions which was missing between them and the older folk, for whom there was a bit of contempt & and toward ideas they didn't key into. It wasn't so in the same way for every one but it was the pervading mood.

There were many evidences of it, and actually, the little housewife in high heels, perfectly coiffed and manicured, with a well-ironed ruffly apron on, baking and pushing her vacuum cleaner and loading her sparkling laundry appliances dominated the era in which I did marry and start a family, though it was not the immediate Boomer time, but was not until the mid-fifties. I did all that, too. I was always too gullible, after those older siblings had me trained! LOL. I didn't expect my kids to be perfect, but my husband did. My attitude was always to provide excellence for them to choose but to then allow them to choose for themselves. I bought them good books and just placed them where they could find them, which they did, without prompting. I made my daughter beautiful clothes but if she insisted on untying a perfect bow and looping it in some any-old-way manner, I didn't correct her. I wanted both my children to be free to express themselves, and was happiest when they did and chose wisely. But if parents are not in sync in child-raising, it creates nothing but discord anyway.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Perfectly charming! As a boomer I remember so much of this as if it were yesterday. Dressing was more cumbersome but one did feel different when wearing stockings and suspender (garter) belts, dresses and high heeled shoes. Nowadays every one dresses so casually, I miss it really. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes - those days of "proper" attire and manners seem to have gone with the wind too. But occasionally there is a renewed interest in beautiful clothes, though I doubt they'll ever again be made really well, even the top couture designs. But it's such a throw-away mindset these days, I suppose it's impractical to make things to last when they won't get the chance to! LOL. Glad you enjoyed the story - hope you're following it as it progresses. It's really for and about Boomers.


Joy56 profile image

Joy56 6 years ago

well done you, a must read for all


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thanks so much, Joy56! It's a segment of a continuing story. You may enjoy the preceeding parts and the following ones. :)

It has nostalgia, as your story does - but you have the gift of brevity! Very well handled too, I might add!!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is just awesome, really! I guess I grew up in that era, though far from the US, admittedly. But so many of the issues you write so well about here I felt or knew about in my growing years.

This is a really wonderful read. Geting onto the next one soon!

Love and peace

Tony


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

It's gratifying to me to hear how applicable it really is to so many folks, and especially amazing that it applies - and in various surprising ways, too - to folks who weren't here in my "neck of the woods". I truly believe that the dynamics of that era were unusually, uniquely affecting. I suppose it's why the years that ensued had so many things in common all over the civilized world. Thinking about it, surely the most non-progressive places at the time such as the remote areas of the Amazon and remote islands would never be the same agains either. Thanks for your comments, Tony!


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Nellieanna, once again you put out such a well written story back from the past. Remember those little white belts (us) women had to wear in order to hold our "rags" in place? I don't know about you but mine never stayed in place. And talk about the leaks! Anywoo, the trip back in time was a plesant one and the photo's came to life on this page. Well.. not really, I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea lol Thanks Nellie, Loved It!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh yes! Susan - I hadn't thought about those things in YEARS - EONS! WOW. They were the pits but I tried to feel ok about them when my mother explained what she had to use. (I won't elaborate but they had to be laundered after every use! ohmygosh . .) Did your generation call it "the curse"?

I'm so pleased to see you! Haven't been seeing or hearing from you in a while. . . Hope you won't be such a stranger.

And if you have time, this opus is the 3rd (first one had no #) in a continuing story.

Thanks for the lovely comments!!


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

This was a wonderful read. You really took me back in time with your time machine. I thought all the pictures were perfect. They helped with the images in my mind as I was reading . So well put together. These hubs have been a gem to hold on to, thanks.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

BJ - thank you! It was probably before your time, but it had such an effect on people ever since. Glad you enjoyed it!


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

My parents made me feel at times like I was growing up at a later time with all the stories they told me. My Father was the youngest of 10 children. He had brothers and in- laws that were in all the wars, even Vietnam was one of my Mom's brothers .My dad was the Korean war. So my history just stretches over a long time. We are all great story tellers,at least we think so.LOL. I have a great respect for the past. It foretells the future.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

I understand, BJ! Thank you for adding this information! I'm very pleased that you feel akin to the times before you were born. Me too, actually!

I had those 3 much older siblings, all born around or before 1920. And our parents born in the 1890s. And they were all great story tellers as well. Also my George was born in 1922. So I just sort of absorbed details from their lives, as you surely did from your parents' families. And then, of course - I guess my "time" - when I was maturing - was during the Korean War. And I had friends who were in Vietnam - and on it goes. A long history. My Mom's family traces back to the American Revolution and she had a stack of letters written by relatives during the Civil War. Each of us got a share of those, although they are so delicate I'm almost scared to touch them. She actually had relatives fighting on both sides! Can you imagine?

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