I Wish I Had Said "These" Things To The Fifties In America

A TYPICAL MAN AND WIFE OF THE 50'S. NOTICE HOW NICE THEY ARE DRESSED? I COULD TAKE A LESSON FROM THIS COUPLE.
A TYPICAL MAN AND WIFE OF THE 50'S. NOTICE HOW NICE THEY ARE DRESSED? I COULD TAKE A LESSON FROM THIS COUPLE.
SPOTLESS! THIS MAKES THIS 50'S HOUSE WIFE SMILE. SHE APPRECIATES A CLEAN GLASS AND DISH.
SPOTLESS! THIS MAKES THIS 50'S HOUSEWIFE SMILE. SHE APPRECIATES A CLEAN GLASS AND DISH.
PRETTY COLOR FOR A STOVE THAT MANY HOUSE WIVES USED WHILE COOKING FOR THEIR FAMILIES IN THE 50'S.
PRETTY COLOR FOR A STOVE THAT MANY HOUSE WIVES USED WHILE COOKING FOR THEIR FAMILIES IN THE 50'S.
VINTAGE SUNDAY IN THE 50'S.
VINTAGE SUNDAY IN THE 50'S.
THE TYPICAL, VINTAGE AMERICAN FAMILY OF THE 50'S SITTING TOGETHER--EATING, LAUGHING, SHARING STORIES.
THE TYPICAL, VINTAGE AMERICAN FAMILY OF THE 50'S SITTING TOGETHER--EATING, LAUGHING, SHARING STORIES.
HEY, THIS STILL FITS! SAYS AN EXCITED HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S AFTER HER HUSBAND SAYS HE IS TAKING HER TO DINNER. THEN DANCING.
HEY, THIS STILL FITS! SAYS AN EXCITED HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S AFTER HER HUSBAND SAYS HE IS TAKING HER TO DINNER. THEN DANCING.
CASUAL CLOTHING FOR MEN IN THE 50'S.
CASUAL CLOTHING FOR MEN IN THE 50'S.
THESE ARE BUSINESSMEN OF THE 50'S. SEE HOW THEY ARE ALL DRESSED PRETTY MUCH ALIKE?
THESE ARE BUSINESSMEN OF THE 50'S. SEE HOW THEY ARE ALL DRESSED PRETTY MUCH ALIKE?
A MAN OF THE 50'S, FAMOUS OR NOT, WAS NOT DRESSED UNTIL HE WAS DRESSED IN A SUIT, HAT AND TIE.
A MAN OF THE 50'S, FAMOUS OR NOT, WAS NOT DRESSED UNTIL HE WAS DRESSED IN A SUIT, HAT AND TIE.
MEN ALWAYS WORE HATS IN THE 50'S. ALWAYS. THEY WOULDN'T GO IN PUBLIC WITHOUT THEIR HATS.
MEN ALWAYS WORE HATS IN THE 50'S. ALWAYS. THEY WOULDN'T GO IN PUBLIC WITHOUT THEIR HATS.
A TYPICAL 50'S FAMILY OUT ON THE ROAD FOR A SUNDAY DRIVE OR MAYBE A YEARLY VACATION.
A TYPICAL 50'S FAMILY OUT ON THE ROAD FOR A SUNDAY DRIVE OR MAYBE A YEARLY VACATION.
YOUR ORDER, SIR, SAYS THIS PRETTY CAR HOP, WHICH IN SOME OUTDOOR EATING ESTABLISHMENTS IN 2011, SUCH AS SONIC, THEY STILL HAVE CAR HOPS.
YOUR ORDER, SIR, SAYS THIS PRETTY CAR HOP, WHICH IN SOME OUTDOOR EATING ESTABLISHMENTS IN 2011, SUCH AS SONIC, THEY STILL HAVE CAR HOPS.
I JUST THREW IN THIS VINTAGE 1950'S AD FOR VITAMIN DONUTS. THAT'S RIGHT. DONUTS. WHAT A GREAT TIME TO LIVE IN AMERICA.
I JUST THREW IN THIS VINTAGE 1950s AD FOR VITAMIN DONUTS. THAT'S RIGHT. DONUTS. WHAT A GREAT TIME TO LIVE IN AMERICA.
WHAT DID GRANDMA SAY TO ADD WITH THIS SPICE TO MAKE MY CAKE SWEET?
WHAT DID GRANDMA SAY TO ADD WITH THIS SPICE TO MAKE MY CAKE SWEET?
WASH DAY AGAIN? BUT A REAL HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S KNEW THAT HER HUSBAND WOULD NOT DO THE LAUNDRY WHEN HE CAME HOME FROM WORK.
WASH DAY AGAIN? BUT A REAL HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S KNEW THAT HER HUSBAND WOULD NOT DO THE LAUNDRY WHEN HE CAME HOME FROM WORK.
A HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S LOVED TO COOK AND BE THE PERFECTIONIST IN EVERY ITEM SHE BAKED.
A HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S LOVED TO COOK AND BE THE PERFECTIONIST IN EVERY ITEM SHE BAKED.
THANKSGIVING OR MAYBE AN EVENING DINNNER SERVED BY A HARD-WORKING, DEDICATED HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S.
THANKSGIVING OR MAYBE AN EVENING DINNNER SERVED BY A HARD-WORKING, DEDICATED HOUSE WIFE OF THE 50'S.

Okay, so I'm not perfect . . .

last week I was getting ready to go to dinner. It was around 6 p.m. as I recall. I had showered and done all the things that men do in order to look decent in public, and as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, I saw myself for what I really am. A slob. A disrespectful male member of mankind for the way that I dress in public. Sometimes, in my case, it takes a jolt from a scary image to shock me into reality. I felt so bad as I gazed myself up and down. I was literally ashamed to be called a man. That, my friends, is the Gospel truth.

As I re-dressed, I began to recall . . .

just how simple, peaceful, and trusting the 1950s really were. I was born on November 27, 1953, and managed, with the grace of God, to survive the Elvis, Everly Brothers, Chuck Berries of that era. I am not saying that I didn't like these musical icons, I just stated that I survived the 50's and now holding on to my life in 2011.

People in the 50's trusted each other. Have you ever really thought about that compared to our society of today? The firearm and dead-bolt lock businesses didn't propser that much in the 50's as they do today. People in 2011 are afraid. They don't want to interface with society as they did in the 50's. Everyone is out for number one in 2011, according to a friend of mine who I talk with each time I visit my local Walmart in Hamilton, Alabama, where I live. My friend is an astute observer of society and how we are changing as a people. And some of the homemade prophecies, so to speak, that he says, puts the fear of God in me all over again.

Where did we go wrong . . .?

really, people? What happened to us, the American people? Did we undergo an emotional surgery during our sleep that changed how we act toward our co-workers, people we attend church with, and the occasional stranger we meet on the sidewalk? If not an emotional surgery, then what? Something has changed us. Something frightful and cold. Was it the insurgance of street gangs in major cities that mostly rule wherever they choose to rule? Was it the attack of the World Trade Center on 9-1-1, that turned us sour against foreign people, all foreign people? Let's get real, friends. I had to take a good, hard-look at myself when I was redressing for dinner and I found that "I" have experienced changes. Changes that I do not like in myself. Anytime we change away from going forward, growing as human beings, we are on the wrong path.

It all came spilling back on me . . .

my memories, those I do recall, of the 50's, when men and women "dressed up," as they said back then, to just go to town. I am not lying to you. Men would not be seen in public without their suit, hat, tie and shined shoes. I remember that about my late dad. When he came home from the Army, he had underwent a social change from that of a carefree fashion plate, to a stern, disciplined man who took great pains with his appearance. I heard that the Army will do that to a man. And my dad was very strict in the way my mom dressed when he would take her and me along on one of his trips to town to conduct some banking business or just buy the groceries for our household. Even now I can easily see a mental photo of the crowds in Hamilton on a Saturday. Men and women in their finest. And it not even the dress-up day of days, Sunday. I liked that in my dad and mom how they presented themselves decent and respectful. Of themselves and others.

But on the other hand, take me for instance. When I go out, I never thought anything about wearing a slouchy throw-on sports shirt with cargo shorts and flip flops. The thought of "a man is judged by his clothing," never entered my mind as I bopped into my local Huddle House restaurant--greeting the manager, and friend, Delores Millican and her fine staff. I just assumed that if I had showered and put on an entire stick of Axe deodorant, I was fine. Not according to my thoughts I had when I looked into my bathroom mirror. I had dropped the fashion ball. Back slid. Got lazy in my appearance. This, folks, is what I call an "emotional purging," that will enable me to do better in the future. It is not fun. I can tell you that. Personal change is like slowly pulling a band-aid off a cut. It hurts. Deep. I always just ripped the band-aid off at the speed of sound while holding my breath and clenching my teeth.

And what about my mother, and all of the house wives . . .

of the Fifties? Who ever took time to give these dedicated ladies any tribute? I admit my failings on this. I seldom told my mother what a great job she was doing. And I can tell you this now without fear of being vocally-chastised. I have, on many occasions, as a young boy, witnessed my mother take little or nothing and make a feast for our family. This is a true fact. God take my life if I am telling a tale. She was your typical, prototype, stay-at-home-mom. And loved it. I think. Come to think of it, I never heard her just come out and say that she loved staying at home. I guess that my dad, sister and I just assumed she loved it. And as I have become older, I can tell you that assuming things about family and friends can lead to hurt and disappointment. Never assume anything about anyone. Find out what they are feeling. Talk to them for goodness sake.

Mother, like most house wives (by choice) of the late Fifties, used a wood stove. This was "the" appliance, if I can use that word, to be used in every kitchen in America. I know that my mom used hers a lot. One of my chores was to haul in stove wood as she called it, to keep a fire going in order for her to keep cooking. My dad, using his keen sense of preservation, would go t our local lumberyard, W.T. Vick Lumber Company in Hamilton, and load his pick-up truck with blocks that came off the finished lumber. And for five-dollars a pick-up load, that was a super deal. I liked the way these pine blocks smelled. I didn't like the painful splinters that punctured my hands when I would haul in the stove wood. That hurt.

Most house wives of this prosperous era of our country used modern appliances as electric stoves and refrigerators. Depending on the income of the household, electric appliances were prominent. In our case, we only had the electric refrigerator. And wood stove. In later years, when my dad secured a better job, he gave my mother an electric stove. She was like a kid on Christmas morning with a new doll. I recall how happy she was to get this needed-appliance. I was happy for her. Now I am sad that she did most of the cooking. I say most, because my dad was an excellent cook also, but he belonged to that cold fraternity whose motto was, "cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, having babies, is woman's work." I loved my dad. But I never recall him ever resigning from this awful club that kept most house wives from driving a car, working at their own business, and things in life that women should enjoy. With my mother being the exception to the rule, I cannot believe that if they were injected with truth serum, the house wives of the fifties would say, "Hey, we loved being kept at home. Loved the drudgery," I just cannot bring myself to believe these ladies would say thing like that.

The church has a lot to do with the atmosphere of the 50's . . .

with ministers who didn't bother to dig into the Bible for the bottom-line truth that a woman's place is anywhere God can use her. It was okay for women to leave their homes to work in war times in plants building tanks, planes, and jeeps, but for a woman of the Fifties to have their own opinion, no sir. Verboten. Keep your mouth shut, ma'am. No one wants to hear the opinion of a woman of the Fifties. Did you know that in some cases, when a husband and wife were in a group of people, the wife had to be silent as her husband talked? And it wasn't manners, but sheer power that the husband had over the cowering house wife, whose ideas and opinions just might have been better than her husband's. We will never know. And sharper minds haven't invented a time machine either.

Personally, and at an early age, I have heard preachers of some denominations use Proverbs, Chapter 31, as the justification of their church charter that a woman's place was in the home. I have found out by actually picking up the Bible and studying, that ladies, real ladies, like Deborah, Aquilla, and even Rahab, (who according to the Hebrew Manuscripts, wasn't a whore) went to battle with their husbands. And I am not talking about a husband and wife ruckus. But a battle with swords, shields and bloodshed. Who said a woman's place was in the home? God didn't. Man did. And what a waste that ideology was. The women of the Fifties who were kept under the thumbs of their husbands, probably had a lot of creativity to share. Ideas that might have helped out nation. Solutions to common problems of society. Sadly, again, we shall never know. And have they got anywhere with that time machine yet?

With much respect and tribute, here are just a few things that I should have said to the Fifties . . .

  • Thank you, for the moral structure of that time. I was raised with a moral background embedded in me as a child. It is still with me today.
  • Thank you, for treating others in the Fifties with honor, respect and care. I speak of people in categories such as . . .the Armed Forces, our policemen, school teachers, neighbors and yourselves.
  • Thank you, for standing up for the underdog. The little guy. The abused woman who was kept silent by threats by her low-life of man she called her husband. People of the Fifties, you had guts. Nerve. And drive. No one ran over anyone when you were around.
  • I appreciate, all of my school teachers who had the guts to read us a Bible story each morning. I never dreamed that I would live to see the day in America when reading the Bible was illegal. But that doesn't change my appreciation to my school teachers who did a good job of planting the seed of respect, dignity, and care for others in us as each school day began.
  • I appreciate, the now-collectible fashions of your era. The suits, hats, shoes. Fashions that made the men and women of the Fifties.
  • I appreciate, the sense of peace that people felt as they walked on the sidewalks, sometimes hand-in-hand, never rushing to get for fear of being mugged, robbed, or harassed. Oh how I wish that this atmosphere would resurface in 2011.
  • I appreciate, all, every serviceman and woman, in every capacity, who volunteered, not threatened, to defend out country. You, the heroes of the Armed Forces, those from the Fifties and back. And those from the Fifties to 2011, are to be commended for your bravery, patriotism, integrity, and sacrifice.
  • I appreciate, now, the respect that you instilled in your children in the Fifties. "No, sir," "No, ma'am," were the norm for answers when children were spoken to by their elders. And there were no cell phones, texting, or eating meals on the children's time tables. Dinner time meant family time.
  • I appreciate my dad, mom, and all the dad's and mom's of the Fifties who worked with cut hands, bruised hearts, and burdens that ignited such a spirit of survival, that people such as I wouldn't be here unless these special people had went forth--blazing the trails for us to follow.
  • I appreciate, very much, how you, the men, women and children, dressed in the Fifties. I am not slamming the fashion industry of 2011, but in some big city fashion markets, the Fifties look is making a comeback in huge strides. But powerful fashion brokers have started called Fifties fashions, retro. Whatever the name. Your fashion choices were special.

I realize that when I get carried away on the 'currents of inspiration,' that I can be a bit mushy. Sweet. Sensitive. And maybe sickening to many. I do not care at this point of my life. I have said what I should have said when I had the chance. And for some weakness that I masked as forgetfulness, I just kept my mouth shut.

With this piece, I consider this just another piece of the foundation of my life being restored. And my heart and conscience won't be bothering me about my neglectfulness anymore.


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Comments 22 comments

shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

I appreciate everything you are saying... but there is a dark side to every era. My grandmother told me stories that would curl your hair...

great hub


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

shea, you are correct. I happen to know a few "personal" horror stories that will never make it to hubs. I hear what you are saying. I just didn't want to make THIS part of the 50's smudged with a negative paint. Thanks for the comment and much peace to you!


shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

i hope i didn't crush your groove


jenubouka 5 years ago

As I finish this heartfelt beautiful story I am surrounded with news on riots and destruction. You are effervescent in your writing. I do wish our society could go back at least for one day back to this more innocent time. Lay down the phone, the internet, and all modern day necessities and pick up a real actual book, or just get to know your fellow neighbor.

Vote up.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, shea, CERTAINLY NOT! I didn't take your comment as critical. I enjoyed your remarks. And I thrive on comments that make me work even harder to provide a better hub. Do not worry. Don't sweat it. Life is good. We are both on Hubs and Hub friends too. Kenneth.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, jenubouka! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE VOTE. I agree. Just for one day, that is all I would ask, like you commented, for us all to just get back to basics and rediscover what true neighbors are. And friends too. Hey, I can dream though. That wont cost us anything. Thanks again for your kind remark. Kenneth


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

This is a great article. We sure could do with a little of the 50's in today's society.

I was born in 1959. My mom always refers to the fifties as the good old days.

I remember we didn't have to lock our doors when I was growing up.

As a small child of three or four I wandered off and got lost. I was going to the store to buy a chocolate bar. The whole neighbourhood got together and found me. If that happened today, I may not be alive.

By the way, You wear, sweet, sensitive and mushy very well.

Have a wonderful day my friend. :-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Sueswan, You are so right. As a child, we didn't lock our doors either. Before we could have a fan, we kept our windows up and doors open in Summer to keep cool at night! Ahhh, I didn't know, at the time, just how good I had it. Thank you, dear Sueswan, for your sweet comment and you have a wonderful day also. Kenneth


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

Beautiful hub. I can't go that far back but I do remember as I child we never locked a door and all summer the front and back one stayed open all night. If a stranger did show up, the dog was as happy to see him as we were.


vicki goodwin profile image

vicki goodwin 5 years ago from Winchester Kentucky

I too was born in the fifties, but I was not alert and aware of my surroundings until about 1960. A simple time still that matches very closely to your description. A great hub, thank you for sharing this time with others.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi,vicki! You are welcome for the hub, but it is I who needs to be THANKING YOU and others for the comments that always kindle my fire to write more hubs. I guess that there are things from the 50's my fragmented memory cannot recall, and I guess that is a good thing. You have a blessed day, vicki. Sincerely, Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, pollyannalana, that hits a great memory with me....dogs being the best security system. My two dogs, "Frank," and "Button," were the best. I wonder if they EVER slept. Thank YOU kindly for the memory. Bless your life with happiness and much success at your great writing. Kenneth


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Kenneth - those were my hey-days! I graduated college in 1953 and married in 1954. They were all that as you described - and more, including being possibly the most stuffy, self-conscious decade of the 20th century!

There was a 'pendulum swing' away from the more actually swinging days of WWII. In the 50s all the vets were back home and starting families, spawning the Baby Boomers who are now becoming the AARP and Medicare crowd.

Every era has its highs and lows, though. Makes for interesting life.

Good hub!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

THAT IS SO SWEET OF YOU TO SAY, Nellieanna. Thank you very much. I was coming into the world, Nov. 27, 1953...I don't recall the day of my birth, obviously, but I started recalling things when I was five...and on down life's pathway. I wish I could be like Marty Mcfly on Back to The Future and go back to the time when my mom and dad were much younger and walk by them and see if they would talk to me. And I would get to volunteer to help my dad in the fields, cut wood, and do chores for my mother--all the while hoping they wouldn't ask, Who are you? Just a dream. And a hub, what do you think?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The 50's were my growing up days. I was eight when they started and eighteen when they were over.

I will note that in those days, most residents of the heartland states owned a firearm or two, but most were .22 rifles and shotguns for hunting. You simply walked into a hardware store or Sears and walked out with your gun. But murders were rare.

Suits were worn by businessmen daily, and by others on Sunday. Men in shorts were almost never seen. Graduating from little boy shorts to long pants was a big deal, so young men never wore shorts.

Radio was still in its heyday, and TV was in its infancy. It was a great time to be alive.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Kenneth...

There is an old family story (mine) from the early 60s. My mom and aunt had ended up in Michigan (Dad's idea, apparently)and they answered a job ad to pick asparagus...they went in their finest...cocktail dresses...high heels...

Long story short...they got the job cuz the old farmer wanted to watch them pick asparagus in heels. They quit the job after 40 minutes I hear...

Great Hub. Those were different times...still...I would like to sport a hat...

Thomas


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, Will, you are absolutely right on the peaceful times in the 50's. And yes, grown men did NOT wear shorts, but long pants and if they were not businessmen, they wore suits, ties, nice hats on Sundays. Wow. What a difference in times,huh. Thanks, Will, for the comment. I was wondering where you had gotten off to. Gods peace be yours. Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

And here is my old friend, ThoughtSandwiches! LOL, what a story--picking asparagus in heels! You cannot make that stuff up. Why don't YOU put that into a hub? You always have the greatest and most-creative ideas. I had also wondered where you and Will both had been. I have been busy with the keyboards and hoping to hit it just right--when the moon and planets are aligned just right and "that" hub that I do during this time frame, will be MY BEST. Be seen by TV exec's and offer me huge amounts of money for my hub ideas plus $4 million tax-free bonds to put CBS logo on top of my head. Listen, if this DOES happn, I will contact You, Willstarr and all of My Followers and we will go on a 3 month cruise...on me. I mean it. Kenneth. And yes, THANKS FOR THE HUMOROUS COMMENT.


collegatariat profile image

collegatariat 5 years ago

Thanks for a beautiful hub on a great era of American history! The elegance of the era, along with the strong moral fiber have always made it an appealing decade. Being quite a bit younger, I always love hearing stories from those past days, so thank you for giving me a little glimpse of what it was like to be part of that generation.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

" . . .YOU are most WELCOME, collegatariant! I was born at the demise of the 50's, 1953, I say demise, it was, as I grew to see it, fading with each passing day, and the sixties took over way too early for my benefit. But I truly believe, just speaking for myself, that my soul must have lived in the 1940's for when I see a black and white movie with those big bands, My inner-self gets charged up and suddenly I feel alive....and when I hear the true blues music by the real blues masters from Mississippi or Chicago. I don't know if things like this are real--living in another time, but if I had been given a choice, I would have chosen the 40's. Loved the mens and women's fashion, cars, music, and just the overall atmosphere. Thank YOU kindly for your comment. And please, keep in touch with me. Sincerely, Kenneth


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Kennith,

This was very interesting. Though I was not born until 60, I can fully understand this hub. I think this was when the democrats had a large conservative base and family values was not just an idealism, it was a reality.

Those days are missed...but, I hope and pray for a similar return of those days. That a future generation will see the value in worshiping God on Sundays as a family, that morals DO count.

Anyway, I am getting long winded here, but I want to give you my "props" for a very good hub.

Chris


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Chris...THANK YOU, BROTHER, for this warm comment that I appreciate so much. I was born in 1953, not 1853, lol, and I missed most of the wild things that went on, but I caught it in the 60's but my folks would have had my hide if I had grew long hair, took LSD or burned my draft card. I sound like an outdated, out of touch man. But I don't care. I am what I am. Thanks, Chris. Have a great day.

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