A Loving-List of Things, People I Loved About The Roarin' 20's

For just a moment, welcome to

The speak easy was a place where people went to have a drink during Prohobition
The speak easy was a place where people went to have a drink during Prohobition
Al Capone, The one-time No. 1 public enemy and crime boss
Al Capone, The one-time No. 1 public enemy and crime boss

What a time to live

Roarin' was the only adjective fitting to describe one of America's most-glamorous, exciting, adventerous, and unpredictable times on historical records. Those who lived and survived this time always had festive stories to share when they were invited to parties and family reunions.

Just let me go to present time for a moment. If you, one of my valued-followers, have a family member, friend or neighbor who lived in the Roarin' 20's or knew someone who was blessed to live in this gala time, let me just say, "You or your family member or that someone you knew who lived in the Roarin' 20's, were very tough in all areas of life," in my humble opinion.

Just look at and evaluate everything and everyone you survived: The Mob which the all-powerful Al Capone owned and ran; Bootlegging and the wars that caused the innocent and guilty to spill their blood on the sidewalks; Constant danger in the air; Distrust of politicians; The Great Depression, World War I, and the list could be longer, but aren't these things enough to make a stronger American?

The Flappers were not just flashy-dancers, but the Roarin' 20's trend setters
The Flappers were not just flashy-dancers, but the Roarin' 20's trend setters

Man, was I ever late

I must make an honest confession. I was born 33 years too late. I came into this unsure world in 1953, but if I had been given a choice, I would have instantly-chosen 1920 and would have longed to live-out this glorious era because to me, this was my all-time favorite era in our history. I do have reasons to follow, so stay tuned.

It's not that I have anything against 1953 or any era from that time until today. It is because when I did my researched this piece, the photos of the Roarin' 20's literally blew my mind all over again. You can form your own opinion of the Roarin' 20's, but we can all agree that the Roarin' 20's were anything but boring as opposed to the rat mazes we live in today in the hum, drums of 2015.

Flappers: Pretty and talented
Flappers: Pretty and talented
What charming ladies
What charming ladies

Don't get angry at me. I am just sharing

I say hum, drums, because our society rises at mostly the same time, retires at a certain time, eats food that is not exciting, watches television shows that put us to sleep and if pushed to tell the truth, any American could easily predict that they and their friends will be doing a week from being asked. Is that boring or what? You may say that it's not boring, but you might as well agree that it is far from the excitement that filled the air in the Roarin' 20's.

No. I do not love knowing that around any corner, a guy in a three-piece suit, Bowler hat, and black and white loafers will jump out with a Thompson machine gun and open fire on me because I happen to favor his crime boss' arch enemy. But it is that little bit of excitement and unsurity that makes life interesting.

Well, before I upset any more people, I am going to present to you my title . . .

A Loving-List of Things, People That I Loved About The Roarin' 20's

A nostalgic moment . . .

Leonardo Decaprio, as The Great Gatsby
Leonardo Decaprio, as The Great Gatsby
Lindberg and The Spirit of St. Louis
Lindberg and The Spirit of St. Louis
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Mary Pickford, movie icon of the 20's
Mary Pickford, movie icon of the 20's
Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones
James Cagney in one of his great criminal-based films
James Cagney in one of his great criminal-based films
The cars in the 20's were fabulous
The cars in the 20's were fabulous
Comedy staple: Charlie Chaplin
Comedy staple: Charlie Chaplin
Boxing great: Jack Dempsey
Boxing great: Jack Dempsey
James Cagney
James Cagney
Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe

THE CARS -- Although, thanks to the depressing economics of our country, were owned by crime bosses and their gang members, but oh how they shined. The cars, I mean. When watching documentaries of the Roarin’ 20’s, and a car or two would zoom by, my blood pressure jumped at least two points. I would have loved to just drive one of these beautiful cars.

THE FLAPPERS -- I couldn’t write a Roarin’ 20’s story without mentioning the pretty flappers, girls with those shiny, sequenced dresses, heels and yes, the bobbed-hair. I loved how they lived their life and didn’t worry about tomorrow. Oh yes. I think I found a photo of one of these cuties with a cigarette in her fingers. Everyone knew that a lady of this time dared not smoke in public or private.

THE FOOD -- Like Flappers, I couldn’t talk of the Roarin’ 20’s unless I mentioned the great food produced mostly by our wonderful Italian friends with those heavenly-smelling diners on any main street in the big cities of America. I really think that I was supposed to born in this time.

THE THEATER -- was a place of endless visual and audible pleasure. The musicals, actors and those bands were really the foundation of those iconic productions. And yes, I would have been proud to escort whomever my wife of that time if I had one, to any of these shows with no argument.

THE MANLY-MEN -- Namely James Cagney, whose portrayal of the gangster was exquisite in every way. Cagney’s tight jaw, short temper and his ability to do what he said was very impressive to me. Growing up, I never had Cagney’s swagger so most every guy who was older than me, did their best to make me look foolish by running over me.

THE MEN’S WARDROBE -- Sure Al Capone, Bugsy Moran and other mob bosses were evil on earth, but I give them credit for always “dressing to the nine’s.” No matter where you saw them, they were always dressed-up with a shiny, pressed suit, pants, hat and shined shoes. No wonder that most of the ladies, and I mean the “real” ladies, gave these bad guys a second look for how eloquent they dressed. I would have wanted to have a job that paid enough for me to look impressive too.

THE MUSIC -- of the Roarin’ 20’s was without competition or description. I have always loved the stylish big bands and the music of a true music icon: Louis Armstrong who is still remembered today as the one musician who helped pave the way for other African American musicians.

THE NIGHTCLUBS -- were the best. I love the vintage lack and white films that displayed these places where men dressed great and they all wore hair tonic (or gel) that kept their hair in place while the beautiful women in evening gowns were natural “feasts for the eyes.” Now throw in trumpeteers like Louis Armstrong out front and the “joint was jumping,” as people in the 20’s used to say.

THE INTEGRITY -- of the common citizens was always evident. Sure, there were bootleggers, gamblers, and those who produced evil seed, but in the midst of these wayward people stood the average person who trusted his neighbor and would stand-up for him in times of trouble. In my opinion, in 2015, the integrity factor among our society is way too out of sight.

THE POLICE -- may God bless their souls. These guys were willing to fight the fight of good and evil and rid their cities of the scum that had desecrated the nice city parks, clean streets, and put “dance halls,” in places where a grocery store should have been built. You have to openly-admire the “guys in blue,” for the work they did then, and now.

THE EARLY-LIBERATION -- of women was taking place right “under the noses” of the American people. Think about it. No one dared to mess with the bold flappers with their “shimmy-shaking,” lipsticked lips smiling to everyone who watched them. I call these girls brave, but society of the 20’s tagged them with ugly, degrading names that were not fit for the sewer. Still, I respect them.

THE WAR EFFORT -- World War I brought out the patriotism in our country. Common citizens were ready to do whatever to help our military in the war effort and help to make the world a peaceful place for all people to live. Joining together with each other, these valiant citizens saved materials necessary in making war materials and other efforts that made America’s military strong. And redefined the patriotic attitude in our citizens that made them as strong as our country.

SPORTS -- had its place in the Roarin’ 20’s. Names of sports gods such as: Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, and Bobby Jones ruled the headlines and attention of sports fans on weekends. These talented athletes were more than names on a roster, each sports star was able to touch Americans in ways that we could not fathom. Just to shake hands with the likes of Babe Ruth was, and I dare to say, a life-changing moment. In the Roarin’ 20’s, sports were real. No huge salary disputes, strikes, and scandals to speak of. Men on teams and on greens actually played the games as they should be played. And one thing that I love about sports of this day was that was all they were. Sports.

Thank you for reading my hubs. I am working to provide shorter hubs due to the fact that you have lives with things to do. I am glad to recognize this fact and I just wanted to do something for my Fantastic Followers. Kenneth

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Comments 4 comments

cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 22 months ago from Austin, Texas

I don't have memories of the 20s. But if I did it would probably be movies, music and sports. Any memory of Al Capone would have to be eliminated. Great HUB! Voted Up.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 22 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Well done, Kenneth. I think you've captured the period very well. I, too, wish I could have been born earlier -- more like 1890 when my grandfather, prize fighter Shamus O'Brien, was born (in Ireland.) I treasure having grown up as a boy in the 1940s but I would have loved to be of age in the 1920s and 1930s. "The old days," I think, pretty much ended with the '60s, at least for me. Gone today are the good old radio shows, the great singers and wonderful music as well as the great sports events in boxing, baseball, football, the great comedians in vaudeville and movies, the old ethnic neighborhoods and local watering holes. I was particularly familiar with the music of the '20s and '30s because my father played piano and old friends sang those old tunes often on weekends in my home. Thanks for the memories!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 22 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

cmoneyspinner1tf,

You are so right about staying away from thugs like Capone. But life is like this. If you have a good locale with mostly good people and things, I guess you have to have a few bad things and people to balance it out.

Thanks for your nice comment.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 22 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

William T. Torpey

I do sincerely appreciate you and your very nice comment, but I think you have captured this magical era in your comment. Really. I easily-visualized those things and places in the 20's you spoke of as I read what you said. Way to go!

Visit with me again.

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