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Passing the Torch: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on February 24, 2015

The Torch

“The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

January, 1961, President John F. Kennedy.

If memory serves me correctly, when those words were spoken I was changing a tire on the family car, a 1959 Ford Fairlane. I also remember it being colder than a witches tit outside, and my dad sitting in the living room watching his fourteen-year old from that warm vantage point.

It’s not that he didn’t know how to change a tire. Hell, he learned to drive on an old Model T Ford, the kind you had to crank by hand to start, so changing a tire was no problem for him. And no, he wasn’t too old to change the tire. At that time I think he was in his early forties and he was built Ford tough, so that particular chore would have been no problem for him.

No, I was changing the tire because my dad felt it was important that I learn how to do so. His old man had taught him and now he was passing the tradition to his son. So while Kennedy spoke of passing the torch of responsibility, duty and freedom to millions of Americans, my dad was passing to me his own torch, a torch that represented his beliefs, his knowledge and his history.

My teacher and father
My teacher and father | Source

My Old Man

He was born on January 6, 1919. By the time he was eleven the country was taking a punch to the gut called the Great Depression, a punch that would knock the U.S. to its knees. He finished his freshman year in high school in 1933 and then dropped out of school to look for work so he could help his family survive during those impossibly hard years.

He rode the rails at the age of fourteen, traveling from Midwest town to Midwest town in search of odd jobs, anything that would put a few cents in his pocket, and those cents would be forwarded to his mother and father. By 1941, after eight years of scrambling to make a buck, he was more than ready to enlist in the Army and make a regular paycheck fighting Nazis.

And in 1948 he adopted a son and began the job of passing the torch to William Dale Holland.

For my father, the torch represented a knowledge of the old ways and an appreciation of unlimited possibilities. It represented a rock-solid belief that hard work was the only way to earn anything of importance, and a belief that a man is judged by his actions and not hollow words that had no value.

More teachers in my family
More teachers in my family | Source

The Education Continued

I learned how to change a tire. I learned how to make do with what I had at hand, and to “jerry-rig” any problem with the resources available. I learned to hold doors open for women, to always treat others with respect and to throw a curveball like Whitey Ford.

My dad was not a particularly gifted human being. He had no formal instruction in woodworking. He was not a trained auto mechanic. He did not even remotely resemble a trained electrician or plumber. His lack of training, however, forced him to learn skills based on practical application of willpower. Here is a problem. How am I going to solve the problem? I don’t have the money to have this problem fixed by a professional, so what can I do on my own?

That was my father, and that is me.

The torch was passed!

Have you passed the torch to your children?

See results

I Look Around Today

I wonder how many teens today know how to sew. I wonder how many know how to make a quilt. How many know how to do basic car maintenance or built a simple birdhouse? Hell, if the toilet became clogged, how many teenagers would know how to unclog it?

I still have a quilt that my grandmother made sixty-five years ago. It’s a beautiful quilt, handmade with love and attention to detail. She made it for me when I was one year old, and I absolutely love it. Do you have such a quilt? Would you even know how to make one?

I mention all this because I have concerns. We live in a convenience society. We’ve traveled this path of least resistance now for decades, and with each passing year we move further away from our roots and traditions and yes, that bothers me.

Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of.

Ellen Goodman

Think about it!

It’s everywhere we look today. Family farms are disappearing. Family traditions, passed down through generations, are becoming extinct. A rich history is in danger of being forgotten, and if that happens, an important part of who we are as a people will no longer be.

The education continued
The education continued | Source

We’ve Lost Our Way

I know someone is saying right now….”But what’s the big deal? If we lose that part of us we will make up for it with new aspects of us as a culture. Life is always changing and our identity will change as well, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.”

Let me ask you a question and I would love to hear your answer.

Do you believe the quality of life in this country, or in some other country if you are not from the United States, is better today than it was fifty years ago. Yes, there are a lot of variables and things to consider, but I just want your gut reaction….yes or no?

I would answer a resounding no, and I would venture to guess most would agree with me. Fifty years ago I don’t think I had even heard of a drive-by shooting. I went to the shopping mall as a teen and never once considered the possibility that a madman would walk in with an automatic weapon and shoot twenty people. Heck, we didn’t even lock our doors at night.

But I’m not just talking about crime. There seems to be an invisible barrier around most people I see on the street. Eye contact? What’s that? Pleasantries? What are those? Basic human kindness? It took the last bus out of town on a one-way ticket.

Am I right or am I right?

So what can we do to change it? And what in the hell does this have to do with changing a tire or making a quilt?

The Answer

You are much too bright. You don’t need me to point out the obvious to you.

If a nation of people has lost its way, then maybe it’s time it returned to basics.

I think the core of what we once were is missing.

I think we have lost our identity, and of course it’s a combination of many factors, but we have to start somewhere.

Teach your children the old ways. Teach them the traditions that we risk losing. Toss out convenience and bring back quality. Reject complicated and embrace simplicity.

I’ll leave you now with one more question.

What torch are you passing on to the next generation? Is it a torch that will ultimately help them to be better human beings, or a torch that will ultimately burn them?

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 2 years ago

      Billy,

      Awesome Hub! I totally agree with you. My Dad is also a hands on guy and he passed that on to me. So now I love building things and fixing things, not only because it saves money, but because it also gives me a great satisfaction.

      My boys are 4 and 5 and I try to let them experience as much as possible by playing with my tools or even exploring around the local woods. I don't care if they get dirty (although I catch hell when my wife sees the clothes!). I also think that every teen should take at least one semester of shop class if not more (do they still have shop classes?)

      Recently I watched a Ted Talk about letting kids do dangerous things. This link is a follow-up, but it includes a link to the original video. http://blog.ted.com/2009/02/19/tinkering_schoo/

      Thanks for writing about this topic because it is so near and dear to my heart!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I reckon I really cannot judge now to fifty years ago. I was just a knee high kid. And we do what we can for ourselves around here so we held on to many traditions of hard work and I think I passed that on. Somethings change but the core can remain the same. Great article, requiring much thought.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      BizWhiz, I would say you were raised by a good dad. Thanks for sharing that videio. I love Ted Talks and I'll check it out. I appreciate you stopping by with your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric. I love that you pass on the tradition of hard work. I think that's a tradition that is fading from view and needs to be revived in this country.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      My mom was the DIY person in our family. She made all of our clothes, the curtains, and bed skirts. If something in the house needed fixing, she did it. I guess that comes from being one of 10 kids raised on a farm. My dad was never taught how to make repairs or even how to hang a picture on the wall. He was, however, great at earning a living and providing for the family.

      I think what I pass down to my son are intangible traits: taking care of responsibility, being respectful, kind, loving, and honest. We're still working on the honest thing; something he picked up from his dad.

      I agree with you, the quality of life today is not what it was 50 years ago. We had no need to fear aggressors because they just didn't exist - at least not anywhere I ever lived. People were neighborly. Friends' parents were call Aunt and Uncle so-and-so. Homework and chores were done without argument. That's just the way it was.

      In today's world, we suffer many losses. I think one of the saddest loss is that of imagination. Kids today just don't have it. They have electronics to do their thinking and creating for them. We've become a world of zombies.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      As far as passing on responsibility, I think my husband and I have done OK. My oldest child worked her way up from a part-time healthcare worker picking up as many shifts as she could to pay her own way. She is now a branch consultant in that company. My son is determined to stand on his own two feet and is thinking of starting his own business one day.

      Last year, memorials were held throughout the UK to commemorate the memory of those who served and died during WWI. My husband turned to our children and said it was now up to their generation to remember them. It made me think. Have we done enough to ensure our their generation understand the sacrifices that these heroes made so we could enjoy the life we have now? How does one pass that torch on?

      I realise your hub isn't really about that, but it did make think. And it made me sad that I have no answers. Do you think going back to the basics you've written about could be the key?

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 2 years ago from Western NC

      My gut reaction: no. We're not better off. We're facing climate change, broken (really broken) families, people that have lost their way. We're facing a precarious economy.

      That said, when I start to despair, there ARE things going right. John and I have been married 13 years. I have a family that I love. We have a home, some cars that work, pets that make us happy. We have peace in our lives and a new job on the horizon. :)

      And yes, we're DIYers. Fo sho. Well...except when it comes to realtors. I think we're going to go with a realtor. Hehe.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      My answer to your first question is also a resounding NO. There are way too many machines these days that are taking hard work and appreciation of that out of the childrens hands today. It has been my experience of asking and reading and learning about the youth of today right here on HubPages, that there is a really large gap between what is and what is not and where things come from and the belief that we will all be extinct by the time they are grown. They think that libraies are of no use and compassion is no longer needed. Many just need to go out into the wilderness and the farms (not the ones that are mechanical ridden, but like yours, and stay for a month or 6 months to really re-connect to the world under their feet.

      The second answer is I don't know yet. I did try to teach my daughters how to live if they ever found themselves to be alone. I did try to teach them to follow up on their word and to gain trust and appreciation for others in the working world. I have my oldest and I am so very proud of her that did in fact learn that lesson and is passing it down to her 2 sons.

      I have my youngest daughter do the total opposite and gave her child up regardless of what others thought and then turn around and call me a liar and we do not have a relationship anymore. I have 2 daughters who are so different as night and day. Hopefully my youngest has learned some of what I tried to teach her and comes back around. That remains to be seen and it has been almost 3 years now that she has blocked my phone number and my FB from her life. Such is life though.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I forgot to mention that I am a fixer upper...I found that no one was going to do things for me so I do things for myself.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      hmmm my first comment went into cyberspace? I dunno and I didn't save it.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Great topic Bill. I feel this skills hand-down was basically tribal and cultural by nature. This was a way of life with the Indian tribes. The fathers taught the sons how to hunt and other necessary survival skills. The mothers taught the daughters how to gather food, cook, sew, make clothing, and many other skills.

      With all of our modern conveniences, many of these skills are no longer required so the teaching stopped. It is sad to see this come to an end.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All great points, Sha! I think we have lost our way as a nation, and I think until we find our way back to our roots we will continue to struggle...but then what do I really know? LOL

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I would certainly hope that I can indeed pass on my knowledge and skills to my own children. I was even hopeful to do this, as teacher back in the day. But still, with my own girls now more then ever I am truly hopeful. Beautifully written Bill and always wishing you a wonderful day ahead! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, it sounds to me like you've done a fine job of raising those two. As far as is this the key, I don't really know, but I think it deserves in any conversation about fixing our nations. I do blame technology a bit...life has become, in many ways, too easy...I'm not sure, as a people, that we appreciate the value of things like hard work and sacrifice....and those are admirable qualities that should not disappear from any society.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I think we will see a new generation of DIYers...it will be necessary to survive in the coming years...and I think you're smart to get a realtor.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do that, Debra....and I have no idea why.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am too, Debra, and I have my dad to thank for that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I feel the same way. I don't know how many times I have heard parents say they want their children to have an easier life than they had...and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Thanks for your thoughts, which I totally agree with.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I know you will because I know how seriously you take your responsibility as a parent. No worries in your household, my friend.

      Thank you and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Bill, I totally agree with you! luckily? in my family we were always broke, so we had to learn the old ways, thank goodness! I know how to change a plug, empty the loo, wash clothes in the sink, sit round the dinner table and so on, and passed this on to my son, who is now at this moment in time painting and decorating his whole house on his own after changing a tyre! lol! but most kids these days don't know diddly squat about anything, I often wonder if we lost technology, even electricity how on earth would they cope? I think that's why the English people over here are losing their identity. We take religion out of schools, parents split up, family's don't talk, and because we have a lot of immigrants who keep to their traditions we are slowly breaking apart, great thoughts, nell

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, you have added some great thoughts of your own to this discussion, and I agree with every one of them. We have lost our way as a society, and I do believe technology played a part in it. You did a great job with that son of yours. Well done my friend, and thank you.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy

      I love this hub and I love all the old values. My own parents were incredibly resourceful and two of the hardest working people I have known. In the main, their children have gone on to be exactly the same.

      In the UK there has been a huge trend towards making home made items. Programs like the great British Bake Off are flourishing and a Sewing Program have gone a long way towards helping to encourage a new generations of creativity. These programs feature both men and women which is very encouraging.

      Although I don't have any of my own youngsters I always try to encourage creativity by borrowing the occasional child so that I can teach him or her a little baking or felting.

      I love that photo of your father, he sounds like a wonderful role model.

      Enjoy the rest of your week

      Sally

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      It is important that we teach our children old values and tradition. We must teach the knowledge that we have to our children so that they can pass it down generations across. Great thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, good morning. I love hearing about programs like that in the UK. Great way to teach the old ways and get people into self-sufficiency. Thanks for sharing that, and I love that you borrow the occasional child and teach them baking and felting. Well done my friend.

      Happy Tuesday to you and thank you.

      bill

    • profile image

      Larry Kitzmann 2 years ago

      As always my friend well done. As you know Jeanne and I are moving back to the family farm next year. We will have our own garden and will do a great deal of canning I dare say. I love what you wrote about quilts as my wife just presented my granddaughter a quilt she had been working on for the last year. My daughter was given an afghan recently that goes back 4 generations which my wife had recently brought back to life. My daughter has learned to both sew and knit thanks to her mother. As for myself my dad was a machinist and tool and dye man. With his help I got a pretty good education in how to fix a lot of things over the years. Yes I consider myself somewhat of a survivalist and certainly a prepper. Enough said on all of that. Again my friend well said and you are a master of this genre. You should really do a book of these reflections. Take care my friend.

    • profile image

      win-winresources 2 years ago from Colorado

      Well Ole Billy-

      I guess I'm the voice of dissent here. I believe we are better off than your (and my) dad's generation. There were some tough times (lots of bologna sandwiches with a limp piece of lettuce - and sometimes no bologna). Dad worked three jobs at a time doing whatever he could with no education (he got a GED in his late 20's). But he kept hammering and things gradually got better.

      Both my family and my religion value education at the highest level. Though it wasn't easy, dad and I worked my way through college without running up any debt. And again for a graduate degree. And finally for a doctorate. I worked hard (like dad - but at different things) and got better and better jobs.

      Now, both of my children followed the tough but proven path of getting a solid education and now enjoy the fruits of their labor (one a lawyer and one a Public Health Administrator).

      I think we have more, and more diverse, opportunity now than dad had then. It's up to each of us to reach as far as we can. Ambition, sweat and guts are still the currency of success.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, I completely agree with you and yet so many parents are not doing that...and I think that is wrong and negligence on their part.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry. Your support and your kind words mean a great deal to me. It sounds like you and your family have your collective act together and I love hearing that. Carry on my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Win- I'm not so sure you showed me dissent here. I agree with everything you stated, and I appreciate your views. I think this is a case of apple and oranges. :)

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      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Sometimes I think we are like long lost brothers or something. Your thoughts and beliefs not only shadow but mirror my own and who else uses "colder than a witches tit?" Jamie

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I agree with every sentiment contained in your words Bill. I think life was much more honest 50 years ago, simpler too. With all the technology and amazing advancement everything should be easier now. I remember when unions fought to reduce working hours so people would have more time with their families, now work hours are increasing even with computers and all the new technology...that somehow doesn't make sense to me. As kids our house backed on to national park and we were free to run and explore all day, on weekends, as long as we returned home for dinner. We didn't even have tv until I was about 10 and video games, iPads and smart phones didn't exist. We used our imagination and made our own games and spent most of our time outdoors. My dad wasn't overly handy mechanically and such but he taught me the basics like how to change a tire, the oil etc as well as home maintenance like changing a washer, rehanging a door etc. Similarly I have passed what I learnt on to my children. My wife spins, dyes, knits, crochets her own yarns and has passed those skills down to our daughter who also has her own spinning wheel and has turned it into a business. One of my sons is even growing his own veges now which was a surprise to me because he never showed any interest in gardening as a child. Thanks for writing this..loved it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, that's another thing handed down by my dad...colder than a witches tit. LOL Thanks for the chuckle this morning.

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      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Well You are back!! My comments are here too. HP is funky sometimes eh?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      My mom taught me how to do all the girly things like cooking, cleaning, sewing, and knitting - stuff like that. But, my dad taught me how to do boy things like basic car maintenance and how to do minor repairs around the house. I remember the first time I wired a wall switch by myself, my heart giggled for hours. And, I passed the torch on to my children. My girls will never be stranded on the side of the road, wondering how to change a tire.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      My father taught me the value of doing things yourself. I am going to do my best to teach my newborn daughter likewise.

      Great read. You said a lot of things that needed to be said.

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I've always been passionate about passing down traditional things or values. My younger daughter is brilliant at all practical things, decorative or essential, in fact much more than I. My partner taught her how to do plugs, punctured tyres, and all sorts. My mother was a seamstress and passed that talent onto my daughter. It passed me by! Trouble is, Mum made all my dresses and was too kind to make me do them myself; I hated sewing!

      It is so important not to lose sight of traditions and values. What happens when the computers break down, electricity fails, circumstances mean that we have to call on practical skills? Who will survive? The carpenters, mechanics, builders, seamstresses and home makers.

      Superb message, bill. Sharing.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I love your comment. I love that your wife spins and dyes. We just started doing that with the fiber from our Angora rabbits...very satisfying my friend, and you have passed it on to your children and I just love it all going forward. Well done my friend...well done.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debra, I have no idea what happens from time to time, but it's annoying trying to keep up with comments and then have them disappear on you. It's happened three times to me today and I'm about ready to scream. Thank you for coming back and trying again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I know people who don't know how to change a tire. I can't imagine...I really can't. It blows my mind how dependent some people are....sigh! Thanks for the visit and sharing your experience.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Larry. I love that you are going to teach your newborn those things. Thanks for sharing that.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Interesting coincidence. Last evening, our oldest daughter posted on Facebook how she was teaching our grand-daughter, her niece, 7-year-old, how to sew, by hand. She had made a stuffed cat. Pricked her finger a couple of times. Great pride in her felt cat. And the beat goes on! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! Who will survive? Well, I will. I don't know how many more will join me, but we'll have a nice barbecue and toast the ones who didn't make it. :)

      I hope you are having a splendid Tuesday. I'm trying to keep customers happy today and so far succeeding.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Bill. I absolutely love that share. Thank you!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      My son is adopted. I tell him you don't have my genes, you have my memes. The memes are the values I taught him. Voted up. P.S. Your Dad sounds like a great guy.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      In answer to your question, I guess it depends on who you are and where you live or lived 50 years ago--certainly, as a woman or an African American, 50 years ago, times were tougher in many ways--as an average white male--maybe not--that might be a controversial way of thinking about it

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, I'm adopted...my son is adopted...power to the memes! :) Thank you...he was.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Might be, Audrey, but I understand what you are saying. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I loved the evenings when we could sit on the porch and visit with our neighbors. In the summer, screen doors unlocked at night while we were sleeping. My mother taught me the value of hard work and sharing. She gave food to the animals and to anyone hungry that came by our little home by the railroad tracks. I agree with your thoughts about traditions being lost to technology. I hope I've instilled the importance of self-rellance to my son. I enjoy your moments of reflection about the good old days.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      I've said much of this before. There is nothing that could convince

      me to relive my growing up days. So, for me, life got better, the older I got. That would be past 33 years of age.

      My brother taught me how to change a tire when I was 16.

      My Father's motto was: "Where there's a will, there's a way."

      Most everything we had was jerry-rigged, as you so eloquently put it.

      As an adult, working my way through college, I sold blood to be

      able to buy groceries.

      Have I passed the torch?

      That remains to be seen.

      Bill, I know you are mentally preparing us for your change in dynamics.

      It is subtle, but it is there.

      Will we be able to fly when we are edged out of the nest?

      That remains to be seen.

      Can we fend for ourselves once we step out into the real world?

      Only time will tell.

      Will you call the police when you realize I am parked across the street from your house?

      Some may call it 'stalking' I prefer the term 'observation'.

      Made you look!!

      DJ.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      I think no matter how much we pass along to our children it still becomes their responsibility to embrace it. I consider myself very fortunate to have two children who have grown into responsible adults. They respect their employers and their family. But one thing still seems to be missing. They live in the technical world that sometimes makes them forget their roots and forget that mom and dad are getting old and may require their help someday. I took care of my mother until the day she died not by having her live under my roof but in my heart and soul. I kept her safe and secure just as she did for me when I was a child. That is the lesson the youth of today often forget. God expects parents to train up their children and teach them right from wrong but he also expects children to look after and respect their parents when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Life does a turnaround on us and too many children today miss the loop. Thanks for a well written and thoughtful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I love that you passed things on to your son. I think it is vitally important or we lose a part of who we are as a nation. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I could never leave. What would I do for laughs without you around. You are hilarious my friend and yes, you made me look. LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Sandra, that was a beautiful reflection, and I'm with you all the way. We are taking care of Bev's mother at this very moment. Are there difficulties in doing so? Of course there are, but I'm willing to bet she endured difficulties in raising her children as well. It is the natural order of things and I hope today's generation understand that.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill, this torch you are talking about is the light of Truth, Honor, Family Values. Thank you for reminding us that without this torch the ashes will be bitter cold.

      Voted up, UABI, shared and pinned.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Shyron, and it is indeed all those things.

      blessings always

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Yep, trying to teach eye contact, significance of smiling, using names, how to answer the freaking phone (because no one calls anyone anymore), and manage a home, care for pets with specialized medical needs (e.g., diabetes, thyroid), manage one's investment portfolio and family budget, etc. But then, kids these days can build robots and apps and show us "life hacks" you and I could only dream about.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      Great hub, it was hard to read in this dim light of the torch.

      The torch started to dim when the US relied on foreign oil, and the influx of new immigrants, both legal and illegal watered down and changed the flavor of patriotism, and knowing right from wrong.

      The foreigners that flooded our country in the early nineteen hundreds were mistreated and stereotyped, but in the end they successfully blended in as Americans. Today, many people from foreign countries want to come here and bring their cultures with them. They want us to become like them.

      The US and the torch have been in decline since the seventies, and it continues today. We started losing it during the last half of the Vietnam War, it was a foreign war, but it became the twentieth century civil war. This war created two extremes in American Ideology to the point that American soldiers were treated worse than our common enemy.

      It happened again after 911, and in both wars, congress waffled to satiate the super liberal left, and the result was they didn't supply the American soldiers adequately. Like the Vietnam War, once again American soldiers would come under the fire of the liberals.

      The last war where Americans all pulled the same was WWII, and then the politicians gave away the farm at the end of the war. They did it because unlike George Washington and the Revolutionary War soldiers, and the colonists, they just ran out of steam, and allowed Russia to take over from Germany. So, in my book that is not winning a war.

      Congress has mistreated the American Soldier ever since, letting them die for in many cases nothing.

      In the continuing wars that congress and the presidents get the US into they should all spend at least one month, with random ground troops in the danger zones, like George Washington did for us. If and when the politicians get us into a war, they need to go for the win, something that hasn't happened since the Civil War.

      This is not passion, it is patriotism and disappointment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I love your last comment. Isn't that the truth? I can't program my phone but my son can do it with his eyes closed. LOL Oh well, we pass along what we can and hope they listen to us. Thanks for a great observation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I couldn't agree more with you. I have nothing to add. I have always thought that one of the requirements to hold a political office should be serving in the military. I'll bet wars would be cut down to almost nothing, and soldiers would be treated with much more respect, if that happened.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Your last sentence was certainly the kicker. Of course I agree with you. You know 50 years ago we didn't have any malls...a few years ago my daughter and two grandchildren were in a local mall when a sniper shot up the mall, you don't have to talk to me about the fear we live with. We taught our children responsibility and common sense. My daughter's quick thinking saved their lives.

      I am proud of all my children and grandchildren. A family tradition of hard work and a sense of responsibility have done well by all of us.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Bill...were we cut from the same Oak tree? My step dad came into my life in 1948 after a four year stint in the Navy during WWII. He was much like your father in that he was tough as nails and raised me to be independent. Yep...we were both blessed my friend. whonu

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I truly think I have passed the torch to my children. All four know how to sew, cook very well, balance a checkbook, and on and on.... I'm very proud of them. Now, my grandchildren are a whole different species: I can't get them away from their video games long enough to learn how to do anything productive! I try, Lord knows I try!!

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I hope I have "passed the torch" to my children. They can fix almost anything that is broken and work on their own cars. My daughter can cook, it's just getting her to do so that is a problem! My children understand the meaning of working hard to get what you want and it not being handed to you. Great hub!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Let's see, 1965 that's about 50 years ago. What did we have? Politicians running a war from Washington, generals not being punished for failures, missing social programs that later politicians felt everyone needed regardless of cost, a Cold War with global domination the prize sought after, and a morality that said that some things were not to be tolerated, the "free love" and the drug culture was sneaking in the back door, tobacco was big business, and Cuba was a pain to be dealt with decisively.

      Yep, things have sure changed in 50 years, though I recall the older generation of that time saying that teenagers were irresponsible and that they didn't know what was becoming of the America they knew "back when."

      That was before Freedom of Religion became freedom from religion. some folks still attended church, supported the Red Cross and donated blood, supported the dignity of teachers (though none of them were paid much more than a living wage) and expected their kids to "toe the line" and be home at a decent time on school nights.

      Is there still something we thought we knew as "community standards"? I know the current "necking in the halls" of the Junior High weren't tolerated then, and taking your own lunch to school and to work was not considered abnormal. The idea that "a man's word is his bond" still existed but was fading fast, and we even thought that representatives and senators, judges and employers were honorable folk, even lawyers were considered well-educated and playing an important role in supporting "a society of laws."

      Ah, well, times change. Affluence persuaded most of us that "the American dream" was alive and well, and we thought we knew that mom, marriage, and a house in the suburbs was worth all of us fighting for.

      But that was 50 years ago, some things got better and even more things changed....not always for the better.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hello Bill

      A famous one if not the best of your articles so far as far as I am concern. What a brilliant line “ Teach your children the old ways, "- what an acqusative imperative.

      Noah of old ways was building the ark with his sons, sons sons, sons sons sons- perhaps by some help of the “ angels”, believing that hard work is investment into prosperous future having what we need and wanting what we have. The torch has been passed from the father to his son, - you had it for a while, my father did the same. I was watching him doing everything on the farm what needed to be done, asking the question and he let me “change a tire “ , the first time I remember at my age of five…Since that time three quoters of the century my hands didn’t cease creating… Most of the commenters have similar experience, remembering the time when the “ family altar” was honored by families ( large or small) did care to have each meal together, working together and guarding traditional values against foreign influences.

      "Fifty years ago,” you remember the difference in social behavior comparing to our days in this country. Let me assure you, similar changes for worse are in my home country and I remember exact decade when the “freedom of foreign influence” has been welcome into the privacy of the common sense tradition based upon “ godliness” whatever it means. Shortly after WW2 the obsession to welcome a ‘" family altar”’ in color, - the parents and children had the new start simultaneously… The strangers were educating often three generation the same hour with the same program, and everything was just a “fun”… The life became more “ comfortable” - by less working many could afford more luxury and freedom, and I remember the first popular disintegrating a family with all evils attached…

      We were raising our sons under this free- spinning-volatile culture… Thank God, they accepted our torch, they know knitting and Sewing, framing a wall, sending drywall or wiring a house, repairing / well maintaining a truck, they are handy- men and above all they are men of integrity , respectful and respected. . .

      Are we as parents happy because of that ? Yes , expecting constant improvement as the next generation challenges to reject evil influences is on rise…

      ——

      Sorry my friend for my bluntness.

      Voted awesome.

      Good night,and have a blessed weekend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very inspiring article. I am glad to say that my children know how to face some of these issues of life. Even though, I have not taught them all these things, they learned by seeing, watching and involving themselves into life situations. So I am somewhat relieved about this worry. But looking at the society all around makes me much worried and agitated. Where is this world heading? Knowingly it is moving towards deluge and destruction.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is fantastic that your daughter didn't panic and knew to do the right thing. Not many people will act intelligently in a terror situation...well done raising that young lady.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      whonu, we are both blessed. There are few days I don't remind myself of that. Thanks for paying me a visit. Much appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm pretty sure your last statement is echoed by many a grandparent these days. Darn that technology!!!!

      Thank you for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, I would say you definitely passed that torch. Those children of yours are ready for anything.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, never apologize for speaking your mind. Your thoughts are always welcome here, and I always learn something from you. I appreciate it...truly I do.

      Peace be with you, my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, I wish I could answer your last question, but I can't. I worry too...I do not like the direction this world is taking.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I couldn't tell you of fifty years ago I did not exist in that time but I can say that every family deserves the best. Respect, and good values to be taken on to the next generations.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      what a reflection, passing the torch is like spreading a surmon, who gets the message and how they will absorb what we pass on.. I love how you express your reflections...These are principles that many parents have forgotten. We're not in a mess today because of unbelievers. We're in a mess because we've lost our memory of this nation's Christian beginnings... I admit my passing of the torch is flawed.. but I recognize the flaws and try to correct it Great hub my friend

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well stated, DDE, and I agree with you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great reflection of your own, Frank, and I agree with it. Carry on the good fight, my friend, and thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, this topic is very dear to me. My dad was born in 1906. He had only an 8th grade education, but was the wisest man I have ever known. He taught me the important things in life--honesty, compassion, dignity, and the satisfaction of doing a job well--not for praise but because that is the honorable thing to do.

      He died when I was only 29, and I still miss him every day, but I feel his presence because the values he held I have in my heart. And that is what I fear is missing in society today.

      I agree with you that we have lost our way. Unfortunately there is no quick-fix. The only remedy is teaching one child at a time. (Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6).

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You hit me hard here, Bill. I could think of a few things my children didn't know how to do when they left home. However, it's not over till its over, and I tried to teach as it became necessary. Your article is a serious reminder of this important aspect of parenting. Thanks!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      I am somewhat in denial - yes I took the torch from my parents, the principles of right and wrong, making the most of the little available and being happy. (Changes! How my mother agonised over rock n roll, boys with long hair and much more to come. It was so innocent.)

      Much later I brought up my family in another country but adhered to the principles and I like what I see. My grandchildren are another story, deep down they understand but technology is winning. And how can they reject it - it's how they survive in school in workplace, in society, with peer groups. Try to get a job without tech knowledge. Luckily playing sport is still full on and effective. However, I dare not think about the world their children will inherit, although I feel confident the basic principles will be handed down.

      How things change, when I despair and see the world in so much conflict I try to count the good things.

      Despite everything the young people I know are full of energy and giving, working as nurses, teachers, working with disabled people, with the elderly.

      Trying to make a difference.

      I know there's no going back to the way it was for my family. Such treasured memories. Cheers Bill.

      PS - I think I'm a witch this morning!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you so much for sharing that story about your father. I have nothing to add to your beautiful words. Bless you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I can think of several things I could have taught my son too, but we do the best that we can at the time. Thank you for your honesty and bless you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maj, if that's you as a witch then you have nothing to regret. I love your honesty and thank you for sharing all that with us. Witch? I think not.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Lovely article. I agree. My mom's dad wanted boys, but never had one; therefore, my mom was taught everything, and she taught my brother and I. When she married my dad, she had to change tires and cook because my dad was clueless. As for my own experience, many of my teen co-workers have said, "This is my first time using a vacuum." Tragic, really, but it's better to be a minority!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, I would laugh about that vacuum reflection but it really is tragic. I can't even imagine being that clueless. Thanks for making me feel better about myself this morning. :)

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Before I could respond, I felt that I needed to just come right out and ask my adult children if they felt as if I had passed any sort of torch to them. Both said I had passed along the love for reading, writing and music.

      Big Smiles.

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Big smiles indeed, Kim! A job well-done by you. Thank you for sharing that. You gave me a smile this afternoon.

      bill

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      My parents grew up during the Depression, which was an INSTITUTION of higher learning. The fear was there that it could happen again. My father was also a packrat due to that mentality. I watched and learned. I can't work on a car like he did, but I can build like he couldn't, as well as plumb better. I can cook like a master, but learned that from someone else, as my mother wanted me to be a kid. The mentality today is that an other crisis like the Depression can't occur again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I don't believe in the mentality that it can never happen again, and I doubt you do either. i'm ready, as are you....it will be interesting to see how the others fare. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      At least three of our five said we passed on being quick to forgive, willingness to work hard, putting others first, and honor above all. The other two have learned those lessons, too. We just can't be sure they learned them from us as parent and stepparent.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      At least three of our five said we passed on being quick to forgive, willingness to work hard, putting others first, and honor above all. The other two have learned those lessons, too. We just can't be sure they learned them from us as parent and stepparent.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perspycacious, I would say those are great legacies that you passed on. A job well done, my friend. Thank you for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I thank you again, Perspy

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      No need for me to drone on and on, Bill. I grew up like you did in a family where we knew what hard times were. We grew all our own food and had few frivolous items. But we learned the same values and staples of living of which you speak.

      Yes, it is time to get back to'basics'---to the fundamentals of living. Amen and amen.

      Voted up ++++ and shared

      Know the precious little Angels are headed your way again this afternoon ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amen indeed, PS. Let's hope more people come to understand these important principles before it is too late for them.

      The angels just arrived. I'll let them rest up a bit then send them back to you loaded down with best wishes and hugs.

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Amazing hub, Bill! Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. One of these days I'll be passing the torch to you and I feel confident you'll know what to do with it.

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