What I Loved About the Roarin' 20s
For just a moment, welcome to
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?
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.
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
• 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.