For those who were born after us - they don't quite understand us baby-boomers. This is for them.
I know, I know... it's our fault for messing things up. One of my sons is always quick to remind me of our failures. They have to understand, where we came from and WHO our parents were. It was an idyllic time in many ways - and we had our fears too.
Most of our parents were either from the "Greatest Generation" or the "Silent Generation" memories of a depression, food lines, a world war, nuclear bomb, and holocaust was still heavy on their minds. World War 2 was over. Enter "The Cold War". Actually, my parents were born in 1932 and 1934. Korea was my dad's war. They both remembered, food lines, the War, and everyone having a blue star in their windows.
I attended a public school in San Francisco in 1959. Every child wore dog tags, exactly like the military. (I still have mine) It had our blood type on it. We did monthly drills where each child would gather according to their blood type group. I was 0-neg. I remember there were only 2 of us in the whole school and the other person was a "yucky boy". We did the "duck and cover" in our classrooms as well. Seems we were always doing drills! People made bomb shelters. New homes came with backyard bomb shelters. The old Victorian house we lived in, had an old, decrepit concrete bomb shelter as well in the backyard, overgrown by ice plant and ivy.
As a child I remember wondering about Soviet Missiles - would it be able to reach the west coast? I remember seeing the movie, "The Russians are coming-The Russians are coming" with my folks at a drive in. I mean our society was obsessed. When we moved to the coast, I remember they recycled the old air raid siren, to sound off every day at noon and when we had tsunami warnings.
There were still WW2 bunkers on the coast - a constant reminder. Living in San Francisco and on the coast, I attended school, with children whose parents were interned in Japanese Internment camps, scattered across California. In fact, just "over the hill" from our home, was one of the largest Internment Camp in California. Tanforan inSan Bruno was built on the site of the Tanforan horse racing track, and some of the inmates lived in the former horse stalls. Accommodating 7,816 Japanese Americans, it was the second most populous of the "assembly centers." A shopping mall sits on the site today; a small historical marker commemorates its World War II history.
I am sure, some of you, living elsewhere, saw those same reminders of that War - that our parents would talk about it. The cold war lasted from 1945 to 1991. And while we still enjoyed that idyllic life, subliminally, we were still confronted with our parent's war. No dog tags for my sons, or air raid drills in the classrooms when they attended school in the 80's and 90's. The old bomb shelters were by now, the object for graffiti artists.
I am positive - it was being raised by parents who had seen so much and been through so much, that made them spoil us. They wanted a better life for us. - literally "shelter" us from the bad parts of life they experienced. Maybe we did blow it, maybe we were spoiled - I don't know - and if we are the way we are, maybe you'll better understand us as we go through this series.
1947 Events & Facts
MAJOR EVENTS: President Truman formulates "Truman Doctrine" of providing aid to countries whose governments are threatened with overthrow
U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall calls for a European recovery effort, popularly called the "Marshall Plan."
India and Pakistan proclaimed independent nations
Britain nationalizes its coal industry
Britain’s Princess Elizabeth marries Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh
BUSINESS & ECONOMY: Congress passes Taft-Hartley Act, restricting labor unions
Henry Ford dies, leaving behind a fortune of over $600 million
Americans are able to purchase the first new cars manufactured since the beginning of World War II