Skip to comments.Children of the 1930s: “The Last Ones”
Posted on 04/11/2016 2:17:44 PM PDT by HomerBohn
Born in the 1930s we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the last ones. We are the last, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the war itself with fathers and uncles going off. We are the last to remember ration books for everything from sugar to shoes to stoves. We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. We saw cars up on blocks because tires werent available. My mother delivered milk in a horse drawn cart.
We are the last to hear Roosevelts radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors. We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day.
We saw the boys home from the war build their Cape Cod style houses, pouring the cellar, tar papering it over and living there until they could afford the time and money to build it out.
We are the last who spent childhood without television; instead imagining what we heard on the radio. As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood playing outside until the street lights came on. We did play outside and we did play on our own. There was no little league.
The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like. Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. Newspapers and magazines were written for adults. We are the last who had to find out for ourselves.
As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth. The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow. VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work. New highways would bring jobs and mobility. The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics. In the late 40s and early 50s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class.
Our parents understandably became absorbed with their own new lives. They were free from the confines of the depression and the war. They threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined. We werent neglected but we werent todays all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on. They were busy discovering the post war world.
Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and went to find out. We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed. Based on our naïve belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went.
We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future. Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience. Depression poverty was deep rooted. Polio was still a crippler.
The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks. China became Red China. Eisenhower sent the first advisors to Vietnam. Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.
We are the last to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland. We came of age in the late 40s and early 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, climate change, technological upheaval and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease.
Only we can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We experienced both.
We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better not worse.
We are the last ones.
If something doesn't happen to radically change the direction in which this now pitiful nation is headed, I'm afraid our grandchildren will spit on our graves!
“Spit” is the least of the things these creatures will do.
Interesting. But not to be a nose-picker, but FDR sent the first advisors to Vietnam.
Great Article. A big ol’ Salute to our Greatest Generation.
Just one question: WHAT in the world did you do wrong to screw up your kids? (Baby Boomers.)
((Of which I am one.))
Those were interesting times but I think my Grandparents generation was the one to see world shaking events.
They were born in the 1800s and got around by horse and buggy or even ox carts. Before they died, they had seen jet airliners, atomic bombs, men on the moon, television and it just goes on and on.
My mother was born in 1938, now deceased. Those ‘children’ came of age in the 1950’s and subsequently became the hippy generation..................
Our children turned out to be Conservatives of the right wing, rather like their father and their mother. Our grandchildren appear to be following the same path.
All eligible to always vote for the candidate that appears to be most conservative. The problem is the shortage of Conservatives.
On active duty at the time and privy to information that the first MAAG skeleton force was sent there about 1956.
My CIC was president at the time and FDR had nothing to do with the assignments as he was, fortunately, already dead.
The place was called French Indochina at the time and the forces they (OSS) were advising were being led against the Japanese (and the French) by a former immigrant New York kitchen helper named Ho Chi Minh.
Frankly, it was the people who were the children of the 1800s-1910 who always seemed to have their heads screwed on right, moreso than any that followed.
The nation and its culture, its populace, its government, is now almost entirely demented. Ready for the straight-jacket. When we’ve sunk to the point of faggot-marriages and transexual bathrooms, it’s a clear indication it’s over.
“FDR sent the first advisors to Vietnam.”
You mean French-Indo China.
It all depends on how they were raised..............
They elected the author of "The Great Society."
IMHO, the Greatest Generation came home from the war, took their GI Bill and went to college, got a good education, took a job making a good living, married a good woman who stayed home to raise their children, gave their children everything they never had in the hopes it would make them better people when they grew up, but it didn't. It only caused them to think they were owed everything and didn't have to earn anything; they were special.
The notion that there is any generation that got it all substantially right, and some other generation messed everything up, is pretty childish.
Whatever “generations” we are talking about, the American People have been what used to be called “mugs” or “chumps” for many generations.
They accepted the Federal Reserve, going off the Gold Standard (1933 and 1971), and fiat money. They should have rioted in the streets.
They accepted the income tax, because it was going to be just for “the rich.”
They accepted Soshcurity, because it was going to pay them more than they paid in.
They accepted JFK’s theft of the 1960 election.
They accepted LBJ’s murder of JFK.
They accepted the “legalization” of abortion. After all, I’ve already been born.
And all those things happened on the watch of the “the Greatest Generation” and their parents.
And by the time us Baby Boomers started having kids of our own - we all were lied to and many believed that the gubmint owed us free food, shelter, and more.
That was my folks
1932 and 1933
Both gone to the Big Sky Event to meet the Creator
My dad grew up rich after about age 10 when my grandaddy got contracts to build military bases in the WWII buildup around 1934-36 and beyond
Big estate...cooks...drivers...gardeners ...great lake house slash hunting camp
Packards Roadmasters and Caddys in the garage
My mom was piney woods Deep South origin..dirt poor....log cabin born with no water or power
First generation to move to city
Her mom was a JC Penny seamstress and daddy a Harts bread truck driver
Her depression memories were stark
My dads got good really quick
Two very different perspectives...which I too share as a child of theirs
There’s still people around older than you :)
My mom was born in 1926 and still going strong.
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