Into The Looking Glass – 1950-1965

This is a personal perspective of the years between 1950 and 1965. This post is not meant to provide you with a high level view of the world during this period. Instead, it is from the viewpoint of the 4-year-old to a 18-year-old with some pretty significant Aspie traits, although I didn’t know it had that name.

I was born in 1946, so I was at the head of the Baby Boomers. Dad had returned from the war at the beginning of that year. I really don’t know the circumstances of that except to say that I was either a very premature birth or was conceived out of wedlock. 😉 That was not uncommon in those days but it was still considered very unacceptable by the rule makers, whoever they were.

Getting to the abode portion of this post, it seems very strange, but I can remember all the floor plans for the houses I have ever lived. I was 4-year-old when we moved from my first home, but I can remember that it was a tiny older place with two bedrooms, one of which wouldn’t make a decent closet by today’s standards. Dad was a farm boy so didn’t have any particular skills except for his recent skit of killing people. That skill just wasn’t in demand anymore and even if it was there was too big of a supply of applicants. In 1950, we moved into a double with Mom’s parents on the other side. For all you younger folks, a double was where two houses shared a common wall. I suspect that was a money issue since Mom never really got along with them after she became pregnant at 15 with my older brother.

I knew very little about politics during those early years, but I do remember many stories about how Eisenhower played a lot of golf and seemed to do little of anything else. He was an important general during the war but just didn’t seem to care much about the political side of life. He served two terms and his laid back attitude was my initiation into politics that would stay with me until January 1917. One thing I do remember were the buttons and bumper stickers “I Like Ike”

I remember Dad drifted from one job to another during those years but my favorite one was selling chainsaws and such. That was my favorite because one weekend he brought home a battery-powered mini T-Bird car that my older brother and I drove around the neighborhood!

When I was 8 years old we moved from the double to a tract house in the suburbs. Every house on the block was pretty much the same except maybe for the house color. Prosperity was finally taking hold, and we went along for the ride. The house was about 1400 square feet with three bedrooms and one bath. It seemed huge at the time and only cost $12,000. We would stay in that house for six years until Mom took my older brother and abandoned the family for greener pastures. Since Dad couldn’t keep up the mortgage payments he sold the house and him and me and my younger brother moved into an old farmhouse that Dad rented for $40/month. Moving from a Catholic grade school to a public junior high school in a small rural town was a shock to even my young system.

It was the 1960s was when I became more worldly, or at least knew what was going on at a national and world level. It was also the time that we got our first TV. It was a small used black and white unit, it would be several years before we could afford one of those new color units. I, like so many others, sat on the edge of my seat watching that TV when the Soviets were sending nuclear missiles to Cuba. On my sixteenth birthday, which was during the middle of that crisis, I was wondering if that was going to also be the end of the world. It would be years later before I discovered how really close we got to that apocalypse.

It would not be long after that crisis was finally resolved that we mourned the assassination of our president. He was supposed to the new generation leader that would prepare us for the 21st century. I think most of my generation can tell you exactly where they were when they heard he was killed in Dallas that sunny afternoon.

Next time I will be continuing the Into The Looking Glass Series with my perceptions of what happened from 1965 to 1980.

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