A Nostalgic Look at the Silent Generation

Those born in the 1930s and early 1940s have come to be known as the Silent Generation. They, of course, preceded the Post World War II baby boomers and have very different views from those who served in the war and the generations that followed.

The Silent Generation is comprised of the the smallest number of children born since the
early 1900s. In many ways the Silent Generation constitutes the last ones with their unique life experiences.

They are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of daily life for years.

They are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves. They saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. They remember cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available. They were the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of grieving neighbors whose sons died in the war. They saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.

They were the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, they imagined what they heard on the radio. With no TV, they spent their childhood “playing outside” and doing so on their own. There was no Little League. There was no city playground for kids. The lack of television in their early years meant, for most, that they had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave them newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party lines) and hung on the wall. Computers were called adding machines – they only added and were hand cranked. Calculating was done with a slide rule. Typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage and changing the ribbon. The internet and Google did not exist. Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on the radio in the evening.

As the Silent Generation grew up, the country was exploding with growth. The GI 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.

Parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined. The kids weren’t neglected, but they weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. Parents were glad the kids played by themselves until the street lights came on. The parents were busy discovering the post war world.

The Silent Generation entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where they were welcomed. They enjoyed the luxury of feeling secure in their future.

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 for Air-Raid training. Russia lowered the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China. President Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisers’ to Vietnam. Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in the Soviet Union.

This was the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland.
They came of age in the 40s and 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, “global warming” and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only this generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. They have lived through both. They grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better. not worse.

More than 99% of the Silent Generation now is either retired or deceased.

The 70s Return in Home Decor

Folks everywhere are adding splashes of 1970s style in updated, modern ways.

From dip dyed wall hangings to simple plant hangers, macrame is returning in a big way. Whether you buy these items ready more or learn to make them yourself, macrame offers an easy way to add texture and an artistic touch to your home.

The blazing orange walls of the ‘70s may not be returning, but home owners are using more dynamic colors to define the interiors of their homes. Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams has designated a bold, jewel-toned blue-green color, Oceanside SW 6496, as its 2018 color of the year. Sue Williams of Sherwin-Williams says “this trendy color is perfect for a ‘70s palette.” She suggests using it along with brighter pops or orange or gren for accents like throw pillows.

Remember the shag carpet you raked? Well, shagadelic is a resurgent design trend. Home owners often buy these rugs for children’s areas.

Wicker, that staple of sun porch furniture for generations, is making a big comeback. From chairs and headboards to mirror frames, wicker is available in a wide array of colors. It can be used to create the perfect centerpiece in a bedroom, living room or even on the sun porch.

It wasn’t easy to avoid greenery in the ‘70s as it seemed every home was overflowing with plants. The love of indoor greenery is back. Everything from large potted plants in the corner to hanging basket plants is in vogue right now.

Accent With Container Gardens

Had enough of winter? Think spring!

containergardenYes, it’s a way off, but warmer weather lies ahead and you can at least dream of how nice it will be.

To help get in the mood, think about a simple container garden that will brighten up your home and bring a smile to your face when spring does arrive.

Container gardens are an easy way to enhance a small space. Matching containers placed on each side of a stairway or doorway can create a bookend look. Grouping a small cluster of different sizes of containers also provides a pleasing effect.

Select plants that complement or contrast with the color of your front door. For example, with a red door, choose red geraniums, salvia or petunias. For a high-contrast look with a blue door, try planting easy-care golds and yellows, such as zinnias, marigolds or celosia.

If floor space is at a premium, try a hanging basket or two.

Wise Winter Weather Yard Tips

When Old Man Winter comes calling, home owners need to keep everyone in the family – pets included – safe. Here are some timely tips to do just that!

Bring Pets Inside – Dogs and cats should be kept indoors during cold weather. Wipe their paws and bellies after they have been outside.

Ventilate Portable Generators – If using a generator, place it outdoors away from windows and doors to keep carbon monoxide out.

Pick Up Debris – Remove debris and household items from your yard before it snows. Such items can hide under the snow and cause harm to people, pets & equipment.

Clear a Path – Clear your driveway, sidewalks, patio and deck. This also helps give pets a path to their bathroom area.

Trim Trees Carefully – Put your weight on both feet when using a chainsaw. Hold the saw with both hands and adjust your stance so you are angled away from the blade..

Watch Where You Throw – Keep kids and pets away from snowblowers. Never put your hand in the chute or auger to clear a blockage. Turn the machine off and always use a clean-out tool.

When Insults Had Class

You may hve seen the quotes below since they have been traveling around the Internet for a while. But they are worth a read. These glorious insults are from an era that valued cleverness with words; an era when the leaders of society didn’t talk about size, use profanity or their middle finger to make their point. Enjoy!

Sir Winston Churchill vs. Lady Astor:
Lady Astor: “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.”
Sir Winston: “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

A member of Parliament to Disraeli:
Member: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows, or of some unspeakable disease.”
Disraeli: “That depends, Sir, upon whether I embrace your policies, or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

“A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” – Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” – Clarence Darrow

William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway): “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner): “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” – Abraham Lincoln

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” – Oscar Wilde

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…if you have one.”
Winston Churchill, in response: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…if there is one.”

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb

“He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating

“There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.” – Jack E. Leonard

“He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.” – Robert Redford

“They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.” – Thomas Brackett Reed

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts…for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx