Monday, September 29, 2008

On a night like this

I find myself thinking tonight of my parents. As the world apparently melts down and the future is awash somewhere in the liquefied remains, I'm reminded theirs was dubbed the Greatest Generation, and I'm reminded of why.

They lived through the Great Depression and then through World War II on its tails. My old man lost his father when he was 15 in the mid-'30s and made his own way and headed to the Pacific Theater when he was called. More or less called. He joined the Navy because he preferred sailing to marching.

My mom was the youngest child in a single-parent family. They had them then, too. My grandmother had been abandoned by one husband and was left a widow by a second.

Mom held the homefront. Her brothers went to Germany.

The Depression and the war were the realities of their teens and twenties.

I've never really sat back and thought about what the '50s must have looked like when they finally rolled around. I wonder if there's something like that in our future.

And what will they say of us, those people of the future, and our generation as we are looked at further down the road?

9 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm afraid it'll be the "me" generation, or the "Greed" generation. I don't see much of greateness in either our leaders or our people today. On an individual basis I see it, but there is so much corruption and greed. It's really sickening.

Erik Donald France said...

I don't want to be the one who has to say of living through this time of crisis, as George C. Scott's version of Patton puts it: "Well, I shovelled shit in Louisiana."

Shauna Roberts said...

I agree with Charles that we'll probably be remembered as the "Me Generation," but that's not wholly a bad thing. Because people refused to play a less important role in society than they played in their own heads, we got women's rights, civil rights for blacks, and some civil rights for homosexuals. Our selfishness broke through a lot of barriers, and millions are living happier, more fulfilling lives as a result. IMHO.

Lana Gramlich said...

You're not the "me" generation. Y'all are boomers. I'm the "me" generation (who went on to become "Generation X" somewhere along the way.) Wear the boomer badge with pride. Have you seen the Millenial generation? Now THERE'S a real life horror...

Steve Malley said...

I suspect future generations will think Rudyard Kipling meant us when he wrote The Islanders...

Stewart Sternberg said...

I think each generation is eerily similar to the one that came before. Time is a prism and it is difficult to see accurately through it. I can find stark similarities between Roman culture during the time of Octavius and contemporary America. Of course, I'm weird that way.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Sid. I'm born in that goofy year of 1959, so mabe I'm Generation U (or You instead of Me, ha ha ho.) My mom's folks came here from Poland in 1926 and they were dead by 1936. No one knows where my grandmother went, the talk has always been that she was a prostitute who disappeared. My father grew up on an 88-acre tobacco farm that is now a subdivision with a man made lake within the circle of homes. I guess my father's parents weathered the decades better. I can see being nostalgic with the recent news, and I worry more about my nieces than I do myself. They haven't a clue.

Bridges said...

As the world apparently melts down and the future is awash somewhere in the liquefied remains


A week, no bailout and we are still here.

Amazing

Miladysa said...

Strange for I have been thinking about my parents too as we are going through the same thing here as you are in the USA.

When my father went to school in the 1930s children had to be weighed before they received free school meals. My father never qualified and before long he had to have both his legs broken and reset due to rickets. I think we were on of the richest nations in the world in those days...

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