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January 16, 2006

Viva Boomers!

The Star Tribune ran a full page article entitled "The Baby Boom Turns 60" yesterday. Although I'm not (quite) 60 yet, I am definitely a boomer, and proud of it! (not that I had anything to do with it at all...)

I especially enjoyed the sidebar that featured "greatest hits" from the 1940s, 50s, etc. Here are a comments / reflections / memories about a few of them.

1950s:
Civil defense drills -- I still remember these drills from elementary school. Each fall, our parents had to fill out "bomb blast cards," indicating what we were to do and with whom we were to go in the event of a nuclear attack. We frequently practiced what to do in the event of a bombing -- going out into the hallway, kneeling on the floor, huddled against the lockers with our arms over our head and protecting our face. As if we would survive a direct hit.... We also frequently watched films about bombs, radioactivity, and associated illnesses. People built fallout shelters underground in their back yards, stocked with canned goods, blankets, and the requisite battery-operated radio. A major ethical dilemma, explored in dramas on TV, was what to do if a neighbor were to come knocking at the door of your fallout shelter. If you just have enough supplies and resources to protect your own family, are you morally obligated to share with others (who apparently didn't plan as well as you did), thereby risking everyone's death?

"Ben Hur" - I still remember this powerful movie - I saw it with the Underwood twins on a Saturday morning in downtown Dallas. We had special student-rate tickets, and it was a BIG DEAL - a movie on the BIG screen. I still remember the scenes with the lepers.

1960s - Where to begin??!!

"The Graduate" - This amazing movie came out when I was in college; I think I saw it 4 times. The first time I saw it, I was speechless for about 15 minutes - it raised so many issues that really struck a chord. Of course, it explored one of my favorite issues - identity. And it was a great up-the-establishment film for a young adult who had no intentions of going into "plastics!"

I could go on and on. I think this is all for now; I'll add to this thread as time permits. In the meantime, in my human development course we'll be discussing life course theory. As one of the exercises in the class, students will take on membership in various different generations ("greatest generation," boomers, GenX, etc.) and talk about the cultural and world events that shaped the members of their generation. Who knows, maybe it will give them a different perspective on their parents?

Posted by hgroteva at January 16, 2006 5:44 PM | Life

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