THOUGHTS ABOUT BEING A BABY BOOMER

Posted on September 2, 2011. Filed under: 1960s, Baby Boomers, Candy, Chocolate, Dairy, My Ramblings, Recipes, Rochester, Tried and True Recipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |


I am a true-blue, proud-of-it, bona fide Baby Boomer!  I was born in 1947.  My parents were married in 1940, but because of World War II they waited until after the war (which ended in 1945) was over.  If you were born between 1946 and 1964, then you are officially a Baby Boomer.  So essentially, for me and those of you who were born in 1947, it is the period of time between when we were born and when we were in our Junior or Senior year of High School.  Being a Baby Boomer, we tended to think of ourselves as a special generation.  We were out to set the world on fire and bring big changes to the world, making it better, or so we thought.  Landon Y. Jones, an American editor and author, is credited with coining the term “baby boomer.”  Of course, growing up, we didn’t think about being Baby Boomers, we thought about getting through the school year, how we could get our parents to raise our allowances without us having to do more work for our money.  We thought about our friends and/or making friends, we thought about the opposite sex, and who we would like to dance with us at the next “Y” dance.  Basically, we thought about everything that people in every other generation has thought about or is thinking about.

In hind-sight, we should have been called “The Lucky Generation.”  With the exception of “The Korean War,” the “Cold War,” “The Cuban Missile Crisis,” and “Viet Nam,” we were lucky.  We were born after the big war (World War II).  About those, I have some recollection, but I have more vivid recollections about the aftermath of WW II.  I remember air raids and having to go out into the school halls in elementary school, sitting on the floor with our heads down waiting for the all-clear bell so we could go back to what we were doing in class (well, most of us waited for that…a few kids wanted to stay in the hall and not go back).  I remember when the air raid sirens would go off on the weekends and being at my paternal grandparents’ house, having to go into her cellar.  We had to access their cellar via a trap door in her kitchen, or we had to go outside and go in from the outside entrance.  I also remember it having a dirt floor.  I remember a young man named “Buzzy” having been in the Korean War. Now, I associate the Korean War with my husband.  I remember discussions about Fallout Shelters and singing anti-war songs at camp.  Those made a huge impression on me.  I still get tight inside whenever I sing or hear an anti-war song and I sing them loudly.  I remember Nikita Khrushchev, who was the prime minister of Russia during the period of time I was growing up. I even remember reading about Khrushchev’s visit to the newly opened Disney Land.  Disney World had not been built yet.  And yes, I remember the excitement of all of us when we learned about the opening of Disney World and how we yearned to go there.  To this day I have never been to Disney Land, but as an adult I visited Disney World before Epcot was built, but sadly we could only stay there a couple of hours.  I don’t remember the reason why we couldn’t stay longer.  I was living in Florida at that time and was about 25 years old, or a couple of years younger.  I’m having a Senior Moment here!  J

So why were we so lucky?  We were able to learn how to respect people.  We cared about people.  If the world was as crazy then as it is now (and I doubt that), we were sheltered from it.  We could safely walk the streets.  I remember walking all the way from my house to my paternal grandmother’s house with no problem.  She lived in what now would be considered “the inner city.”  My maternal grandparents lived upstairs of us.  Both grandmothers spoiled us!

We were lucky that we were governed by Harry S. Truman..  Truthfully, the only thing I remember about his term of office (besides what I learned in the history books when I got to high school), was his daughter, Margaret, playing the piano.  I don’t know why that is so embedded in my memory, but it is.  I always thought she was so beautiful and graceful.

And we were lucky to have had “Ike” (Dwight D. Eisenhower) as the next president that I recall.  I loved Ike!  He had a great smile and I always felt he was like a grandfather.  The thing I remember best about Ike is that he was always out on the golf course.  I really thought that golfing was a requirement of being President because of that.  I also felt safe with Ike because he had helped win World War II.  And Mamie, his wife, was a real class act, or at least appeared to be by me.

I remember in elementary school how we would hold mock elections and I remember being a staunch (if a kid of that age could ever be staunch about anything J) Adlai Stevenson supporter.  I just don’t

remember why! J Probably because he was a Democrat.

Why would I vote against Eisenhower when I liked him so much?  Got me!  I can’t quite recall all that far back! J

And we were lucky to have John Fitzgerald Kennedy as President.  I think he should be given a crown as I pictured him and Jackie Kennedy as King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. They were the epitome of America.  Young, beautiful, hopeful, and believed in all we believed in.  It was a tragedy that Jack and his brother Bobbie were both assassinated so soon after they were elected (in Jack’s case)/appointed (in Bobby’s case) to office.  I really think that history would show they were the crème d’ la crème of our


Leaders.  They brought youth, glamour, energy and life to the White House.  They were what many of us Baby Boomers wanted to be like.  Most importantly they brought hope of being able to get elected President of the United States no matter what your age (as long as you are 35+, according to our laws) and no matter what your religion is.  That in itself is quite a legacy!

I remember when I was in elementary school, making care boxes up for children who were less fortunate than I.  They were tiny boxes and we brought supplies like a box of 8 crayons (if memory serves me correctly, that was the only size available at the time), or a box of Band-Aids.  In those days Band-Aids came in tins. I remember getting “Weekly Readers.”  Now my youngest Grandson (age 10) gets them.  I’m glad that hasn’t changed!

I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning that we had school and saying a prayer that to me seemed non-denominational.  I don’t think that I really thought that people were of different religions except when it came to Christmas and Easter. Kids were kids period.  I was lucky enough to have parents who believed that you respect other people’s religions and races. I remember being able to have holiday parties.  It didn’t matter to me that those parties often celebrated holidays that my religion didn’t celebrate.  Where is the harm in having Valentine parties and exchanging Valentines, hoping that the boy/girl you had a crush on would give you a special one!  And I remember walking home for lunch.  Having a working Mother meant we would walk home to a lunch with my maternal Grandmother, or my Aunt who lived across the street from us.  Once in a while we would have lunch with a neighbor’s kids or go to the deli that was situated between home and school.  That was a real treat, to go to Bardy’s!  I remember going to Sanzel’s Drug Store with my Grandfather for ice cream.  I wish that Sanzel’s was still in business and still had their wonderful soda fountain.  I think I had a crush on every soda jerk that ever worked there!  J  It always amazed me that Harry Sanzel, the owner of Sanzel’s had two kids (who weren’t kids when I was growing up) that were both pharmacists and worked with him, especially since one was a female.  I didn’t know of any other female pharmacists at that time.  I wish I had a picture of Sanzel’s Drug Store.  If any of you readers have one, I’d love a copy!!!

I remember being able to cut through the woods, that was “attached” to our backyard, to Cobbs Hill which is my very favorite park, even to this day.  Cobbs Hill holds many memories for me…mostly from my teen years.  I remember going there on a nice Spring day (those were the days when we still had four seasons!) with my best friend, Estelle.  We would take our homework with us, sit under a special tree and do our homework, smoke and talk about boys or other important teenage topics.  Did we talk about life?  Not as such.  We talked about school.  We talked about friends.  We talked about what we were going to do on the weekend.  We talked about parties that were coming up and we’d talk about plans for the summer.  I was too old to go to camp by that time, so mostly I stayed around the house and my family would go on a week’s vacation.  Estelle just stayed around her house, which was no joy, unfortunately.  Cobbs Hill is where my high school sorority, Sigma Kappa Delta, held our initiation trials.  Thankfully they were not at all like the ones you read about today.  Our initiations consisted of walking a back trail up to the Cobbs Hill Reservoir or meeting our “big sisters” to bring them goody bags.  Sometimes it was to go up to someone not involved in the sorority and ask them something silly like, “Call me a cab.”  Was there underage excessive drinking, no.  Did some of us want to experiment with alcohol?  Maybe some of the guys did, but not the female friends.  We were content with drinking our Cokes and smoking.  Smoking was a cool thing to do in those days…if we only knew then what we know now!

I remember being at Cobbs Hill in the summer of 1964, reading The Profit, sitting under our favorite tree with Estelle, when all of a sudden we saw tanks driving down Monroe Avenue, turning onto Culver Road.  Estelle and I looked at one another and spoke with shock, wondering what the hell was going on.  We’d never seen anything like it!  The Armory was on Culver Road, directly across the street from Cobbs Hill and still was until recently when the government sold it.  We didn’t have a radio with us, so I suggested that we go to my house and tell my parents about it.  They hadn’t heard anything.  And we all sat on our porch steps wondering what was happening.  Shortly we learned that there was rioting downtown.  The “riot” was precipitated by the arrest of an allegedly drunk and disorderly African- American man at a Joseph Avenue street dance. A curfew was immediately put on us by the City, something I had never heard of before, but I was frightened enough by the tanks not to complain.  I remember how my friends and I baked cookies to take to the soldiers who were posted to Cobbs Hill (or maybe they were just on breaks).  We wanted them to know how much we appreciated their being there.  Funny, in retrospect, as just about two-three years later I would be joining a Peace March there.  Ironic!

But we were the lucky generation!  I wonder if there should be an adjective before the word “lucky,” and whether that adjective should be the word “bad.”  But we look back and remember that time as “the good old days.”

To remember those days, I’ll leave you with this recipe:

Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge Recipe

=======================================

Ingredients:

4-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 can evaporated milk

Pinch of salt

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate bits

12 ounces German sweet chocolate

1 pint marshmallow cream

2 cups chopped nutmeats

Directions:

1. Heat the sugar, butter, salt and evaporated milk over low heat,

stirring until the chocolate dissolves.

2. Bring to a boil, and boil for six minutes.

3. Put the chocolate bits, German chocolate, marshmallow cream and

nutmeats into a heat resistant bowl.

4. Pour the mixture you’ve been boiling over the ingredients you’ve

just placed in the bowl.

5. Beat until the chocolate has melted, and then pour it all into a

pan. Let it stand for a few hours before cutting it into fudge sized

pieces.

This is truly a great fudge recipe!!!  It’s easy to make and it came out perfect!  I loved the fudge!  ~Softa123

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