But life is like that. A mixture of both good elements and bad elements @Drlee .
Yes. And it still is.
In the 1950's I was the absolutely typical white American middle class kid. I was what it was all about to the casual observer.
But I want to say some stuff about life back then that will not resonate with the younger people here. People who do not remember life before the internet, or even home computers. Many people who are my age still can't separate life from the internet. Here is a list of things that we did then that you do not do now:
We conformed. Not because the climate was oppressive. Just the opposite. It is because the list of things that we had was very small. We had a small house. We had one television. It had three or four channels. They offered soap operas in the daytime, westerns in the early evening and what we called "variety shows" in the evening. And this is not because I was deprived. It is because it was all I could afford.
Cars got terrible mileage, you had only one per family unless (shudder) there was a working woman in the house, and gas cost more as a percentage of income than it does now. If you had two one was old and one was new. You fixed them yourself.
Your mom and father came from the generation that lived through the great depression. Think really bad recession with absolutely no social safety net. Then the war where scarcity was the order of the day. SO these little things, the one television, small house and car was a really big deal.
We took care of everything. We did not throw things away. If the toaster broke you took it to the small appliance repair shop because it was expensive to replace it. Consider. In 1955 a toaster cost $21.00. About what it costs today. In 1955 the average income was $5,000.00 a year. This is the equivalent in buying power of $25,000 today. But today the average income is $40K. So we had less and it cost more than it does today.
Now. There was less stuff to buy. The stuff we bought was not thought to be expendable. You patched your jeans. You had your shoes resoled and you polished them every day or two. Even the kids did this. And since I had a little brother, I had to care for my clothes because they were destined to be his clothes. And again. We were not poor. We were solid middle class. That was just what middle class meant.
Now here is the kicker. It is impossible for me, or you @Tainari88 , or anyone here to remember how little we knew about stuff compared to today. Like this:
About politics we knew what we read in the paper. Most cities had several but we got the morning paper (Moderate Republican) and our neighbors got the evening paper (Moderate Democrat). The News happened at 6PM Local and national news including sports and not including commercials was about 45 minutes. And we did not choose what to look at. It was presented to us. There was one news program that interviewed one person a week. There was the 10 O'Clock local news that included as much local sports as it did local news. That was it.
What if we wanted to know what US Grant thought about slavery? We went to the library and checked out a book on US grant and read the whole damn thing. Every house had an Encyclopedia. World Book or Britannica. Many volumes. In it were scholarly articles about Wool and Wolsey. A few hundred words on each. There was no debate. It had all been curated by people who were thought to be "objective". And that, folks, outside of school, was all we knew about everything.
So much of what we all know now was yet to be invented. Textbooks still spoke of the canals on Mars. There was no such thing as a computer in any real sense. Calculators were expensive, the size of typewriters (which few could afford) and would not have been allowed in school.
Kids all got measles, mumps, chickenpox, whooping cough and polio. And we all knew kids who died, were crippled, made blind or deaf, etc. You saw people with braces from polio every time you left the house. Cleft Palates were poorly repaired. There were no contact lenses that real people could afford. Cancer was a death sentence. Everyone smoked and died in their 50's and 60's. When my grandmother died at 65 in 1962 they said, "well she was an old lady".
Last blast. School was well behaved and completely directed. Grades were not on a curve. We did not do multiple choice tests. The very idea that half of the class got A-s or B-s would have been unheard of in my public schools. You could get spanked at school for misbehaving and your parents approved. You had a widely varied curriculum. You did math long hand. You did tons of memorization. Dates were important in history and there was only one version of it. Spelling always counted so you carried a dictionary to every class. Penmanship was an important class. We played outside from sunup to sundown and after about five years old without direct supervision. We rode our bicycles (sans helmet) all over town. You came when you were called. If the neighbor told you to do something you damned well did it or your mother would know why you were disrespectful to the neighbor. You said yes mam and yes sir. A child did not speak with adults unless they spoke first. You went to church every Sunday. Your yard was immaculate, you were not fat and you ate only three meals a day. And these meals were small by today's standards. A cookie was a "snack" and rare.
So you see Tainari, it was a very different world. I seriously doubt that someone today, going back in time to the fifties, would like it much or be very successful. It was not an ideal time if you were black. If you were Mexican here in the Southwest it was not an issue but go somewhere else and you might not be seated at the restaurant. There was blackface on television and Pancho and the Cisco Kid were nice stereotypes. Blacks did not hold office in any real numbers. Catholics were given side-eye in much of the country. Jews had their own country clubs and did not go to the "white" one. And yes we knew this was not ideal but we were not into ideal. The US was by far and away the richest country in the world. By far. It was the arsenal of democracy, the world's policeman, and the place virtually everyone wanted to live. Everyone. Communism was bad and socialism was the same thing as communism. You could be a communist you just couldn't work or hold office if you were one. And we knew all of these things for certain. They were facts. They were not questioned within earshot of the overwhelming majority of Americans.
That is a taste of the real 50's. Are we going back? No. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. The internet has changed all of that. But we oldsters here know something that nobody much younger knows. We know what it is like to have privacy. We know what it is like to be alone. We know what it is like to be somewhere where no one knows your whereabouts. What do I want back from the 1950's? I want two things. I want civility and even more I want privacy. And there is not the slightest chance I will every have either.