When Exactly?

Harry threw the paper down on the table and sighed. He longed for the old days. The days when people were reasonable; when people listened to others. A time when the real threat was clear and identifiable. Now, all one had to do to stoke another’s enmity was to open their mouth. It came from all sides and no one listened…no one heard…no one cared. Even those who pretended to care, only served to stoke the fires more. Everyone lived on the edge, but in the old days, life was calm, peaceful, and collected.

Paula looked at her husband as she poured his orange juice and chuckled. “The old days weren’t as grand as you think you remember, Harry.”

He snorted. “Of course they were! We didn’t have all the problems we have today!”

“Ha!” She sat the juice carton back in the refrigerator. “When were the good old days, you long for, Harry?”

“The 50s are a good place to start! We were all happy and free and …”

“A child.” She looked at him and shook her head. “You were a kid in the 50s, Harry. Adults were dealing with McCarthyism, Korean War, assassination attempts, protests, nuclear testing, and labor disputes.”

Harry waved his hand at her. “Oh, poppycock. Sure, those things did happen, but we got along much better than we do now.”

“Who’s we? Do I need to mention the entire Civil Rights Movement?”

He took a deep breath and sighed. “Fine, I’ll give you that. We’re better now than we were then. But the 1920s were a great time, and don’t try to deny they weren’t. I love swing and jazz. Parties all over. Those were the good old days!”

“World War I, prohibition, labor strikes, Red Scare raids, immigration quotas, increased tariffs, KKK march in Washington, St. Valentine’s Day massacre –“

“Fine, fine! Maybe that does sound like now, but…but, fine Victorian age. The rise of travel, tea houses, grand houses. Now those were good old days. You can’t say we were in any world wars then!”

“Annexation of Texas, Trail of Tears, attempted impeachment, wars with Native American tribes, Pittsburgh nearly burned to the ground, Great New York City fire, Mexican-American War, Bloody Island massacre, Utah War, do I even have to mention the Civil War?”

Harry huffed and showed her the newspaper headline. “Okay, history professor, when he is talking about so I can go back to it!”

This was inspired by FOWC – enmity


11 thoughts on “When Exactly?

    1. True, that and the fact that our personal past is seen through the eyes of a child. When I think of the 70s, I think of watching tv, running around in parks, riding my bike, movies I watched, it was great–because I was a kid. I didn’t have to wait in gas lines, face higher prices at the grocery store, etc. I think every generation is like that, but some just don’t seem to contextualize history. It’s a problem with many arguments about the past. I do love history, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post which obviously got many of us thinking. I know I view my past through rose-tinted spectacles. In my early 20s I lived in a very seedy rented room, was unemployed, had to put plastic bags in my shoes to keep out the rain because I couldn’t afford new ones… and I look back on then with happy nostalgia.

    Liked by 1 person

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