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Old July 27th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Default "Life ,Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"

I changed my avatar last night to a photo of myself from 1962 .At that time everything was serene .No muggings ,no people sleeping on streets ,no wars involving US military .I could walk anywhere in Brooklyn at any time of day and not have a concern for my safety . My friends and I had dreams ,thoughts of having wonderful lives ,going to college ,getting great jobs ,getting married and just being happy .I recently reconnected with my best friend from that time . We discovered that we both got married in our early twenties ,both had children when we were young enough to have fun with them as they grew up .Both of our fathers were close to 50 when we were born .When we were teenagers they were old by 1962 standards .

Having children is the greatest pleasure any parent could have . When I was 12 my then closest friend was murdered .Although his parents had 2 other children their lives were forever changed .
When conversing with my long lost friend I found out that he had a daughter who was killed by a hit and run driver .She was in her teens .He and his wife were devastated as one can imagine and their lives have never been the same .

In 2010 American youth are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq . They are dying from illegal drugs .They are dying from gang violence .We constantly read about these things but never about their parents . Its time for America to wake up but alas I know nothing will ever change ,at least not in my lifetime . Ode to go back to 1962 when things were peaceful .
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Old July 27th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Henry,

Oh how I so agree with you! Maybe that is why I am so into nostalgia magazines, etc.

Of course even back then we had crime and there was even violence continuing around the world. There are those who would say that we are so naive as to think there weren't serious problems back then; there were. But at least they didn't seem so pervasive.

We were at one of those few periods in our history wherein we weren't embroiled in a a foreign conflict albeit we did reach the precipice of nuclear war.

I often recall a remark I overheard from an Historian I knew when someone remarked for the umpteenth time that we are a "peace loving" nation, "What do you mean? Americans love to fight! If you don't believe that than please note that the only extended period in this country's history in which we didn't fight a foreign war, hell, we fought each other!" Also, the crime rate hadn't exploded as it has today. Then again, neither had our population.

As everyone knows, I love history and of course, history is the basis for nostalgia. Life is much easier today in most aspects (I couldn't live without air conditioning, etc.) but I miss the more gentle (for lack of a better word and what at least I remember as a kinder) lifestyle where people at least in retrospect, seemed to be more concerned for each other's welfare.

While many will disagree, I remain firmly of the belief that our decline at least in many of the above and similar aspects, is due to a decline in our morals that is a result of our putting our religious beliefs in the back seat because they no longer were to be considered germane to our heritage. It seems we all went to Church or Temple back in those days and though I have no way of knowing, I wouldn't be a bit surprised were statistics to bear that out. We respected our institutions, both tangible and intangible instead of sitting idly by as a relatively small minority of malcontents set to denigrating and actively working to destroy those institutions.

Men opened car doors for women and were in general, far more chivalrous than today. Men also supported their families while women in turn, stayed home, kept the house and raised the children (in the process often working far harder than their husbands). The "Me" and the "I not only want it, I want it NOW!" generations had yet, but were soon to evolve. We can't blame our children and grandchildren for this evolution as much as blame ourselves, for were we not the ones who wanted our kids to have everything we didn't? Didn't our wives go out to work so that our families could have more material things?

While there weren't the government poverty programs of today (many of which are indeed very necessary), I remember as a child not a month would go by that my mother wasn't packing up boxes full of clothes and canned goods to help those less fortunate or cooking for sick neighbors, etc.

By overlooking the increasingly bad attitude of our children, their inattentiveness and refusal to learn in our schools and their increasingly violent behavior as a result of not employing applied discipline, they naturally couldn't have been expected to learn self discipline.

We have been successful in removing any reference to any religion from not only our schools but our government. By George we're now the secular society some had actively been seeking. What have we received in exchange?

We now have overflowing prisons, not just "different" but actually disgusting styles of dress, filthy language, the teaching of elementary school students about subjects best saved until at least a few more years had passed, violent popular songs that are not "music" but merely chants of violent lyrics extolling rape and murder; in summation, a total lack of respect for authority of any type. In fact, we now accept as "normal," the most degenerative behavior most of us would have been shocked to even hear discussed forty years ago, oh and by that, I don't mean just sex or sexual preference.

We now live in an era where our televisions are constantly blaring advertisements on how a person can sue someone or pushing "get rich quick" schemes. The work ethic is quickly disappearing; we all want to live high on the hog but many of us don't want to work for what we receive and sadly, while millions want work but can't find employment, there are still millions of others who are quite content to sit on their behinds and let the rest of us support them. I am stunned at the number of people who leave good paying jobs such as civil service jobs in major cities by claiming disability and then, sitting back and collecting enormous checks but who aren't so disabled that they can't snow ski, water ski, climb mountains, run marathons, triathlons, etc. or obtain gainful employment. Not only is such behavior becoming common but often we actually admire people who similarly 'beat the system." Of course, they never stop to consider that we are, "...the system."

Yes Henry, how I so long for the good old days. Please allow me to accompany you back to 1962!

Todd

Last edited by ToddDH; July 27th, 2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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Henry and Todd, I certainly would love to join you both on a nostalgia trip.
I came to the US in 1957 ( not as an illegal ). Back then we did live a simple life.
One thing that I remember is that people were very polite to one another. And back then people like my parents who came to the US, came here to work and achieve the American dream. We learned to become Americans and to enjoy this country.
Today I see people who come here are not trying to adapt but want the system to change for them.

Today I am proud to be an American Citizen and a Vietnam Vet, but I do miss the days when we could walk peaceful in cities across the USA.

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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Not quite the same thing but I am attempting to organize a trip to the area in Brooklyn I resided in as a child .I've been in touch with a few childhood friends and we would like to go in the fall. I was last in the area in 1985 ,I took pictures but did not get out of my car .This trip if we do it will be a park and walk .
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Manuel,

I don't know if you've considered the following but I want everyone who reads these boards to know this.

You and your family are the classic example of true Americans! Your family chose not only to just move to the United States, but to become an integral and positive blessing to this country as opposed to being a drain on our resources. You didn't take for granted the benefits which this country offered and you fully understood that you would have to work hard to achieve your goals of which I for one, have hope you've succeeded in doing to your satisfaction.

Yes Manuel, you are the quintessential American simply because in addition to all of the above, you actually took up arms just a few years after coming to this country on behalf of your adopted nation at a time when untold numbers of Americans were going to extremes to avoid doing just that. You share that with my father in law who, back in 1918 shortly after emigrating to the United States from his native Italy, fought on the fields of France (suffering severe lifelong lung problems from poison gas) for his new homeland.

If anything, you are more of an "American" than millions who have been born in this country and as a result, you and all those who have done what your family has done are more than entitled to a collective salute from us all.

It is and will always be folks such as you and your family who are one of a relative low number of keys necessary to unlock the doors leading to our country's continued success.

Todd
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Old July 28th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Brilliantly said ,Todd .

My father came to this country in 1913 from Poland .He did not speak a word of english .He was not educated at all in his native land . He went to work in a factory ,taught himself english and eventually became an executive with a major labor union .

There is a wonderful book about the people who came to Ellis Island from 1900 to 1920 .The title is Ellis Island Interviews . In my opinion ,everyone should read this book or just go to the Ellis Island website and read the stories of the people who came to the US and how they lived their lives .
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Old July 28th, 2010, 12:42 PM
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Henry,

I swear to you I have that book (along with a pictorial history of Ellis Island) you referenced but I CAN'T FIND THE DAMNED THING! I only know I purchased it about six months ago at a discount book store and I haven't seen it since I brought it in the house. I periodically go through things in search of it the latest search being but a few days ago! I'll find it though!

My problem lies in my reading anywhere from three to six books at any given time and I have 'em piled all over the place and when Fran moves them to clean, I have to search for 'em!

Thank you very much Henry for the compliment. It does mean a lot to me.

Todd
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Old July 28th, 2010, 05:15 PM
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Todd thank you for your compliments.

The US makes it easy for a person to adapt to life in this country. My father loved this country from day one.
I have had a good life here. I raised three kids, I had a good job that I retired from last year. And of course I have been able to take 13 cruises, so far.
Sometimes I don't like the direction the country is taking, but I allways vote so I can put in my two cents worth.

Yes it would be nice to go back to 1962. My first car was a 62 Mercury Comet.
Time is not forgiving so I will just enjoy my retirement.

TM
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Old July 28th, 2010, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddDH View Post
Henry,

I swear to you I have that book (along with a pictorial history of Ellis Island) you referenced but I CAN'T FIND THE DAMNED THING! I only know I purchased it about six months ago at a discount book store and I haven't seen it since I brought it in the house. I periodically go through things in search of it the latest search being but a few days ago! I'll find it though!

My problem lies in my reading anywhere from three to six books at any given time and I have 'em piled all over the place and when Fran moves them to clean, I have to search for 'em!

Thank you very much Henry for the compliment. It does mean a lot to me.

Todd
You might want to check the Ellis Island website .I am registered there and I find it fascinating .
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Old July 28th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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I view the world and this thread from an entire different perspective in terms of our Country's evolution during my lifetime and I am deeply concerned about the trend that appears to be going backwards to the 1950's (and they were not Happy Days for alot of folks)..we should be coming together in terms of tolerance and we are going the opposite direction

I'll have to think for awhile on how to frame my response for this thread
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Old July 28th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
I view the world and this thread from an entire different perspective in terms of our Country's evolution during my lifetime and I am deeply concerned about the trend that appears to be going backwards to the 1950's (and they were not Happy Days for alot of folks)..we should be coming together in terms of tolerance and we are going the opposite direction

I'll have to think for awhile on how to frame my response for this thread
Venice,

I feel the same way. Things were simpler and some things better but overall I would never want to go back to many of the ideals that I witnessed during that time.

I've been wondering how to approach this as well.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 28th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
I view the world and this thread from an entire different perspective in terms of our Country's evolution during my lifetime and I am deeply concerned about the trend that appears to be going backwards to the 1950's (and they were not Happy Days for alot of folks)..we should be coming together in terms of tolerance and we are going the opposite direction

I'll have to think for awhile on how to frame my response for this thread
I am referring solely to my youth in Brooklyn ,NY and solely to the year 1962 . In 1955 my best friend who was 10 years old was mudered by 3 teens solely because of the color of his skin . 1962 for me was not a utopia but a time of peace . In 1961 I became involved in the civil rights movement ,initially as a student member of the NAACP and shortly thereafter as a member of CORE .In 1964 a lot of students from all over the country were joining the Freedom Riders .Two guys from City College named Schwerner and Goodman were among them . Although I was a student there I never knew them personally . As you and everyone else knows they were murdered along with a guy named Cheney .
I was part of a group of people that included Dr.Martin Luther King ,Jr .To me he was the man who could change the world . Unfortunately his dream never really came to be and yes ,I agree with you that certain segments of society today have the same point of view that people such as George Wallace had 40 years ago.The answer if there is one lies with the youth of America .Perhaps one day Dr.Kings dream will be achieved .I truly hope so.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Henry..let me close a circle for you..I know the man that drove the car from New Orleans to Mississippi with your 2 friends, who were eventually murdered..small world huh

our youth have mastered the technology that in fact isolates them from the human face to face interaction experience (i.e facebook etc)...the great divide is the have/have nots in our public school systems in terms of access to the internet

if the family can afford it, i think from time to time, when cruising one should take one's children to help expose them to other countries, cultures and experiences in a compacted controlled situation

Nelson Mandela (who carried the torch from MLK) and the Country of South Africa of today, is a good roadmap for our Country to look at in terms of how to attempt to overcome divisions..they are far from evolved but at least they are trying to move forward as we are going backwards

these are scary times my friends in terms of tolerance..I've been to Ellis Island several times and it is a moving experience
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by venice View Post
Henry..let me close a circle for you..I know the man that drove the car from New Orleans to Mississippi with your 2 friends, who were eventually murdered..small world huh

our youth have mastered the technology that in fact isolates them from the human face to face interaction experience (i.e facebook etc)...the great divide is the have/have nots in our public school systems in terms of access to the internet

if the family can afford it, i think from time to time, when cruising one should take one's children to help expose them to other countries, cultures and experiences in a compacted controlled situation

Nelson Mandela (who carried the torch from MLK) and the Country of South Africa of today, is a good roadmap for our Country to look at in terms of how to attempt to overcome divisions..they are far from evolved but at least they are trying to move forward as we are going backwards

these are scary times my friends in terms of tolerance..I've been to Ellis Island several times and it is a moving experience
Schwerner and Goodman just happened to be students at the same college as I was at the time .Our paths never crossed ,perhaps they would have .I agree with you totally re Nelson Mandela .My youngest child was in South Africa last year .Although I have never been there ,I believe that all americans should visit there one day.In this country there is no one on the horizon to carry the torch .The closest in my opinion could have been Julian Bond .
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