I wanted to share some feedback from an individual who also grew up in Pennsylvania. No further comments from me except that I hope you enjoy his profound comments as much as I did.
Finally read Baby Boomer Reflections on a Cathay Pacific 13 hour joy ride to Hong Kong. Light years away from a trip to Shamokin or Centralia. I can certainly see in those pages–the humor, thought process and irreverence. So GREAT!
Quick and easy read, tons of smiles, and many repressed memories coming out and connecting with the past—bringing many friends, locations, events and emotions back to life. Funny how certain things stick with you – for whatever reason. You caught a lot of those same memories.
Page 22 — Houses–we had 6 people sharing bedrooms and one bathroom. I lived that. But our backlog was too much so my dad added a toilet only — just off the KITCHEN. Interesting activity when you had company at the house—but it worked!
The family meal at exactly 5:30 every day. My dad would drive home from work, the same route and timing everyday. If we went to the library after school, and wanted a ride home, we had to be on a certain corner at 5:20, home at 5:30, and eating at 5:31. One of the most reliable processes in my life.
I started driving in ’69. I’ll never forget gas at $.29 9/10. Anyone ever figure out the 9/10 thing?
Dances at the “Y”, impact of the Kennedy Assassination, taking out the ashes, 3 years of HS Latin, NY Worlds Fair trip…….. And the music. Oh, the music.
WKBW Buffalo was a real memory—sleeping every night with a transistor radio and 9V battery under my pillow. I also remember vividly—WLS Chicago, KDKA Pittsburg, WOWO Fort Wayne, and a station in Windsor Ontario CKLW. I can still hear the jingle……..”C-K-L-W -The Motor City”. Wow, we could dream about the big world out there.
Also…. WFIL and WABC in the day…but they cut their power at night. I knew every word to every Top 50 song in 1965. Today, I’m lucky to know the #1 song or artist. And words…. forget it.
I have very fond memories of growing up in an innocent time. In the summer, we would leave the house everyday on our bike at 8:30, with a bag lunch, and return home by 5:30 (for dinner) without a care or any threat of personal harm. Exploring everything ….. (And it wasn’t an “English Bike” with three speeds. It was basic pedal power.) Proud to be from my hometown, but things have changed so much.
Don’t know how or why, but someone “up above” decided that I would venture out into other parts of the world and be blessed with the opportunity to see so much more and meet incredible people. My life has definitely exceeded my early Pennsylvania dreams — beyond my wildest expectations. Hey, this kid from PA married a beautiful beach girl from California who has shown me a whole other world!!! So lucky! And I never, ever thought I would see so many countries and cultures. (On my way to India as I read this book and write this email) How surreal. But even today, I love exploring the neighborhoods, parks, countryside and natural wonders of those places …..the same stuff that I saw (locally) on that bike, but now in a global context.
Those PA roots are so strong and proud. Those traditions you speak of in the book are “sacred” in so many ways…. especially now that digital toys and experiences will eventually make the baby boomer experiences obsolete, except for a Wikipedia page.
As a footnote—My (Our) Hometowns have transitioned. The pride, honesty, simplicity, work ethic and credibility of the people we grew up with are fading fast. The entire complexion of a town like Pottsville or Lewisburg is now changing with a loss of pride. The last few times I visited my hometown as my parents were dying–I hardly recognized the place and the people. I tell my friends that I believe somewhere, the good ol’ Quaker, William Penn is crying.
Baby Boomer Reflections helped me remember the best of times. Thank You.