Saturday, January 21, 2006

These Are The Good Old Days


People are funny. I mean, really...

Some people talk about the Good Old Days a whole lot. You know what Good Old Days are, don't you? They are days long gone, but remembered fondly, when you, or people you knew, had great times and felt safe. They are days, when recalled, make you smile and wish you were back there in all their golden-hazed glory.

Some people had their Good Old Days in the 1930's. Let's see... That was the decade of the Great Depression when millions of folks lost all their money and walked the streets looking for work so they could provide for their fearful, starving families. That was when many families shipped their children to relatives who could care for them better and other families lost their teenagers to transient lives on trains looking for work across the U.S. There was also the Dust Bowl and the beginning of World War II across the globe, not to mention a few hundred other tragedies and injustices I am skipping.

Some people I know think of the 1940's as their own Good Old Days. Wow, that's when WWII was in full force, thousands and thousands of soldiers and civilians died and millions of Jews were tortured and murdered in concentration camps. Those were days of ration cards and of nearly everyone receiving news that at least one person (often more) who they knew personally had died in the war.

The 1950's brings smiles to lots of people who personally remember them, poodle skirts and great music and all. But I've read that the 1950's was the time of the Korean War, the McCarthy hearings, outbreaks of polio, segregation, the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war (remember duck and cover?). Again, I am leaving out hundreds of other happenings/tragedies/incidents.

I could, technically, remember the 1960's as my own Good Old Days. I was a young child who loved the places I lived and the friends and memories I made. But oh my... the 1960's was the decade of the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Kennedy. There was also Vietnam and peace marches-turned-violent and tragic.

Some people believe there hasn't been a real Good Old Day since the 1970's. I wonder if they remember the ending years of Vietnam, the resignation (and shame) of the President of the United States, the murders at the Munich Olympics, Love Canal and again, all the other happenings of that time. (I am so not a historian... these are just off the top of my head.)

My point? Throughout all of History, all of Time, always, always the Good Old Days have been ones we carve for ourselves in the midst of the tragedies of life swirling all around us. Since Adam and Eve it's been true--there's always something-- some tragedy somewhere happening to some group of people. Always some war and some rumors of war. Some natural disaster. Some evil people planning to harm good people.

It's always been that way.

And basically, the Good Old Days have always been in our heads--in the way we perceive what is happening to us on any given day. In the way we recall those days--in the way we chose to live them. And it is only a courageous, brave, optimistic person who will have an enormous, always-growing collection of Good Old Days by the time he or she reaches the end of his or her life.

Even now, still, these are the Good Old Days...

...for those who do not allow this present darkness to blind them to the good which still exists.

...for those who have not hindsight, but the present-sight to create a Good Old Life in the middle of what appears to be days quite dark, indeed.

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