The 1950s in Hindsight and Being Honest With Ourselves
In the review I wrote in my last post, the time frame for the setting was the early 1950s. I would have been 10 or 11 much like the boy that was the main character in Ivan Doig's The Last Bus to Wisdom. In the story Donal was put on a Greyhound bus to travel for several day alone. He was being sent to stay with his aunt while his grandma had surgery. When I think about that now I cannot believe that anyone would have actually done that even in that time. Not anyone that knew who traveled on the Greyhound bus!
Under the blanket that the post WWII generation covered itself with was hidden a much darker time. But putting on a happy face and pretending that nothing bad ever happened was more the norm than not.
Even the veterans that talked to reporters in documentaries hid the damage that was done to their hearts and souls. The face they revealed to the world was lived out in success stories. Looking back I see that all that was not good is hidden.
When a child of that era thinks about those times they know what was "really" going on and you can bet none of us were put on a Greyhound bus to travel for days.
The trains still had conductors and as an early teen I would travel for a few hours to visit my aunt and uncle. The warning to never talk to strangers and always sit alone still echo in my ears.
Hoboes hung around the railroad yard near us and I remember a friend and I ran into one on a hike one summer day. That hobo beared no resemblance to Doigs down and out nice hobos in the story. It was one of the scariest encounters I have ever had in my life. To this day I am not sure how we escaped that man alive. Our parents thought we were safe when we wandered around but the truth is we really weren't
The media was not allowed to reveal anything that was seedy or perverted. Movies were censored. McCarthyism was running rampant so anyone that had a different opinion from the Republican agenda was considered to be a communist. The truth was the country was even hiding from itself.
It needs saying over and over...THINGS WERE NOT BETTER BACK IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS! When we keep the real story in mind, we appreciate the world we live in today a lot more. At least we are more honest with ourselves about life.
It is just a thought!