Here is the official beginning of my Boomer posts! Most members of the Baby Boomer generation are now grandparents. (Or, are friends with someone who is.) Two generations of people are younger than we are, and there are many differences in the way we view the world. I’m starting this post series as a way to think back about how I saw the world as a young person. As a fiction writer, I need to remember those things as I develop characters experiencing that stage of their lives. Please comment, and share the posts, especially with those younger than we are.
As a starting point, I’ve created a list of words that mean something to my Boomer past. Each time I write a Boomer Bite I’ll be focusing on one letter of the alphabet. However, the list of words is fluid — I keep adding more as I think about things from the 50s and 60s. For now, I expect to post 2-3 times for each letter of the alphabet. Some posts will have more than one word in them, like today.
Here’s my list for A: Accidents and adventures and air conditioning and (part 2 next week) the alphabet and the apocalypse and apostles and adoption.
Accidents. As a child, I viewed an accident as being caused by carelessness. They didn’t just happen. Somebody, somewhere, made a wrong choice and caused an accident. It was as simple as that. There was always someone to blame. My early life, with an older brother, was full of accidents. I have the scars to prove it. Future posts provide details.
Adventures. They happened in my head. I loved to read, and I spent hours daydreaming. I turned my daily life into an adventure, pretending I was going to work when I was going to school; pretending I lived on a ranch with horses when I played in the backyard; pretending I had a boyfriend when the only boy I knew was my brother, who played with me sometimes but mostly terrorized me. (See accident.) There were only a few television channels, and we only had one television until the mid 60s. TV didn’t offer movies to watch.
Air-conditioning. We had it: Grandma and Grandpa didn’t. They had a water cooler. At their house, in the summer, we opened the windows in the evening, something we never did at my Enid home. Windows were supposed to be closed, weren’t they? If they were open, they let in dust and maybe even bugs if the screens weren’t tight. In all my growing up years, I NEVER remember windows in my house being opened to let air in. And I don’t ever remember the curtains on the front windows being pulled aside so we could see outside. (Someone else might be able to see INSIDE.) ((Thought: was my mother so against open windows because she was a child during the Dust Bowl, when the wind was always full of dust and there was no keeping anything clean?))
(Check back on Thursdays for more Boomer Bites!)