by Cope Reynolds
I posted something on Facebook a few days ago that some of you may have seen. It was about my childhood. It was nice to reminisce and I think many of you felt the same way. However, the more I think about it, the darker it becomes.
A recently married young friend of mine texted me not long after I posted that with some serious concerns. This young lady is on the young side of Generation Z Millennial age but she was raised right and she gets it. She's desperately concerned about the upcoming election. She understands that if we lose a couple of seats in Arizona, we turn Blue. She understands that if Trump loses, the Nation turns Blue and she understands what that means. She understands that widespread violence in this country is inevitable and all of this disturbs her deeply. But the biggest thing that concerns her is bringing children into this world in its current state of affairs. Oh, how I grieve for her and those like her! Kids her age should not have to worry about such things.
I know times change and things evolve. This has been going on since the beginning of time but I don't believe that any generation in history has witnessed as much deterioration of morality and loss of human values in such a short time as mine has.
Every generation in history has witnessed a certain degree of evolution in technology. But mine? I can remember fresh milk being delivered to our front porch in glass bottles with cardboard lids. I remember party lines and phones with dials and cords. I remember mercurochrome and merthiolate. Roller skate keys, church keys and bicycles with steel frames, fenders and one speed. Etch-a-sketch, Spirograph and Slapjack. No digital watches, cellphones or portable computers. Word processors were called typewriters.
I remember going from no such thing as automobile air conditioning to having a little plastic unit with a fan that sat on the transmission hump that you filled ice cubes. Virtually no 4-lane highways, no radial tires and the standard car warranty was only good for 1 year/12,000 miles. Yes, I remember when postage stamps cost a nickel and all long-distance calls went through an operator. I remember when gas was 19 cents a gallon and a new car cost around 2500 bucks. Minimum wage was a buck and quarter and a dozen eggs was about 40 cents.
I could go to the Sunday matinee at the Allen Theater with a quarter and that would get me into the show with enough left over for a coke and popcorn and penny bubblegum was everywhere. We listened to wonderful, wholesome music and every movie on TV was suitable for every member of the family.
Hunting was normal. Nearly every family we knew went to the woods during deer season and spent a few days together camping and enjoying the clean air and beautiful scenery. Practically every boy (and a few girls) got a .22 rifle for their birthday by the time they were 6 or 8 years old. Most of us that were fortunate enough to live on farms and ranches were allowed to go hunting for small game and varmints by ourselves shortly after that.
We rode in the back of the truck, drank out of the garden hose and went skinny dippin’ in the river. We didn’t wear seat belts in the car or helmets when we rode bicycles or horses. There was lead in the paint on our walls and on the baby crib, water pipes were made out of lead and toothpaste came in lead tubes.
Kids were allowed to walk home at dusk or even a little after dark. People routinely went to neighbors’ homes to play pinochle and Yahtzee, eat dinner and visit. Doors were never locked and there was a rifle in the back window of practically every pick-up truck you saw. Guns were purchased at the gun shop or hardware store over the counter like a screwdriver. Age didn't matter unless the clerk knew your daddy and questioned your permission to buy one. Almost everyone had a daddy.
Dynamite and strychnine could be bought over the counter at the hardware store and I could walk into Ross Sporting Goods and buy a box of. 22 shells when I was 9. All of this and still nearly every report of violent crime was a fist fight down at the Office Bar.
What I remember most is freedom and liberty. These wonderful benefits were exercised regularly and we didn’t even really know we were doing it. It was just life. It’s the way things were. We didn’t realize we had it so good until we didn’t. Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free". Have we reached that generation?
DAMN, what a wonderful life we had in those days! Where are we at now? Compare every item above to present day and throw in some of your own. People can't do anything for themselves anymore and the "life skills" that kids are taught are how to play games on electronic devices and change the settings on grandma's cell phone. Kids are raised by X-boxes and Play Stations and many of them are introduced to drugs, sex and crime before they have pubic hair. I understand that there are exceptions but most kids nowadays can't sharpen a knife, build a fire, gut a rabbit, shoot a gun, change a tire, drive a nail or dig a ditch. How are they to save our Nation?
Its no damned wonder my friend is worried about her future! Dark times are upon us...
By the way, about having kids…
God has a Plan. He put us here to work out our salvation and “be fruitful and multiply”. At no time did He say, “OK, things are looking a little bleak so you can disregard everything I said previously”. No, the Plan has not changed. Babies still need to come into this world to be given the opportunity see how they do on this test called life. Whatever happens, it is supposed to happen. We may not like or agree with it but it is not our decision. Live your life, love your life, have fun when you can, fight when you have to. Things change but this is your world now. Make the best of it!