One of the more inexplicable aspects of growing older is that the years seem to rush by. It’s ironic that the less time you have remaining on the planet, the faster it goes.
Nevertheless, even though we’re getting older, boomers have a lot for which to be grateful. We were children during a time of growth, prosperity, and great optimism. Better yet, we were the first generation to grow up with the sense that we were special.
After surviving the Depression and Word War II, our parents focused their lives on growing families and enjoying the newly available luxuries of the Fifties and Sixties. As children, we were lavished with previously unheard of treats. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of colorfully covered lunchboxes, held birthday parties complete with games and goodie bags, watched hours of “Leave it to Beaver” and the “Mickey Mouse Club,” twirled hula hoops, and, for the very lucky among us, vacationed at Disneyland.
Yes, the timing of our births was fortunate indeed. Had we been born even half a century earlier, things would have been quite different. So, as we mark the passage of time in many aspects of our lives, let’s take a few moments to contemplate what our realities would have been had we been born a mere 50 or so years earlier….
The Year 1907
- The average life expectancy was 47 years.
- Only fourteen percent of homes had a bathtub.
- Only eight percent of homes had a telephone.
- There were 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
- The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
- The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
- The average wage was twenty-two cents per hour.
- Sugar cost four cents a pound. Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
- Two out of every ten adults couldn’t read or write and only six percent of Americans graduated from high school.
- The American flag had 45 stars.
- The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
- More than ninety-five percent of all births took place at home.
- Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were considered substandard.
And, worst of all, not one single person in the entire country ever once used the word, “groovy!”