Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The latest column in the Journal is on here....as well as a ramble from the scrambled space 'tween these ears on stuff that is oh, so Boomer-ish....

A lot has been happening in the news these days, things of great world import, and some fantastic occurrences right here in our own backyard. I feel like I need to get my two pennies worth in or I might pop. So forgive me if this seems a bit jumpy. ‘Cause it will be, if all goes as planned.
* To start off with, I was not as glad as I thought I might be at the demise of the Iraqi dictator. In fact, I was almost sickened. What good did it do, to kill him in such a way that he would only become a symbol, a martyr as is happening, for the cause of crazies every where. He should have been kept in a small, sterile cell, in isolation, with no hope of release. Now, he is larger in death than he ever was in life.
* The cloning thing passed in Missouri recently. Oh, yeah, they say it isn’t cloning, that the amendment was actually anti-cloning, but I don’t believe it for a minute. It will be interesting to see how much dough the sponsor of the measure puts into labs in our fair state, now that there is already a strong movement to turn the amendment on its ear at the next election cycle. But if we are to have cloning, I say let’s clone Ameren UE workers. The folks in that company need a year off after the storms we’ve had. So how about growing some more emergency personnel. And let’s hurry, before the tornado season hits.
* Speaking of tornadoes, it looks like the Democrats have taken control of Congress. Well. The nature of politics is that it certainly is cyclical. One side has power for awhile, after promising pie in the sky, and finding out it isn’t really all that easy to bake. Then, the other guys, after bad-mouthing the “in-crowd”, finally get their turn, only to discover that they don’t have the magic ingredients either. I am already sick of seeing that 110 pound Speaker of the House flexing her right arm. As if that has anything to do with running the country.
* But speaking of women in power, the major network news has a female anchorperson for the first time in history. As a dad of 4 great females, I know what a good woman can do. So I think Katie Couric will do a fine job, as she has as good a resume as any. And, honestly, isn’t she prettier than the guy on NBC? (There, I said it. So sue me.)
Still, I do miss good old Tom Bwokaaaaw.
* Here is an entry in the “Good Idea/Bad Idea” department. Good Idea: getting your wife a gift certificate to a spa for her birthday. Bad Idea: getting your wife a gift certificate to a lipodislove clinic. Just a helpful heads-up for you guys out there.
* Any body else think that Oprah is over the hill, I mean as far as her show is concerned? Man, I have a hard time with her trying to come off as some sort of savior. Now, Ellen DeGeneres….there is a woman with some talent. I mean it. She is sincere, and funny, just downright entertaining. As for Rosie and The Donald….puuuleeese. Who cares?
* Does the screen play ever work in football? I mean, come on. The success percentage of that play must be about 2.78%. All the defensive guys are so dang big that there is no where for the poor running back to sneak into. And, he’s all the time bumping into his own 300 pound dudes. Too many giant people in too little real estate. And the way the quarterback rushes into such a backward panic, even my wife calls “Screen! Screen!”. They maybe make it back to the line of scrimmage.
* In closing, give a thought to the trials that await those boys who were recently found safe and alive. And to the family of the suspect. Their long road is just beginning.
May it be filled with healing love.



The official period allotted to the phenomenon known as “The Baby
Boom,” from 1946 to 1964, saw some fantastic things happen. I came across a web site called “Boomer Initiative” that gave some highlights (and lowlights) of that short 18 year moment in out history. As the oldest of us are now into our 6th decade this year, I thought it might be fun to take a ride in “Mr. Peabody’s Way-Back Machine” and check it out. Here are some of the people, products, world events and just plain stuff, kind of in order, from ’46 to ’64.
Post-WW II war crime trials give 12 Nazis the death penalty. The Cardinals beat Boston in the World Series, little knowing that they won’t be back in it until the end of the Boomer era. Top songs were Zip-a-Dee-Do-Da and Riders in the Sky. Tide detergent, suntan lotion and Tupperware make their debut.
The first flying saucers are reported and, with the growing popularity of the automobile, drive-in theaters dot the landscape, the last probably contributing to the baby boom in its own small way. A million veterans go to college on the GI Bill, the Yankees beat Brooklyn in the first televised Series. Da Bums break the color barrier with a talented young man named Jackie Robinson. Velcro is invented, and Duncan Hines puts his cake mix in a box.
Ghandi gets shot, Harry Truman integrates the US Army, and the Berlin Airlift begins. Babe Ruth dies. Top TV shows are Howdy Doody, Candid Camera, and The Texaco Star Theater. Silly Putty shows up in little plastic eggs.
The turn of the decade sees bad news in a place called Korea as the North invades the South, with Red China getting into the act. Senator Joe McCarthy starts his move to national repute. People sing Good Night, Irene, watch Arthur Godfrey and Your Hit Parade on the tube. Hopalong Cassidy is top cowboy in America. (I had the whole outfit.)
The Yankees, who back in 1947 started one of the most remarkable runs in the history of sport, will go on to appear in 14 out of the next 18 Fall Classics, winning 9 times. Of course, they had some guys named Berra, Rizzuto, Ford, McDougall, and a kid called “The Mick.”
The Korean War deepens, Bogart pulls the “African Queen” through the jungle, color television shows up, and a microwave will cost $1200, and look like your refrigerator.
Princess Elizabeth becomes England’s queen, and her country develops the A-bomb. We sing Your Cheatin’ Heart, watch Jackie Gleason, Ozzie and Harriett, and I Love Lucy. A polio vaccine is developed.
The mess in Korea ends. US dead, over 37,000. Cigarettes are linked to lung cancer. The Yankees beat Brooklyn, again, for their fifth consecutive world championship. “Little Ricky” and his mommy Lucy are on the cover of the first “TV Guide.”
Billy Graham and Davy Crockett create new waves of popularity. (I had his whole outfit….Davy’s, not Billy’s). Comic books hit 20 million in sales.
Joe McCarthy goes too far and is spanked by the Senate. Rumblings are heard in Southeast Asia. The other New York guys, the Giants, take the Series. Sports Illustrated shows up on newsstands. We whistle “Mr. Sandman” and watch Rin Tin Tin. Yo Rinny! (NO, I did not have that kids outfit.)
A black minister named King leads one of the first civil rights actions, boycotting busses in Alabama. Brooklyns Dodgers win their only World Series. The nation’s over-29 million TV’s are tuned to Lawrence Welk and The Honeymooners. Mice the world over rejoice as Disneyland opens in California. “Ike” Eisenhower initiates the intra-state highway system. The nation is changed forever.
The bad boys on the world scene get busy, with the Soviets crushing the Hungarian uprising, and Fidel Castro starting his take-over of Cuba. Egypt and Israel start fighting.
Back home, things get a little racier with the coming of Elvis, Peyton Place, and a thing called rock-and-roll. Beatniks lead us into the counterculture.
The USSR starts the race for space with Sputnik. The Dodgers and Giants follow old Horace Greely’s advice and “Go West, young man.” The Beav and Wally set the standard for brotherly goofiness.
Kids find Barbie Dolls, Hula hoops and Frisbees under the Christmas tree. Teflon pans hit the kitchens.
Westerns are big, with Maverick, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, and The Rifleman.
Playboy magazine and oral contraceptives joint the cultural mileu. Hmmm. Coincidence?
John F. Kennedy, Gary Powers and the U2 (no, not the band), Psycho, and Dobie Gillis keep us jumping. Fritos hit the stores, and Barbie finds a man…Ken Doll. (Didn’t have his outfit, either).
We are uplifted by the Peace Corps, shocked by the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Wall, and scared by Yuri Gagarin in a space suit.
On a lighter note, we sing Blue Moon, and watch Rocky and Bullwinkle on Sunday nights. Folk rock is big. Valium hits the shelves.
Lee Harvey Oswald hits us all. Southeast Asia gets nastier. Civil rights demonstrations throttle up. The transplanted Los Angeles Dodgers sweep the mighty Yanks. Kookie wears out his comb on the Sunset Strip.
Top music hits are from the Motown sound, and of course, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
Beatlemania takes hold. Cassius Clay “whups” Sonny Liston. The Cards beat the Yankees, to end the Boomer Years.
The rest, as they say, is history.

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