Do you ever get the feeling that “The Good Old Days” were the good old days? The air and water were cleaner back then. The nation’s bridges and roads weren’t crumbling, a teacher could afford to buy a house, neighbors helped each other out, and dogs were sweet and cuddly. A professional basketball player didn’t make more money in one game than a fireman made in a year. The nation was divided along political lines, but important legislation could still be passed.
That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate the multitude of advancements in healthcare and technology that have so improved our lives, and we’re fully aware that the good old days were far from perfect. Some bathrooms and water fountains in the Old South were “For Coloreds Only” 100 years after the Civil War was over, although I wonder how far we’ve come since then. Women were expected to be housewives, and the few who worked outside the home were grossly underpaid. News flash: They’re still underpaid, and more than half of school-age children in this country are raised by single parents.
My name is Wilma Porter. Three of my neighbors, Melvin Bass, Hugh Griffin-Banerjee, and Miranda Park, plus yours truly decided to get together and write about the events of the day. We’re “seniors,” which has given us five decades of grownup perspective, each. We have no intention of droning on about how the country’s gone to hell in a handbasket, but we’re as sure as four people can be that some of the norms and notions we left behind on the way from 1970 to 2020 can help us better understand some of the pickles we’re in now.
Editor’s Note: The next time a perky little thing tells me that 70 is the new 50, I’m going to poke her in the eye with a salad fork. If 70 is the new 50, then that 50 sucked. Mind you, I’m not complaining…