The 1950s weren’t so great

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V. Paul Reynold’s column on the joy of the 1950s is typical of what can happen to someone who doesn’t appreciate they are probably alive today because of so many good things we take for granted today but didn’t even imagine in the ‘50s.

I urge my fellow aging Americans to throw away rose-colored rear view mirrors like Reynolds uses. Life is too good to be living in the past! Be thankful America is a better place today, even if we do seem to be receding because some voters wanted to return to the ‘50s.

Here are some things I remember from the ‘50s that Reynolds forgot: polio, iron lungs, metal dashboards, windshields that broke when heads hit them because there were no seatbelts. Also, Sen. Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohen (praise Margaret Chase Smith, one of the truly good things about the ‘50s in America, a very brave U.S. senator whose Declaration of Conscience should be read to the U.S. Senate today). There was discrimination based on race, gender, social status, competent abortions for rich women and awful substitutes for poor ones, women encouraged to stay in bad marriages, holiday travel “news” that several hundred would die on the highways, long distance telephone calls that cost so much the person receiving one assumed it was bad news, dirty rivers, cigarette smoke in every building.

Reynolds would remember we had a single, horrible enemy then, called Communism that wanted to destroy us. I spent four years in the military doing my small part to protect America from the USSR. The Republican Party is on Russia’s side today!

Robert Winship Johnston

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