My country is changing. I am a child of the Fifties. In spite of all the turmoil Americans are putting themselves through, I cling to those days of starched petticoats and moon shots, when it was good to be an American.
It’s Good to Be an American
I still believe it’s good to be an American. I have traveled to many wonderful places and hope to visit many more, but there’s no place else I’d rather call home. Yes, things are changing, but I can still smell freedom in the air and I think there are enough of us who still believe in liberty to defend it, if that becomes necessary.
We’re not as free as we used to be and that worries me. Most of my freedoms have been taken away in the name of protecting me. It’s a small thing, but I hate putting on my seat belt each time I get in the car. It might be the wise thing to do, but I remember the first car my family had with seat belts. It was a baby blue Pontiac Bonneville. The seat belts were an accessory. I know how many lives they say seat belts have saved and I’m glad for that. I just wish it wasn’t a law.
I also miss cold beer in my cup holder. I know all the statistics on that one, too, but I’m telling you, road trips just aren’t the same. Many of my favorite date nights were long rambles throughout the surrounding countryside sharing a six pack. I fell in love with this form of entertainment back in Nacogdoches, when I was attending Stephen F. Austin State University. I was a member of BCK (broke college kids). We’d pool our resources, pick up a six-pack or two at Jimmy Bob’s and head out to explore some country road. This was in the days before GPS, so finding your way home eventually was all part of the fun. Driving around dusty roads with the windows down, radio on, singing along with all your favorite songs and wetting your whistle with a semi-cold beer…those really were the days.
These days I’m exhausted by my Facebook page. So many people angry about so many things and everybody else righteous about something else. Heck, I grew up during the days of Jim Crow vs. Civil Rights and folks managed to be nicer to each other than we are today. I have no idea how being politically correct became more important than being polite, but a little tact and courtesy goes a much longer way than using the PC word du jour. We don’t say the N word anymore. It has been replaced by the R word. How is that better?
I liked the pre-Walmart days when I shopped for my school wardrobe at Colbert-Volk and had lunch at S&S Tearoom. I liked it when Neiman-Marcus was owned by Mr. Neiman and Mr. Marcus, rather than some conglomerate which also owns Target. How does that make any sense? My department stores were Titche-Goettinger and Sanger-Harris. Unlike the Macy’s around the corner, you could just look at at the tag and know what the price would be. You didn’t have to find the scanner and dig through your pockets for Star rewards. There were no low price guarantees, because service, quality and “made in America” were worth paying for. The clothes we wore were about our own taste, instead of a monogram or logo. Besides, if you knew clothes, you didn’t need a giant CD to tell you who the designer was. They also didn’t ask me to donate to XYZ charity every time I checked out.
Yep, those were the days, but now these are the days. I think the American pendulum has reached the peak of globalization, political correctness and green thinking – at least I hope so. We’re at that moment of hesitation when the pendulum sits at the top of its arc and we wonder if it’s stuck. There are forces trying to hold the pendulum in place, but I’m hoping the force of gravity will win. If we ever get back to the days where our shoes matches our purses or gloves and hats are de rigueur on Sunday mornings, then you’ll know I’ve reached nirvana.
I hope you do have a happy 4th. I hope my stroll down memory lane has reminded you of the things you used to love best about America. May God bless you each and every one – and may God bless the USA.