Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dancing.

Well - it appears my buddy Ramana got me this time. Dancing. Not in my wheelhouse - that is for sure. I went to one dance in junior high and I think 4 or 5 in high school. And that includes a Junior Prom and a Senior Ball. I went to a Christmas dance and a Sadie Hawkins dance - that's one where the girl invites a guy and is responsible for their dressing the same (jeans and shirts). I was at other dances but I went with my buddy Brian and lugged equipment. I was a roadie of sorts.  And I loved hearing the New Chessmen play live. I have always loved live music.
  As I have said before, I was painfully shy and the thought of having people watch my large self dance  pretty much kept me away from dances and the dance  floor. We even had a segment of PE class that "taught" dancing. I tried the cha cha - maybe once. I was not a particularly good waltzer either but I liked that slow stuff the best. I mean there was no fake yawn and stick the arm around the girls shoulder like in a movie theater - slow dances they could just snuggle close if they liked you.  My first real girlfriend was a very cute, 5'2" blonde and I am 6'2' so that was nice. So was she -very nice and a very close friend these days. She knows where many of those teen age skeletons are buried. She may have helped bury a few - LOL. She was my date to that Christmas dance.
 You can travel all around the world with dancing. There was the dance of love in Brazil
 How about the Locomotion here in the USA? When this came out I was visiting friends at Lake Tahoe and flipping burgers at their place- the Minuteman Cafe
 Now I must confess to a bit of a fib. I did say early on  that dancing is not in my wheelhouse. I did spend two years in a Polynesian dance group where I performed Tahitian (yes in a grass skirt), Filipino, Samoan (knife and fire knife), Maori (hakas were actually a lot of fun - here is a sample of the New Zealand national rugby team performing one before a game - Kamate) and Tongan dances. Gotta admit - that was a lot of fun - and No Ramana - NO PHOTOS EXIST  LOL. I was actually a decent Samoan knife dancer - the required hand-eye coordination IS in my wheelhouse. At least it was back then. How and why did I do that you might ask? My friend, the future Ranger Rick and his family moved to Hayward from Hawaii and got involved in dancing through the Walnut Creek Recreation Department. Rick got all of our friends to join and off we went. There was a big annual show in Walnut Creek and we took jobs  whenever offered - did several frat shows and danced in dance competitions. 

Tap dancing, ballet and the like is an entirely different matter. Those folks offer some of the most graceful, athletic performances you will ever see. They are truly amazing. The athleticism is astonishing and it is easy to see why for decades athletes have taken ballet courses to improve grace, balance and even more. that was going on over 50 years ago when I played HS football - maybe if my school had done that we'd have won a few more games. Ahem, 

I am not a great fan of ballet but I can fully appreciate the athleticism and efforts of the dancers. Tap dancing, though, is truly awesome when you are watching someone like Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr or any of the other classic performers. I could barely walk in the dang tap shoes let alone dance,
And then there is Michael Flatley
Different styles but both amazing,

Dancing is many things to different people. It is an activity that can be enjoyed by entire families and multiple generations. Nothing warms the heart quite as much as senior citizens tripping the light fandango with ear-to-ear grins and thoroughly enjoying themselves. If you doubt that check out the goings on at any high schools 50th reunion and watch time melt away as old friends reunite and celebrate their lives.

That's it for my take on dancing. Be sure to visit Ramana's Musings to check his take on this 2-on-1 topic. See ya next week - same bat time, same bat channel.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

WHich mythical lost treasure do you think is real? Why?

It's time for a little fun. Throughout time there have been legends about lost treasures, cities and the like. Are any of those tales real? Do any of these lost treasures really exist? It seems nearly every bandit, bank robber, pirate or bad guy/gal worth his or her salt has stashed something of value that is waiting to be found - just as that Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot is just waiting to be won. And of course there are those shipwrecks just waiting to be found.

As a child of the fifties I was naturally a cowboy fan and so I naturally was drawn to those tales of yore. But, I was an even bigger fan of pirate movies - one of my first great movie memories is of Burt Lancaster as the Crimson Pirate   carrying his sabre and wearing red and white striped pants flying
around like an acrobat in the ships lines. Of course there was Blackbeard,  who allegedly left treasure stashed along the eastern seaboard and what kid back then did not know of Long John Silver. Then there was Captain Kidd.

For years there were tals of treasure buried by Captain Kidd on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. And there were other rumors about Oak Island too - maybe the British buried treasures from their looting of Havana.

Other rumored booty on Oak Island includes Marie  Antoinette's jewels and even the Ark of the Covenant the Holy Grail and some original works of William Shakespeare.

I first heard of Oak Island in my high school library when I read about the deaths of several treasure hunters in August of 1965. I then read what I could find about the island and its treasure lore. I was somewhat dubious but still interested so I kept up with the goings on. I periodically heard about the Templars possibly visiting there and the Templars have always fascinated me

 These guys were the Christian warriors that launched Crusades against the infidels in the Holy Land and accompanied Christians on treks to the Holy Land.  They are also an alleged reason for modern day Islamic terrorism. Like the Chinese, radical Islam plays a long game and holds grudges apparently eternally. They are also perhaps the source of Friday the 13th being an unlucky day as the King of France ordered their arrest on Friday the 13th. In the 1960s the Templars were suggested to have taken possession of certain religious relics such as the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant when  they occupied the Temple on the Mount. They had the ways and means to transport any such relics almost anywhere, including Oak Island.

Jump ahead to 2011 and The History Channel comes out with a series called The Curse of Oak Island. Huzzah - maybe the questions will be answered. We are now midway through the sixth season and we have more questions.
That, of course, includes Oak Island.Read what History Channel says about the Curse of Oak Island here.

A pair of brothers from Michigan, Marty and Rick Lagina have led a team seeking to solve the mystery of Oak Island. You can read a blurb about the  Laginas and their business interests here. I freely admit I am thoroughly hooked on the show and the Mystery of Oak Island, At first I was convinced there was pirate treasure buried there but the more I researched the more that did not seem likely as the things encountered by searchers pointed to something much deeper than Oak Island being a simple pirate treasure dump/hiding place.The engineering required to create the water booby trap alone seemed to me to be well beyond the capabilities of pirates.

So what have the searchers actually found on Oak Island? Read about that here.

What does the future hold for the search? Time for my fanboy conjecture - IMHO there is sufficient evidence to indicate the Templars spent considerable time and effort transporting and hiding religious artifacts on Oak Island. There are some that believe Sir Francis Bacon's manuscripts are buried here. Though sufficient material shows many old books are or were sequestered on Oak Island much of that could also support the Templars and religious texts. Gold and jewels? I don't really care - I find the religious artifacts notion more compelling and interesting. If wrong and there turns out to be nothing? Then I have been watching the worlds longest popcorn movie and have loved every bit of it. But I firmly believe there is something hidden on Oak Island waiting to be found. Only time will tell.

Be sure to visit Ramana's Musings to see what Indian lost treasure Ramana  thinks is real.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Families then and now.

Families then and now - another check on our cultural progress it seems - albeit more open ended than a good old days type of post. With the inherent 2-on-1 east west vibe it will be interesting to compare notes when this one is finished.

The old family standard - dad works and makes enough to purchase car and a house is foreign to me. I cannot begin to describe that lifestyle as I never experienced it. My birth father left before I was born. At the age of 61 I saw a picture of him for the very first time. Subsequent contact with that part of my
family was met with stony silence and in fact his brother told me in a tersely worded email basically to pound sand.  Daddy Wes apparently was a loser - a dirty cop who spent his share of time in the state pen in Canyon City. I do know he got married later in life so I may have another half sibling or two out there somewhere.

My mom's parents were closer to a classic family - my grandfather was a self-employed contractor and my grandmother had a seamstress shop. Jump ahead to 1949 when I enter the scene - our family consisted of my mother, me, my Uncle Chuck, grandmother and grandfather. My Uncle Chuck was soon in the Marines. I was known as Charles or  Butch Higgins until my mom married Jack McConvey when I was 8. Unfortunately my grandfather died  in 1953 and everything changed again. Daddy Harry - as I called him  - was an avid hunter and fisherman- both which I would have been exposed to.He was also a Shriner - part of the Masons, Again - something I would have been exposed to and participated in had he lived. I actually remember going fishing with him once and we got skunked, We stopped at a place on the way home that had pools stocked with trout and so we returned home successful providers (for a small fee of course). That was our little secret.

No photo description available.No photo description available.My grandparents were entrepreneurial - both self employed; The house Daddy Harry built had a full basement which was rented out at various times to players on the Pueblo Dodgers, a Brooklyn farm team or football players from the local JC up the street. Jack McConvey was a basement tenant who worked his way up to the main floor by marrying my mom.


All of the neighborhood kids were in the typical family and I had a very pretty single mom but as far as I could tell we were accepted as part of the neighborhood.  My pal Kenny had one sister and one brother, both older than us and my pal Tommy had 4 brothers and 2 sisters. His dad, Sparky, was a railroad engineer and kenny's dad Jim was a businessman - think Ward Cleaver. Main employment centered around the railroad and the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) steel mill. The population of Pueblo then was 80-81,000. My mom worked at a place called Railway Savings and Loan. I went to YMCA camp the last 2 summers after selling candy door to door to cover the costs. Most of the neighborhood kids went to Camp Crockett. The boys were in scouts, we played Bantam League football and Old Timers baseball. There was no Little League in Pueblo. 

Everything I saw and experienced seemed very typical of the times - very Beaver Cleaverish. The boys slept out in each others back yards (Virgil Barnhart had the best yard) and Tommy's older brother Adrian and his friends would harass us and we'd all sneak off and raid the gardens of the neighbors. I had cousins in town and nearby in Trinidad. It was from what I could tell a very normal childhood centered around families.

My sister was born in Pueblo and a few  months later we moved to California to a town with the a population of 72,000 but it seemed much larger. Pueblo was a city whose nearest neighbor was 20-30 miles away. Hayward - the new place - in the middle of the East Bay - the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay Area.

My dad worked for his dad in the newspaper subscription business at a place called Periodical Publishers. My mom quickly found a job at a local Savings and Loan called Pioneer Savings. I noticed right away that nearly all of my friends' mothers worked. The pace of life in the Bay Area was much quicker than Pueblo. We moved into a new housing tract called Palma Ceia.I remember the first few months groups of neighbors would get together, get acquainted and we started putting fences up in the back yards. When everyone agreed on what to build off we'd go for the weekends supplies and shortly thereafter all the fences were done. Then came the patios. Those got built in 3s and then lawns were planted but oddly enough nary a white picket fence was built anywhere. Dinners were generally marked by family conversation around the dinner table or we ate off of TV trays in the Living room and watched TV while we ate.

In 1972 Lynn and I got married and after a pair of cross-country forays we found ourselves back in the Bay Area. My folks had gotten a divorce and mom was getting remarried so we bought her condo from her. We were both working, had excellent childcare and things were moving along smoothly until we decided to sell the condo and buy a house. Shortly after moving into the house the economy started to slip in the Bay Area and Lynn - unbeknownst to us - was beginning to feel the effects of the as yet undetected Huntington's Disease that would eventually take her life. She began having difficulty at her job as things that once came easy to her were fast becoming a struggle; Long story short, we both lost our jobs and were having difficulty making ends meet. We had always been able to make it but we started hitting a wall and had begun the slide out of that vaunted economic powerhouse known as the American middle class.

We sold the house at a huge loss and ended up in Texas, essentially starting all over.  Because of my job at RadioShack we were a techie family. If it was new and cool we had one. We were so busy that dinners were rarely around the table - we ate out a lot or ordered takeout. Dinner communication was almost non existant. We did, however, participate in the kids activities. Lynn handled Jamie and dance classes while I coached both kids in soccer and baseball/softball. I was a VP in the local youth soccer league.

Jamie graduated from the same high school as I. She even ran into some of the same teachers I had. Once she came home from school with a puzzled look on her face. She said there had been a substitute bteacher in one of her classes and tha the called roll like a PE coach. When he got to her name he said McConvey - looked up from the page and queried Chuck or Mike? She responded Chuck was her dad, Mike her uncle. He laughed and told her to see him after class. He was my wrestling coach and his son and my brother were best friends. Unfortunately Sean did not complete high school - not uncommon for Texas.
 
Lynn eventually succumbed to Huntington's disease and Sean and Jamie set out to make lives for themselves. They have kids - Jamie 3 and Sean 2. Sean is with his significant other for the long haul, Jamie is flighty and restless, more so now that she has been confirmed to have Huntingtons Disease. Sean refuses to be tested - he is just working hard to make a good life for his family, jamie is sulking and pouting about her fate. She has strained relationships with her kids, her brother and me. Both of their families are completely hooked on techh and whenever possible are texting merrily away. They both have completely different outlooks on the world than Iand are completely apolitical. I - on the other hand -m am a poitical junkie.

Thjat's a wrap on my take on families then and now. Like I said I have little experience with NORMAL -I have always simply called my family dysfunction junction.

Be sure to check Ramana's Musings to get Ramana's take on the subject.  I'll see ya next weeek, same bat time, same bat channel.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Who or what is the "Big Bad" in the current world order??

The last 10 years have seen many changes in the world order. Along with a severely fractured split in the political debate, rapidly accelerating in the last two years, how are things aligning today? Has there been a change in the leadership roles by nation stated and their leaders? Are we still living in a primarily east vs. west world or has that dynamic changed? Is the world safe? Are we safer now  than we were ten or so years ago?

Much has changed in politics and the view held by the citizens of the USA - of that we can be certain. There is a daily hue and cry in social media from the far right crucifying former President Obama and the Clintons. For simplicity sake I am focusing on the commentary offered by a single individual. Maybe he is having difficulty accepting that his guy won in 2016 and despite having control of both houses of congress and the executive branch Trump's sole accomplishment has been a tax break that has effectively fubared the economy so badly our grandchildren will still be paying the debt long after the poster and I are dead and gone. One long, eloquent post after another in the same vein. never a mention of the Russia connection between Donald Trump and Vlad Putin. More than once he has posted words similar to these (these are taken directly from a recent post speaking about Obama "The Piece of Shit is a traitor to our only ally in the Mid East. Barrack Hussein Obama should be tried for treason and executed." No comment on how Donald Trump is rolling back sanctions previously placed on  an oligarch who is a strong Putin ally. Never a comment about a White House meeting between Trump and Russians wherein only Russian media was allowed. Never a comment about how Trump constantly lies about the NATO alliance. Trump  lies about Robert Mueller. Trump lies about our intelligence gathering agencies. Trump lies about his accomplishments as president. Simply put, Trump lies. About everything. Constantly. But Barack Hussein Obama should be tried for treason and executed. 

This poster constantly reminds readers that his side has their guns and stand ready to use them. He claims the other side wants to confiscate them. And have the UN establish a new  world order wherein those who do not toe the "company line" will have no place in the new society. One language, one religion, one currency and so on. Liberals are libtards in his world and Democrat is just about the worst thing one can be called unless you add corrupt as an adjective. Or piece of shit.

I trust by now you have gathered I do not agree with this fellow. What you probably have not figured out is he has been a friend of  mine for years. Still is. But the hatred he regularly spews - (he disagrees and calls it patriotism) - is his right and even his duty. He has a regular cadre of supporters that collectively pat him on the back for being their honest spokesperson after each tirade. Many of them are also my friends, though most just Facebook friends.

So what does all of this have to do with the "Big Bad" on the world stage? Simply this - a very real and distinct lack of civility in political discourse in this country has allowed (caused) us to elect as our so-called leader a man who is systematically trying to tear down the institutions of our government, is damaging  alliances that have served us well for decades and has fixated on illegal immigration as the single largest problem we face and is causing so much harm to our country that the harm may not be reversible. THE HARM MAY NOT BE REVERSIBLE.

This hate speak has accelerated to the point that the left wing fringe has now taken up the mantle and are firing back just as haphazardly as those on the right. Pelosi and Schumer sound as bad as Miller and Bolton.It sounds like an American version of what went on between Britain and Northern Ireland and we all know how that turned out. We simply must find a way to disagree and find common ground. We  do not need a concrete wall along our entire southern border but there are places where a substantial physical barrier is necessary. Being pro choice does not make you a baby killer - it does, however, speak to having government make choices for half of the population about their own bodies. Sorry, but I do not feel any government has that right. We must figure a way to beat China at their long game. They play it extremely well at our peril. We must find a way to deal effectively with an increasingly weak (economically speaking) Russia that is becoming more and more aggressive internationally and has the second largest cache of nuclear weapons. We must deal with climate change that can and will disrupt food production worldwide whether climate change is naturally occurring or assisted by man. Without sufficient food supplies regional conflicts will expand and possibly lead to all out global conflict. Plus, the evangelical movement is being more aggressive than ever about allowing God back in our schools and government. We are not now nor have we ever been a Christian nation. We are a secular nation founded on Judeo-Christian fundamentals. There is a difference. Religious clubs are fine, religious,  curriculum does NOT belong in public schools. If that is what you want go to a Catholic school. Attend a religious-affiliated college like BYU, Notre Dame, St Marys - there are plenty of them available.

Those are just of a few issues we could address if civility existed in our political discourse. The hate speech cited earlier is a symptom of the problem, not  the problem in and of itself. The lack of civility that in turn lead to the election of Donald Trump is  the two-headed monster that is in my opinion the "Big Bad" we are faced with. Addressing the civility matter would - also in my opinion - inoculate us from a second Trump term - something I fear we might never fully recover from.

That's my quick take on things. Be sure to check Ramana's Musings

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Relocation

Ramana selected this weeks 2-on-1 topic - relocation. There is a television commercial running these days that  says Americans move more than people in any other country. It suggests we in the USA will live in 11 different homes in our lifetimes. I immediately started doing the math and found I have lived it 10 different homes to date in my lifetime. It is not likely I will move more than one more time. Well I'll be damned.

Related image

Depending on the circumstances, relocation can be adventurous and fun -  like my move from Colorado to California just  before my 10th birthday, or somewhat harrowing - like our move from California to Texas when Lynn and I had both lost our jobs and employment prospects in the SF Bay Area were almost non-existent. So off  we moved to Fort Worth for a promised $10.20 per hour job with the hope it would grow into a future for our family.


Texas proved to be a good move - I did not leave until 2015 when I ended up in North Carolina. Between that first moving adventure and the trek to North Carolina our relocation timeline looked like this:


1975 Lynn was offered a promotion if we would move to New England and set up a new office for her company. How could we turn down New England in the Bicentennial year? I loaded up the car  with our dog Sherman and cat Peabody  and headed off on my maiden cross country drive. Lynn worked in the Los Angeles office for a few  weeks and then flew back to Hartford to meet us.

The New England office Was soon  functioning smoothly and Lynn was offered a transfer back to Los Angeles. Being natural left-coasters, we jumped at the chance to get closer to home, even if it was Los Angeles. We packed our Chevy Monza, loaded Peabody and  Sherman into the backseat and off we went. We landed in Hermosa Beach, 2  blocks from the ocean. That made the move palatable but changes in the company were afoot so Lynn resigned shortly thereafter. She moved back to Northern California and stayed with my parents.  I was promptly let go and I took a job with Radio Shack after being assured I could transfer to Northern California. Three months later I moved in with Lynn and our daughter in the basement of my folks place in Castro Valley. 

By mid 1986 things were going well and I was offered a position in Honolulu, Hawaii. Many promises were made - including money for relocation expenses so off I went to get the facility set up and find a place to live. When senior management started dragging their heels on the relocation money. Lynn got mad and said they might never get us back to California. Long story short, Lynn and the kids stayed in our condo in Hayward and I spent 6 months in Hawaii with my only transportation being the Suzuki 550 I purchased in Hawaii. You just never know what hardships one must endure when Image result for 86 suzuki 550relocating. Rest  assured I had way more fun than I was supposed to. But, Lynn and the kids met me  at the airport with huge grins on Christmas eve. 

The next big relocation was the move to Texas in May of 1994, brought o  by a  collapsing economy in silicon valley and a lack of suitable employment opportunities. I was not thrilled with the circumstances of the move but it was definitely one of those  "Ya gotta do what ya gotta do"scenarios. Texas turned out to be a great place and if I was younger I would move to Austin.

Every major relocation takes on a life of its own. They all include hitting restart - getting established and comfortable in a new place. Ours were all positive although some took more work than others - except Hawaii. I used to pull up to a stoplight and look around and think to myself I cannot believe I am here. I also believe if Lynn and the kids had come nobody would have cared if RadioShack did not get us back to California. 

That's my relocation story. Be sure to check Ramana's Musings to see what he has to say.




Thursday, January 17, 2019

What would you do given 38 minutes to live before Nuclear disaster were to strike?

This topic was my choice. It came from seeing a picture of the old duck-and-cover days when I was in grade school, junior high and high school and a friends post on Facebook that asked the same question. Why did my friend  post the question? Simple actually - it really happened to Hawaii when on January 13, 2018 the following emergency message was broadcast at 8:07 A.M. to all Hawaii cell phones - BALLISTIC MISSLE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

As you can imagine, the fear and anxiety was nearly unimaginable. Check these links

Fear. Panic. And tears. For 38 minutes, Hawaii thought it was under attack

Being a mother in Hawaii during 38 minutes of nuclear fear

For 38 Minutes, Hawai Panicked. This could be the end

Obviously there was an error and Hawaii remains lush and lovely in the middle of the Pacific. But, ngiven the political climate both here in the USA and elsewhere in the world, what do you suppose the chances are another mistake is made and what if it isn't caught in time? Or, in a worst case scenario, a nuclear attack is actually launched? Wth the actors and nations involved, I frankly am no longer not worried about nuclear conflict. I think there are enough fools in charge in all of the nations with nuclear arms that actually believe nuclear war is both survivable and winnable. As the old somg goes, it's a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.

And to answer the question posed by the topic, like most I'd undoubtedly spend most of my time contacting those I care most about. Where I live is not likely in and of itself a primary military target there are several close enough that I won't have to worry for long about anything.

I often wonder if tjhe younger generations these days are as aware of the situation we live in - as I think we were in our youth or have they seen sufficient movies and game scenarios that have dulled them to reality? Has any movie had the effect of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach that was turned into a fairly sobering film in 1959? I know that one stuck with me for years.



As our society seems to move closer and closer to the vision of Ayn Rand are the chances for nuclear conflict heightened? "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”  

That certainly sounds like the credo of any high-powered CEO to me. Kind of reminds me of that old credo - the one who dies with the most wins" - the call of the unchecked, unregulated capitalist. Merge that with the decidedly un-Christian hateful evangelical right and the recipe for disaster is at hand. Lets just hope common sense has not taken a permanent vacation.

Be sure to check out Ramana's Musings to see his take on this week's topic. I suspect it will be quite different. 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Good Old Days.

This week''s topic - The Good Old Days - was chosen by Ramana. Be sure to visit Ramana's Musings to see his take on the topic.



Who among us hasn't at some point in time shrugged their shoulders and said back in the day we we would never get away with saying that, doing that or something similar in response to some action by a less than respectful (in our mind) young person? How many pictures of push mowers have been posted in response to a complaint about mowing the grass with a power mower? How many times have you heard or read that you ate what was put in front of you or you ate nothing ar all? For me that usually referred to Tuna Casserole on Tuesday nights when Sea Hunt was on. To this day I cannot look at a can oan of tuna without this flashing through my brain - 


Think about it. Were things really better back in the day? I find it hard to believe a member of the LGBTQ community looks back on the fifties with warm, fuzzy feelings about living a lie and having to deny who they really were. And African Ameericans look back on Amos 'n Andy or Rochester warmly? The Jim Crow south? Or were  the sixties and the Black Panthers more nostalgic for them? Confession time - I thought Amos 'n Andy was hilarious and so were The Honeymooners. Both shows were laden with stereotypes and of course we all know that is political correctness - a serious no-no these days.

The good old days is largely generational - each generation has its very own good old days. Younger generations these days enjoy blaming the baby boomers for today's problems.We rebellious boomers started the participation awards nonsense and our children picked up that ball and ran with it Most of the current politicians - whose failings and actions are directly responsible for the election of Donald Trump as POTUS45. Apparently we never learned to be careful what we ask for as we got it - a non-politician in the white house. In this instance the good old days might be considered to be any time before Trump was  elected. 

A fair number of Catholics consider the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965 as the delineation point for the good old days in their faith, meaning anything before that is valid after it not so. Think Mel Gibson and his traditionalist Catholic beliefs as an example. In fact Christianity has several changes which could be considered defining points for the good old days. Think any Protestant sect. Think Church of Jesus Christ for Latter Day Saints.

Every generation claims to have the best music. I laugh when I hear a kid these days disparage the Beatles. It is highly unlikely that without the Beatles, popular music would have evolved to what is popular today. The Beatles turned popular music on its ear as they broke new ground with things like Sgt Pepper and inspired people like Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen and others. The Beatles went from being a standard guitar band to a highly complex mixture of orchestral sounds and experimentation that is all the more amazing when you consider the band members could neither read  nor write music (not to be confused with and was inspired by them and others and so today we have rap and hip hop. Not surprisingly we encounter a good old days speedbump here - I just heard these 50-year old tune on the radio and enjoyed them  as much as ever. If you have a sudden nostalgic urge to hear  these just click the link.

I Will.

You Didn t Have to Be So Nice
 Will this next song be as popular in 50 years? My guess is no. But my mixed- race grandkids disagree.

Naughty by Nature

There is a certain nostalgia for film noire that has been around fordecades. Some folks simply perefer black and white as a medium - listen to the hue and cry whenever a classic film is colorized. As many hate the newly colorized version as perefer. Many a Good Old Days moments here. 

It has become the custom in many  a competition these days to have no winner or      losers and lets give everyone aparticipatipn trophy too while we are st it. Sadly ths seems to have evolved from my very own Baby Boomer generation. So this Good Old Days moment is very valid - lets get back to the good old days of teaching kids how to play a sport fairly and to be good winners or - perish the thought - losers. Kids need to learn how to compete to get along in the world today.

So where are we with the topic? Are the old days really the Good Old Days? Are they really better? The answer is a great big old sometimes. But older is no guarantee of better. This line from another favorite song of mine gets it - "Yesterdays over my shoulder but I can't look back for too long. There's just too much to see wauring inn front of me and I know that I just can't go wrong"

Don;t recognize it? Here's a link to the song

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Atitudes

While some things never change, we are really bettere off culturally when things evolve and grow. We may not love the changes as they occur but progress comes from adapting to change and adopting changes. These days corporal punishment - or really a lack thereof - is another big Good Old Days rant. Both sides vehemently defend their choices. A few other somehat common Good Old Days flashpoints include Kids growing up playing outside vs the electronic devices; Violence in video games (and remember - my generation grew up playing some form of gun centered game, deending on what the latest popular movie was. And some of those guns shot plastic bullets - I had one of these



And of course I had a Rifleman rifle and Josh Randall's (Steve McQueen) Mare's Leg from Wanted Dead or Alive. And several friends had big backyards in which to play guns. We played them all - Paladin, Rifleman, Josh Randall, Wyatt Earp, Matt Dillon, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry - even Audie Murphy. I am not sure a video game is as much fun as gunnunn'down Virgil Barnhart or Kenny Lockard in a serious bout of guns in Virgil's back yard. And yes the Indians could be good guys - Broken Arrow had Michael Ansara as Cochise and Tonto was no stereotypical Indian to us - he was one of the good guys. And the Mexican kids had The Cisco Kid, Zorro and El Fego Baca.

So that is my quick shack take on The Good Old Days. I confess I am occasionally guilty with some of my nostalgic trips back in time - I do think in a few instances those times were better, But I believe looking forward and constantly learning is the way to go. And you do know what they say about the past - if we do not learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it. One last thing - none of my neighborhood buddys was ever Bat Masterson Nobody had the requisite cane and derby hat.