Yesterday a fellow blogger wrote and said that her school was in lockdown. Lockdown? Sounds more like a term that belongs in our prison system rather than our schools, doesn't it? Sadly, that is the sign of the times. Here in New York City some of our students find themselves guarded by armed police officers after they pass through the metal detectors to get in. Why can't youth just be youth without all these worries? But, when you really think about it, we had our worries in my day, too.
I grew up in the days of the arm's race. The early 50's saw the Korean War and the 60's saw the escalation of Viet Nam...and during the midst of it all, was the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. We lived with this constant gnawing fear that any day our world would come to an end; we wondered if we were going to grow up. We didn't have metal detectors in our school, but we did have those whistles that alerted us that it was time for an "air raid' drill. In some schools kids got under their desk when the whistle blew, but in my school, we lined up in single file and moved out into the hallway. There, with our backs against the walls we sat, knees up, heads down....one arm under our head covering our eyes, the other straggled atop our head. As I think about it now, I have to wonder...did they really think that was going to save us? But, the Cold War ended, and it didn't have to. But, not all of my youth was doom and gloom. I have some seriously happy memories.
Just as today's teen will also have their fond memories, I have mine...hanging out with my friends at the malt shop, gathering around the little 'black and white' television and watching shows such as "I Love Lucy" and "Ed Sullivan" with the family, swooning over idols such as Troy Donohue and Fabian, Frankie Avalon, the junior and senior prom. And I'd say, as a whole, we boomers turned out pretty darned good.
After all with songs such as "Does Your Bubblegum Lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Every Night?" how could things have turned out differently.