Tag Archives: baby boomers

A Question I Can’t Answer

iStock_000006512726LargeDining with my brother in a Taos, New Mexico, restaurant the other night, I reflected on various childhood experiences I shared with him. Close to the end of dinner, a man sitting next to us turned around. Through a great big grin, the seventy-year-old apologized for interrupting, but mentioned he couldn’t help overhear our conclusions made about the baby boom generation. He, too, had much to say about this generation.

His observations of boomers, their children, and the current generation of young people made me think. I’m wondering if other readers agree with what he said.

“You see, I’m able to see now how we’ve let our kids down. Kids of baby boomers? They have no idea what we sacrificed in order to give them the luxuries they have today. Period. And as their parents, it’s our fault for having done this. For some reason, we discontinued the traditions passed down to us and, as a result, our kids not only have no idea what we did for them, but what our forefather’s did. Baby boomer’s kids have no sense of past generation’s sacrifice, and that’s sad.”

This well-spoken gentleman, a native Montreal citizen, spoke highly of America.

“I’m proud to border the US. Too many people today have totally forgotten what America has done for the world. My wife and I visited Normandy once. Let me tell you, you should go. The graveyards there, with so many American soldiers who died (along with French, British and others). It’s incredible.”

Through the enthusiastic, wide smile that nearly reached the wild, curly hair about his ears, there was a sense of  loss expressed in his voice. Then he turned it around.

“But what I see today with the newest generation of young people is re-engagement. I see much less taking for granted what they have, and it’s great to see that.”

So how is it, as the man suggested, baby boom parents – with all the advantages and standard of living improvements made during their time on Earth – raised kids without sufficient connection to tradition and knowledge of the sacrifice their forefathers made to build the prosperous America of today?

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Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

Baby Boomers, Exclusion and Ex Lax

Quote of the day: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.–– Thoreau

Welcome to my blog. This is my inaugural post, and thanks for being a part of it. I want my blog to be a place where you and I share our thoughts and creative endeavors together.

Diner2 1200 BLOG res 48 bit color thumb003I took the photo of this billboard on a chilly winter night in Bethesda, Maryland, sometime back in the eighties. Whenever I look at that large piece of nostalgia now, with the smiley, happy family sitting in the front seat, I say how phony. Life wasn’t really like that back then, was it? It wasn’t for me. In fact, “There’s no way like the American Way” came across more like, “It’s our way or the highway, young man.”

The billboard scene was not too far off from my own family experience. (After all, if you look closely, you’ll see it’s not me sitting cozily between Mom and Dad in the front seat, but my sister, forever the middle child, with her own set of problems. I was probably stuck in the back scrunched between my two older brothers – twins – with their own matching set of problems.) From the very beginning of life, I felt excluded and different from everyone. It was like I wasn’t even in the car at all, left behind at High’s Dairy Store after we’d gotten our weekly allotment of milk, Wonder Bread and Ex Lax.

With all this angst, I had to write a memoir. It’s called Maybe Boomer, my story of what it’s like to not fit in, and not just with my family, but the entire baby boom generation at large for many reasons.

When I took the photo of the diner on that cold night thirty years ago, I was just beginning to let creativity click into my life. More and more “clicks” went off: from the camera shutter, my chalk pastels hitting the drawing paper, my guitar pick tapping upon strings, and most recently, the computer keys clicking away day and night. They’ve all been essential stepping stones to lead me down a path that is mine, truly mine. Art was my salvation. Read more about my thoughts on creativity in Excerpts, “Chapter 7,” from Maybe Boomer. You can also see some of my creations (works on paper, music, photography and film) in My Art.

I invite you to check my blog regularly where we can explore our stories together. What kept you from feeling a part of your generation?  Are you a baby boomer who didn’t fit in with what was going on around you? How did you come to peace with that, if at all?

And, if nothing else, does anyone else remember seeing those billboards?


Filed under Stories from Maybe Boomer