Was There a more peaceful time than the fifties? I mean really.
Forget about the fallout shelters. Remember the fire drills at school? Dive under your desk. That will save you long enough to have a slow lingering death from radiation poisoning. Maybe. Forget about Joe McCarthy accusing your Uncle Percy of being a Communist because he read Redbook Magazine. Forget that the word "gay" had a totally different meaning. forget that getting to first, second, or third base was totally baseball terminology. It had nothing to do with sex.
What was sex? In the fifties it was a distant rumor and a storage house of misinformation. I was only a kid. I was more interested in baseball and swimming after baseball during the summer. During the winter it was playing basketball in a driveway.
The basket was over the garage doors. Sometimes the driveway was paved, sometimes not. Since the driveways were usually for one car, the court was long and narrow. There was a premium on good passing. This is what we did for fun.
Television changed everything. The first people who had a television had to be wonderful people. We did not have a TV. So we went to the neighbors house, knocked on their door and ask if we could watch TV. Usually they would invite us in.
The only thing they knew about us was that we lived in the neighborhood. The only thing we knew about them is that they had a TV. We could tell. The house would be dark except for the silver glow of the TV.
Can You imagine doing something like that now? Your neighbor would probably gun you down has a home invader. Life was different back then.
The Television families were like us. They didn't have problems. They had minor misunderstandings.
There were four main TV families. There was Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Jim and Margaret Anderson, Ward and June Cleaver, Alex and Donna Stone. They were your typical American family of the fifties.
They all had jobs. Well, Almost all. Ozzie Nelson didn't have a job. I don't think he ever did. He must have been on disability or something. Perhaps a mental problem. It was called "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Adventure??? Ozzie was no Mcgiver. He had to hire someone to sharpen his pencils. What adventure?
He just walked around in his sweater. He would walk into the closet and stay there for a while. He never said, "I'm going to the Office." He usually said something like, "I think I will take a nap." I believe he lived off his son, Ricky, after he became famous.
We have Jim Anderson of "Father Knows Best."
He had a job. He worked in the insurance field.
Jim gave all of his children nicknames. There was "Kitten, Princess, and Bud."
It appears to me that the Anderson had an easier life than the Nelsons. The Anderson show usually was about Bud forgot to buy a loaf of bread and Jim had to buy it or Kitten wore mismatched socks to school. The Nelsons had to find Ozzie a job or a Caregiver.
Ward and June Cleaver clearly had the biggest problem. In Leave It To Beaver, It is very obvious they are not talking about an Estate Bequeathment. Beaver is probably the most confused and incompetent kid to grow up in the 20th century. He often goes down to the firehouse to talk to his old friend "Gus" for advise. It is obvious that his firehouse buddy is in the final stages of dementia. Good advise indeed. Ward is always sputtering for the Beaver to do something properly. Obviously Ozzie and the Beaver could be roommates at the County Home. They are both totally lost. They would wander around with name tags on their wrist.
The Stones were boring but they were a handsome family. The father was competent. He was a doctor. The kids were semi-intelligent. The mother played by "Donna Reed" seemed fairly competent at keeping the house clean and the food was on the table at suppertime. Numerous discussions were held at the supper table. In my family it was "shut up and eat, Your mash potatoes just flew across the table."
I cringe at how these families would be portrayed in this day and age.
I suspect that Ozzie would still be wondering around like a lost soul. Rick would be a druggie musician. Harriet would have a boyfriend on the side. Ozzie still clueless.
It would be different.
The fifties were better.