Daily Archives: June 9, 2010

Exactly “when” were the good old days?

“I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Down to bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I’d sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
He’d tousle my hair and say son take a good look around
This is your hometown, this is your hometown
This is your hometown, this is your hometown”

Bruce Springsteen, 1984

(The thread photo is of the now abandoned Grande Ballroom in Detroit where I saw numerous acts including the Who, Cream, Fleetwood Mac and the MC5.)

In troubled times, such as today, many people look at the past and recall fondly the “good old days.” But, in all honesty, were the “good old days” really that good?

For many, the “good old days” were their childhoods – a simpler time when Mommy and Daddy took care of the big issues and a child was mostly concerned with school and play.

To be honest, my childhood was by far the most miserable time of my life.  At six I was torn away from the grandparents that loved me and shortly thereafter dumped at an orphanage, to eventually be adopted by “good Christian” parents that had no business having children.

I’m not asking for pity for the previous comment, just expressing a fact.

I grew up in the Fifties and Sixties with all the social upheaval that entailed, and came of age in the Seventies. I served my sentence in the corporate world and tried to be what it was thought that I should be; the middle-class manager with a house in the suburbs and the de rigueur three children and an SUV.

For me, the “good old days” begin tomorrow. As I rapidly approach sixty, I have my children and grandchildren, all relatively healthy and happy. I have my three cats and two dogs. I have my many friends and my many personal interests and hobbies.

I still have my many bad habits, but if I didn’t, I would be perfect and that is a terrible burden to bear.

When I hear those that long for the “good old days,” I have to think; just “when” were the “good old days?” The days of discrimination (which still continues) and fear-mongering (which still continues) and a lack of equality for women (which still continues)?

What was so “good” about the “good old days?”

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under family, Life Lessons

Wednesday, 6/9/10, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square