Deer Run Trail, By David R LewisNodaway Trail, by David R LewisOn the Calico Trail, by David R LewisOn the Payback Trail, by David R LewisOn the Ogallala Trail, by David R LewisOn the Killdeer Trail, by David R LewisOn the Cutthroat Trail, by David R LewisGlory Trail, by David R LewisEndless Journey Toward an Unknown Destination, by David R LewisIncidents Among the Savages, by David R LewisFear of the Father:  Call Me Crockett, by David R Lewis

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How Far We’ve Come

I remember my 10th birthday – and not only because birthdays that end in zero are milestones, but because it was one of the few times I actually went anywhere with my mother.  On the evening before that auspicious day, she and her husband loaded me, Merv Fritz, and Wes Roy in their car and took us to a Dairy Queen in the city for banana splits.  After the Dairy Queen, we went bowling.  After bowling, we went to the Steak n’ Shake, for goodness sake!  A little perspective here – these were the “good old days”, over 50 years ago, before fast food, in the time when families still ate together, at home, while actually sitting at a table.  Then, after Steak n’ Shake, came the really big deal of the evening.  We went roller skating!  Such an event was huge!  Wow!  More perspective – back when Andy, Barney, and Aunt Bee were living in Mayberry, how many times did Opie get to go to Mount Pilot for his birthday?  Opie and I had a lot in common.  We’d never heard of soccer moms, play dates, or that hideous term “Stranger Danger”.  We spent summer evenings on the porch, or catchin’ lightnin’ bugs, or at the free movies in the park.  We hung out with friends until after dark, and something like a cell phone could only have been used by Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, or Captain Video and his Video Rangers.

5 comments to How Far We’ve Come

  • Marylou

    David, How Far We’ve Come may not be the correct title. How Low We’ve Sunk might be better. Excellent piece. You have a way of pointing things out without appearing to give a lecture. If I had a brand new pair of roller skates, I’d give you the key. Good work.

  • Bobby J.

    We all knew that Opie would turn out bad when Ritchie started hanging out with Da Fonz.

  • Nightingale

    I’m afraid I’m going to sound like somewhat of a conservative here, and in some matters I guess I really am. The “sophistication” or our children can easily be blamed on the time of our civilization, but civilization relies on a certain amout of civility that we no longer seem to possess. Parents often live their lives through their kids (everything from fights at little-league games to the JonBenet syndrome)and have very little time in their lives to live for their kids. Just driving children to soccer practice and ballet lessons does not qualify as participation. A cab driver can do that much for your kids. In an effort to keep children busy and out of the way, many parents will find endless opportunities for their kids to go and do something else under the guise of “keeping Junior and Sissy active and prepared for life,” when it is only avoiding responsibility as a parent. It is sad you must pass a test and have a license to drive a car, when anybody can crank out kids by the herd and assume so little responsibility. I’m starting to rave now, so I’ll shut up.

  • David

    Nightingale…Never confuse a rave with a rant. A rant from time to time is good for the soul. I think the shift in parenting began when the American workplace realized women would work for less money than men, and if they were willing to do that, men could be forced to accept less too. The result, of course, was the near extinction of what the “Right” calls the American family. Social norms are always in flux. Do I believe the loss of the “stay at home mom” is responsible for the breakdown of the ideal family? Are we suffering from a shortage of Betty Crockers and Donna Reeds? Will we never again have Harriet Nelson or June Cleaver? We never did have those women or those families. Some myths don’t last very long. The current condition is caused by many factors, including women in the workplace, that are nothing more or less than the result of society pushing the family envelope. Nothing stays the same. Evolution is inevitable. Back to the question…do I think mom entering the workplace screwed up the family thing? I think Andy and Aunt Bee stood less of a chance than T-Rex. The biggest problem with life is the shortage of good screenplays.

  • Lavern Gainey

    I couldn’t agree more.

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