The Boomers are one groovy generation
I am a Boomer. Are you a Boomer, too? I would guess that if you read this column on any kind of regular basis, you are probably part of a group of folks called Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964. (But if you’re not a Boomer, please don’t let me stop you. Read on.)Boomers can relate to each other. We can remember decidedly depressing stuff, like the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Bobby, and Martin Luther King. (Granted, I was just a 3-year-old when JFK was killed, but I still remember it.)As Boomers, we just don’t get the fashion statement of today’s young guys wearing their pants hanging below their butts and their boxers showing on top.
Ditto that for young girls who wear what we used to call hip huggers, which only look good on the 1 percent of the female population that is physically gifted – thin and slightly curvy at the same time. For the rest, wearing pants that land below the waist at the broadest part of one’s body is not an attractive look. Boomers are constantly asking the younger set in our lives to program the household DVD, figure out our computers, and upload our iPods. We use technology, but we weren’t born with a silver laptop at our fingertips. If you’re younger than us, your ability to work with a computer is innate. With us, it’s learned. Painfully. As Boomers, we smile when we see kids running around with cell phones and water bottles. How did we Boomers ever make it through our childhoods without each of those items with us at all times? How did we ever keep communication channels open? How did we ever keep adequately hydrated?For us, the Iraq War is not the first war we’ve lived through. If we’re older, we remember Korea. If we’re on the younger side of the Boomers, we remember Vietnam. We remember what it felt like to live in a country that didn’t welcome its soldiers back from battle. We’re glad that that’s generally no longer the case.
We remember having to switch channels on the TV manually, which wasn’t too difficult because there were only four or five channels to turn to anyway. We remember “Batman,” “Laugh-in” and the theme song to “Mission Impossible.” The original “Mission Impossible” with Peter Graves. And in the car, we remember that seat-belt use wasn’t mandatory, and that the only music you heard came out of the radio – if you even got a station – was through a tinny, in-dash radio. Cross-country trips were pretty quiet until the ’70s rolled in, and with them, the advent of cassette decks. Hallelujah. We remember a world of rotary-dial phones, and a time when stereos were called Hi-Fis. For a while, 8-track tapes were as cutting edge as we think MP3 players are today.
And when we were young, we remember an even bigger generation gap than exists today. For us, anyone older than 30 was “square.” The division was wide. In 2007, even though it seems that the world is now catering to everybody younger than us Boomers, we’re still the dominant age group. Gen-X, the next group of people born after 1964, currently has almost 59 million members worldwide. But there are 80 million Boomers. We may be getting gray, but we still rule. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram. She advocates peace among the age groups. Carrie can be reached at 384-9170, email@example.com.
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