A REMEMBRANCE(1995): JANET BURKS GERARD It was the best of time, it was the worst of times.... with apologies to Charles Dickens and our beautiful Ruth West, who instilled her love of literature in most of us....... I'm talking the Fifties! Everyone who didn't experience them thinks it was so cool back then. Even Beavis and Butthead, the great social commentators of the nineties, have the misconception that there were no problems then. I remember those years very differently...no rock and roll concerts, so little television programming...and all those petticoats to starch every Saturday. We had to have pep assemblies in the gym. .we had to go through our dad's white shirts to find one he wasn't going to wear..and the very worst...when you finally did get a plaid shirtwaist dress to match your boyfriend's shirt, they were never clean at the same time. Oh sure, nights at the Hive were great, and the hamburgers at "the stinger" were the best...the proms in the gym were really cool, but we didn't even get to rent a limo, and instead of the $500 designer beaded gowns of 93, we had to fight all those ruffles and hoop skirts. The words to our favorite songs were almost silly.. "A Rose and a Baby Ruth", "Earth Angel", "True Love", "Tutti Fruitti" and "Love is a Many Splendored Thing". We missed out on the heavy stuff by Megadeath, Red Hot Chili Peppers and all those rappers, so nice, with the first or last name of "Ice". Oh simple, silly us....we liked Nat King Cole, Elvis, The Platters, and Pat Boone! We liked all those Saturdays at the Rialto watching Debbie Reynolds as Tammy and Shirley Jones in Oklahoma...where were all the psychotic Single White Females and Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct blondes then? How in the world did we survive without a Jack in the Box, Arby's, Long John Silvers, or a Taco Bell when all we had was a Dairy Queen, the Dixie Dog, Carl's and the Eat Well? Our children, our grandchildren, unfortunately, have to worry about drugs, high cholesterol, guns at school and A.I.D.S while they refer to us as the "carefree generation". But we had our worries too...our best cinch belt had just started curling on the sides, our boyfriend ran out of Butch Wax, and the fuzzy came off our poodle when we washed our favorite skirt. A line from the song "The Way We Were" comes to mind..."Things were oh so simple then"....and I for one, thank God every day for the way we were. We had the glorious luxury of simplicity...and while some say we cannot and should not live in the past, I must admit, I love the past I lived in!! You have probably seen one of my favorite bumper stickers which says..."Of all the things I've lost,. I miss my mind the most". Even though my children claim my senility level has progressed from having "sometimers disease" to "most timers", my long term memory of the members of the class of 58' remains vivid and loving. I am so glad our memories are renewed so often at reunions. In the chaos of raging teenage hormones, we may have thought they were the worst of times. Looking back on those years, I believe they were nearly the best. These years, 35 years later, are the best of times!
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