I’m 73 years old, which means I was born in 1946. Someone coined those of us born in the year after the end of WWII as “baby boomers.”
What luck befell us boomers. After all, our parents had just survived growing up during the mostly dark years of the Great Depression—times when my dad’s mom was forced to make soup out of anything she could find growing in the yard.
With the war over, so many men and women found work, which meant standards of living went nuts in the USA, unlike any other time in the nation’s history to that date. Families could afford homes, three meals a day, vehicles and even vacations.
And besides the good fortune enjoyed by our parents, we boomers were recipients of so many luxuries along the way during the 50s, 60s, 70s and even throughout our adulthood. Because there were so many of us boomers marching along, there was also a boom in the building of schools and the production of “things” to accommodate our lust for more “things.”
Except for the Vietnam War and Civil Rights riots that we boomers endured during our teenage and college years, looking back, life was pretty much cushy for most of our group.
And now that we boomers prepare for our “golden years,” we can even look forward to maybe an easier ride down the final glide path of life than that of our ancestors.
How is that, you might ask?
Because we invented “assisted living.”
While talking on the phone to Eric Eskola, the noted Twin Cities journalist and TV personality (note the name dropping), he asked me what was one thing boomers came up with that I thought was unique. I mentioned assisted living and Eskola thought that was a good answer. I think that the innovation of assisted living was more an invention we boomers came up with to serve our own, selfish needs ... this in keeping with how many of us are labeled today, i.e. self-centered and spoiled. An apartment in an assisted living community certainly ought to beat going from our homes right to the “other home” which we knew as the nursing home or as they call it today, a “long term care facility.” No more going directly from our home to “the home.” You can thank us boomers for that.
There is another unique contribution we boomers came up with during our adult years that may not be on the radar of most: we, who were born in 1946, produced three presidents of the United States. Yes: Bill, George W. and the Donald each turn 73 in 2019. No other generation has been so solidly represented at the top of the US political chain than the boomers.
The jury is out as to whether or not we boomers ought to be proud of this unique contribution to our society. But regardless how these three men are judged, it remains a mystery to me how, of the thousands of babies born in 1946, those were the three that rose to the surface as our supreme leaders. Just an observation!
I’m 73, and must get back to my morning routine (we old people have our routines, ya know!) starting the day with a nice tubby bath, followed by a bowl of frosted flakes, a crossword puzzle to solve and a tuna-fish sandwich by noon and an evening meal out on the town (because of all the expendable income we’ve “earned”).
Gosh, we boomers have it nice!
Bob Statz is a Messenger staff writer.