Southern Indiana Living

MAY-JUN 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 51

May/June 2018 • 9 I worked at one place for 37 years. My daughter worked at 37 places last year. OK, I exaggerate. It's true, though, about my newspa- per career. I would still be mixing up ad- jectives and adverbs had early retirement been an offer I could refuse. My daughter thinks I am nuts to have stayed as long as I did, while I worry that she will keep hopping from job to job and getting nowhere. I am a boomer, counting the days until my next Social Security check. She is a millennial and seems to not have a care in the world. I seem to be defined mostly by my career. She refuses to settle on a career. I go over my checkbook each day. I doubt she can find hers. Nonetheless, people say she and I are a lot alike. People also say they like kale and soccer, so I don't know about people. I do know I am glad I was young when I was and not when she is. I have had more than my share of good luck, and that includes being born in 1953, not in 1987. I agree that my parents' generation is the greatest. I nominate mine, though, for being the most interesting. How I grew up is shaped by when I grew up. There were so many firsts and so much uproar. The civil rights struggle. Vietnam. A man on the moon. The Beatles. Bass Weejuns. Drive-in movies. Hippies. Cruising. It was a big deal when our area's first big-box store opened. "Been to Kmart yet?" My friends and I asked and answered that a million times. I could not wait until the next time the Rock-O- Plane and Tilt-A-Whirl showed up again at some parking lot. I bugged my parents until we bought a weird-looking TV con- verter so we could watch Channel 32. Not that I recall a bunch of can't-miss shows on Channel 32. Maybe "Shindig" or "Gidget." I collected plastic Rat Fink toys from gumball machines. Why? Because every- one else did. I loved it when Mountain Dew showed up to challenge Coke and Orange Crush. I let others, though, wear those goofy hillbilly hats that were part of the Dew deal. If the shoe store was out of Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, PF Flyers or Red Ball Jets were more than good enough. I ran errands to the neighborhood mom- and-pop grocery where families could run up tabs. Mom let me add a pack or two of baseball cards for my troubles. I listened to WAKY and WKLO on a fist-sized AM transistor radio and took the stations' weekly Top 40 surveys more seri- ously than long division. I knew the backyard or vacant lot to find friends to play with after school. Lit- tle to nothing was scheduled; it just hap- pened. As long as I got home for dinner, everything was cool. And my family did have dinner. It felt especially right on beef stew night. If you are now on your own memory lane, you are welcome. One of my mis- sions in retirement is to keep encouraging you to tell your stories. They are worth telling and preserving. Like your money, do not take your life to your death. This column touches on my life and my time. If short on patience and toler- ance of technology, I cling to values that still serve me well. I hear and read about all that millennials tend not to like — banks, stores, water without stuff in it, car lots, church weddings or weddings much at all. The phones they use today are only good until the ones they can afford tomor- row. My upbringing was shaped by what all there was to like. Three or four TV sta- tions sufficed, like three or four flavors of potato chips. My family rented phones from the phone company. We assumed that life free of party lines was all the prog- ress we ever would need. College was not to last forever and I did not imagine that it should have. Get an education and go be a grown-up. That was the arrangement. I remember loyalty mattering. Most employers took care of employees and vice versa. My family also had its favorite supermarket, auto mechanic, TV repair- man, doctor, milkman, church, fuel-oil man, plumber, insurance agent, lawyer and vacation spot. I questioned authority more than Mom and Dad, of course, and still do. We boomers did not invent rebellion, but we are defined by it. The truth is, though, I still embrace the settled life more than I challenge it. Straddling change and tradition, I feel honored to have worked for and with many African Americans, women and gay people. My parents had few learning ex- periences like that. They had to go out of their way to be enlightened, but they did. I had great parents. Talk about luck. I was also lucky that the military draft ended mere months before I would possibly have joined a senseless war. And my soul mate found me my first semester in college. We will soon be married for 43 years. Then a top-notch newspaper found me right out of college. I stayed there from a time newspapers still mattered until they increasingly did not. Kmart also came and went. So did "Shindig" and Rat Finks and the milk- man. My daughter might ask, "So what?" Look forward to whatever today brings, she urges. That's her story, at least for the moment. When she is happy, I am happy. She is happy. And if we really are alike, that's one more way I am lucky. • After 25 years, Dale Moss retired as Indiana columnist for The Courier-Journal. He now writes weekly for the News and Tribune. Dale and his wife Jean live in Jeffersonville in a house that has been in his family since the Civil War. Dale's e-mail is A Note to Baby Boomers A Boomer's Many Blessings I ran errands to the neighborhood mom-and-pop grocery where families could run up tabs. Mom let me add a pack or two of baseball cards for my troubles.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Southern Indiana Living - MAY-JUN 2018