Saturday, February 27, 2016

GOOD OL' DAYS MY ARSE!

I guess I wasn't the only one who was getting a little bit nostalgic about local carnivals of winters’ past like Kipling’s Snow Ball Days and the Moose Mush Winter Festival at Moose Mountain Provincial Park as more than a few people that I have run into this past couple of weeks had read a recent Humble Opinion column and mentioned to me that they, too, had recently been talking and thinking about the "good ol' days".
My late father-in-law, Arthur Lewis, had a little different view of what constitutes “the good old days". In fact, I will recite a famous family quote from A. G. Lewis when he said, with a twinkle in his eye, I might add, "Good old days my arse! Walking between two horses so I wouldn't freeze to death as they pulled a wagonload of firewood ten miles back home up the Dalzell Road from the Pipestone Valley in a zero visibility blizzard wasn't what I'd call "good". Point well taken.
I think we all know what he means, though. As much as a nostalgic, romanticized look back on a simpler time when neighbours helped neighbours and people hadn’t lost so much human contact rings true, the “good old days” weren’t without their hardships and stresses either.
I think every generation has its version of “the good old days”. Depending, of course, on your point of view. My parents and my wife’s parents lived through droughts and wars and infant mortality and lacked a lot of today’s conveniences and modern medicines but they often looked back on their earlier times as “better days”.
I’m a Baby Boomer and I have grown up with all of the modern conveniences and medicines and everything but we’ve had our share of wars and droughts and world upheaval and all of the stresses of living in today’s hectic world as well.
So if I had to draw back to a “good old days” time in my life I would have to go with the carefree days of my late teens and early twenties which just happen to coincide with the entire decade of the 1970’s. Back then, before a wife and kids, and my father’s authority was slowly eroding away, I had a run of a few carefree years there.
Playing senior hockey in town, practices going until midnight, or later, most of it off the ice, if you know what I mean? Poker games, deer sausage, dressing room shenanigans with many a happy pop thrown in. Ah, those were the days. We even played the odd hockey game, too. Between the parties, that is.
Back then, it seemed like you only had to work one day to afford four days of partying and now you need four days of work to afford one night of partying. That’s if you can still do it.
I did a little cost of living comparison on goods and services costs between 1975 and 2015. Taking the cost of a house, car, education, gas, food and entertainment in to account in 1975 dollars and calculate it to 2015’s cost and then compare it to 2015’s actual costs the comparison shows that expenses were up while median income was down. Go figure.
            A new car was $3,800.00, a new house $48,000.00, (USA survey), a movie was $2.00 a ticket and gas was .25 per litre. Average Median Income in 1975 was $12,686.00 which equals $56,000.00 in 2015 dollars but the actual 2015 Median Income is $5,000.00 a year less at $51,000.00. Hmmm.
            Every era will have its good times and its bad, I suppose, and every generation will pass the torch to the next and that generation will carry on the tradition of looking back and finding a time in their lives that were “the good old days”.
This “Woe Is Me Time” was brought to you by Nostagia Inc. a subsidiary of The Both Ways Uphill Conglomerate.
“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”-Doug Larson (1926-).


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