COLUMN: Baby boomers and what they remember

Gord Turner recalls the good old days

“Baby boomers” is a term often bandied about to describe certain people in our society. In Castlegar, we have a lot of them because these people were born in the period after the Second World War. The dates of record would be anywhere between 1946 and 1964, and most of the baby boomers have been heading into retirement since 2012.

So I was thinking about what baby boomers might remember that millennials and other latter-day groups might not know. Indeed, if you’ve felt entitled most of your life and you’ve been treated well by the government, the business community, and your family, you’re likely a baby boomer.

According to a writer named Bruce Benton, chances are you are a baby boomer if you shop for groceries only on Tuesdays to get the senior discounts. Also, if you remember when your parents brought home several bags of groceries for $25 to $35 in total, you fit that group profile.

You’re apparently a baby boomer if you are now driving 20 kilometers slower than you used to a few years ago. Along with that, rather than trying to outrace the speeders, you pull over and let them go by. Chances are if you’ve driven several blocks with your turn signal blinking, you’re known as a baby boomer.

As a baby boomer, you now are chilly even on warm days. You put on a sweater whether the day is a sweltering one or a freezing one. I know all about this latter activity as I have two sweaters waiting about the house for when the chill sets in. My kids look at me bundled up and shake their heads.

Baby boomers clearly lived in a time when a “big screen” was in the local movie theatre, not the huge pieces of electronic equipment covering one wall of the tv room in many modern homes. Baby boomers always went to a movie on Saturday nights and bought popcorn and a coke for 15 cents and 10 cents respectively.

As a baby boomer, I didn’t have TV at home while I was growing up. I grew up in the era when antennas began to sprout on homes throughout our neighbourhood. Those who had TV had one or two channels, and there was no flipping from channel to channel. If I as a baby boomer wanted to watch Bonanza, I would have to visit my friend’s home down the street. There we watched a fuzzy black and white screen.

Lots of baby boomers have not caught up with current electronic communication devices, and many do not use social media. Baby boomers remember fondly a time when people communicated with others by talking in person or by phone. A few still send letters to others via the post office rather than try to figure out email.

Baby boomers remember sporting championships differently. In the past, the National Hockey League completed its Stanley Cup playoffs in April, about the time the ice and snow left our northern country. Of course, in those days those interested could follow the sport readily as there were only six professional teams, and Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs were the kingpins.

You’re probably a baby boomer if you hate today’s so-called music and you know the words to several Beatles’ tunes. If you watched The Ed Sullivan Show and couldn’t wait to catch the performance of the Fab Four in 1964, you’re without doubt part of that baby boomer generation. It doesn’t matter that you’re bald now and your sons tell you that you must have lived a hundred years ago, you were a baby boomer—and it was a happy time.


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