Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My mom brought me into the world on August 13, 1956. Back then, autos costed about $3000; gasoline about $0.30 per gallon, milk about $0.35 per half gallon and postage was about 3-4 cents per first class letter (of course, Dad as a white collar U.S. Government employee made less than $10,000 per year--and the annual federal budget was under $100 billion). Bomb shelters and emergency broadcast tests were very present and children sang Christian hymns as part of music classes in public schools. The Boston Celtic dynasty in the NBA was just taking shape and New York (Dodgers, Giants and Yankees) dominated Major League Baseball with just over half today's number of teams and which went no farther south or west than St. Louis. Formal segregation in the South wsa finally beginning to end and Elvis and Jerry Lee were just starting to make rock music with its African-American roots appealing to white audiences. Some of the products you could buy then: 20 Mule Team Borax, Burma Shave, Hills Brothers coffee, Rambler automobiles, Burger Chef hamburgers, Gulf gasoline. Computers filled up basements of buildings and required Hollerith punch-cards; four-lane highways were limited to major roads or the vicinity of large cities and color televisions were just starting to reach the market.