Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Good Old Days (They Were Terrible)

The good old days … Eisenhower was president and all was right with the world, mothers stayed home with their children, people smiled a lot … except we seemed to always be on the very edge of being blown up by Russia.

Ah, for the good old days, when Grandma and Grandpop lived on the farm and the meadows were green. Cows were milked, sheep were sheared, hens laid eggs and the swimming hole was right nearby. Except the hole was polluted, their bread had alum in it to whiten it up a bit, the cops in town were all corrupt and the farm itself was pretty dirty.

From Amazon’s reviewers: “Otto Bettmann's ‘The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!’ is a real kick to the head in terms of establishing reality with folks who think everything was so much better and more simple in the ‘good old days.’"

“The book features wonderfully drawn illustrations that bring life to the world of our grandparents and how we should be glad to have clean roads, safe food and laws to protect consumers from fraud and deceit.”

“Grim photos and illustrations from the famous Bettman archive accompany the text. The images of opium addicted women, polluted beaches, and homeless children are all contemporary, silencing anyone who might be inclined to accuse the author of exaggerating. City dwellers had their health and safety threatened by uncollected garbage, industrial pollution, and slum-bred criminals.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the good old days weren't always that good. I remember my grandfather had arthritis so bad he couldn't work. Retirement for my grandparents meant every day was a struggle. My other grandfather was a mean when he was drunk, which was most of the time. He died when my mother was seven, leaving 10 children behind. My mother cannot imagine how the family managed to stay together, but remembers that they had the last outhouse in Wilkes-Barre. Things may seem a little better today, but not in every regard. There was a stronger sense of family and of family love. It permiated everything and everyone. That's what I miss most of all about the good old days.

March 30, 2009 4:11 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

My grandmother (born in 1910) told me that in her day divorces were rare, because women simply poisoned their husbands. And husbands back then, according to my mother, tended to be real bastards - my granndfather being one of the many exceptions.

March 30, 2009 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try history ca. 1680-1725.

They hated to bathe back then, marriages were in June because that was when they were the cleanest. Powederd wigs? Powdered with cornstarch to get rid of lice, bugs and even reptiles I imagine. They passed a law forbidding people from tossing the contens of their ''catherinettes'' ( those pails used for toilets when there was no inside plumbing) out the windows onto the sidewalks or streets. Butchers would haul the carcasses of animals to the water front at low tide and dump- them..hence the great eel population and as a side note, eels were used in bartering at the time. People would keep trout in wells,,and as long as the trout wasn't floating upside down, the water was good.

I could go on and on here, but I won't as it ain't my blog..........CJV

March 31, 2009 4:04 PM  

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