I found this 1946 Life Magazine article while searching for vintage Kansas photos (the article features a farmer from Shawnee County, KS and a future post is forthcoming). We frequently hear about the way it used to be, stable middle class of the past, high taxes on the wealthy and many other economic and cultural realities that were lost over the past 60 years. The article briefly touches on several segments of the post-war society, their roles in the economy and their material well-being. The language of the article is strikingly similar to what we see in the media today. Over time, the classes described in the article were redefined or disappeared; rich people are not content with just two Cadillac’s; no one is paying two thirds of their income in taxes; and $12,000 a year does not equate to being successful. There is one notable exception: the teachers are still being screwed. Anyway, the article is short, enjoy.
Taxes, unions and higher prices are making the man with a large income Poorer and the poorer man richer.
I guess I am closing in on the age when people around me start dying off. When I was younger these people already seemed old, now that I reached their age that seemed so ancient to me not so long ago, I find myself attending funerals more often than I’d like. And this is just the sad beginning, many of my relatives and relatives of my few friends are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. As the new immigrants these are the people who will be the first in their families to be buried in the New Country. They had the courage to leave everything, including many generations of their ancestors buried in the old Motherland, and they will be the first to be laid to rest here. And we, the younger generation, will be the first to have our loved ones separated by the ocean, the old gravestones there will eventually be forgotten after we are gone.
The people we are losing now had truly legendary lives: they were born in the young new country, they fought in the war, they came home to rebuild, they raised their kids, they lived, they loved, they suffered, lost friends and relatives, lived through lies and propaganda, managed with very little and lived to see their children and especially grandchildren prosper in this country. Their eulogies will be said in the language they don’t understand, and Rabbi will pray to God they were taught didn’t exist. The Rabbi will talk about their lives, struggling to pronounce their names and places they lived in, knowing that most of the mourners do not understand a word of Hebrew, but still love the sound of it and a feeling that the same exact words were said for millions of people for thousands of years, for a moment bringing them in touch with all the generations before them.
Brown dirt frozen
With millions of tears
Photo: Rose Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, MO
Contrary to what some people believe I don’t own the idea of posting old photos from the Life Magazine Archives, but I do enjoy doing it, so here comes another set. These are combined under the tag Kansas Wheat and where taken in 1939. Some of the faces on these photos look like there were taken straight out of some Jimmy Stewart movie.
Here is a page about the flour sack dresses.
Roy Orbison was probably a better singer than Elvis, he was just lacking in the looks department. Kind of like me, except I can’t sing either. Roy composed and performed some of the most memorable and touching songs ever recorded, but what I like the most about his music is that I can sing with him (in the car, windows shut).
That’s what distinguishes good music from noise – you can sing to it, even if you don’t have a voice, you play accordion and you are Dutch.
Christmas is a very nostalgic holiday, probably more so than any other. It’s the time when people realize that another year is left behind, kids have grown older and now want an iPhone instead of a barbie, and everyone else is sporting more and more gray hairs. People remember their own childhoods, old presents, relatives who are now gone, and the time when Christmas dinner meant killing your own goose.