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Thread: Old Folks/Young Folks...discuss )sorry...long winded

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
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    4,974

    Default Old Folks/Young Folks...discuss )sorry...long winded

    I clipped this out of my journal this morning and wanted to see what feedback people have:

    "It’s coming up on 8:30 in the morning and while making coffee, I was musing on a couple of memories from growing up and on where our culture is now (in the friggin’ morning !?! Whazzup with that?).
    Phones now will allow you to call pretty much anyplace on the planet with complete ease and for a shocking low price. With Skype on the computer, we can talk to Jen in Australia for pennies…and in fact, did so for an hour or so last night. As far as communication goes, the world truly is our mollusc. (Oh Oysters, little Oysters…but answer there came none…)
    When I was growing up, however, “long distance” in telephonic terms might meant numbers only ten miles distant. We lived on the boundary between two “zones” in the phone system. Our phone number was (ME)rcury 9-3551. Our neighbors across the street, Peg and Oscar Almquist, had a (NE)ptune 6-XXXX phone number. We could call the immediate area and in to Portland and over to Beaverton and Aloha, but not Oregon City or Canby without accruing long distance charges. The opposite, of course, applied to Peg and Oscar. As a result, “long distance” calls were made at the neighbor’s house. The net result was that the economics of making a simple phone call brought the neighborhood together, just that little bit. We knew all of the neighbors well enough to open our house to them for making those calls and, as a result, our place became the neighborhood “nexus” for parties and gatherings. We didn’t have the biggest house, but did have the biggest front yard where things took place. The Bells, across the street and next to Peg & Oscar had a big back yard, with a pool even and a covered patio, but our place with the fishpond shaded by huge weeping willows and Mom’s carefully tended flower beds was where the BBQs and raucous parties happened.
    So….all of that musing led me to thinking about shared cultures and, becoming a creature of the “old fart” variety, I started musing on the results of America’s (and I’m sure some other cultures) tendency toward locking the “old farts” into “retirement communities”. Yes…I acknowledge that this is largely a voluntary action on the part of retirees, but I also suspect that a lot of it is pure and simple salesmanship. It’s easier to cater to the needs of the elderly if they’re contained in a communal environment. It places them together with contemporaries and those with whom they supposedly share the most common background. The net result, however is that it deprives the social community as a whole of their experience, insight and reduces the opportunities for mentorship with the youth who might most benefit from it. Yes, there are “mentor” programs that encourage that interface, but too few participate in them to be really meaningful and they lack that organic, day-to-day contact that really makes an impression."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Farmington, Oregon
    Posts
    20,918

    Default Re: Old Folks/Young Folks...discuss )sorry...long winded

    there are so many ways that our crowded, busy, technology-driven lives alienate us from one another. too many to list.

    i agree wholeheartedly that inconvenience and shared needs bring us together. convenience and the easy independence offered by fully stocked centers of commerce have us living in bubbles.

    and the innovation of setting the elderly apart but together may help some with the lonely-in-a-crowd life that grows more common for all of us. but it also exacerbates the situation, creates a way of life in which the old folks are taken down for the holidays, then put back on the shelf.

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