A Message Amid the Photos

It’s been 14 days since I was last able to blog because my computer completely died. I have been writing notes and thoughts down in long hand and now must decide whether or no to type them up and post them to the date they were first written.

In that time a number of things have gone on including more snow for Northern Nevada, leading to more flooding, especially to the outlying area’s of the Reno and Sparks area. We also had Mary’s cousin Susan come over from the Oroville, California area with a bunch of family photographs she wanted out of the flood zone, if the Oroville Dam or any of the many, nearby levees failed.

Yes, the Oroville Dam is having some major problems as the spillway has crumbled at it’s midsection, causing water to go in differing directions. And since it is really uncontrolled it can cause erosion and undercut either the dam or a levee, and since Susan lives lower than both, her home is prone to flash flooding.

Having her here, having the family pictures her has been very enjoyable. I love looking a photographs even if I don’t know the majority of the people in them, since they are my wife’s family.

Included in all of this is a paperwork that Susan didn’t realize she had. One paper was her father’s orders to transit from Brisbane, Australia to Manila in the Philippines in 1946 along with another that showed that for the year 1945 he made less than $500 for the entire year as a Merchant Marine.

This got me to thinking about the ‘Greatest Generation,” as Tom Brokaw called those men and women who not only lived through the depression, but beat back Nazism, Fascism, and Imperialism during World War II.

Seeing this piece of paper with such a lackluster amount on it gives me pause and forced me to ask the harder question of ‘Did that near-generational poverty cause some of the problems we are faced with today?’

No, I am not attacking the Greatest Generation, as I think most men and women who returned from battle (including the factory workers, etc.) did what any parent did – and that is shower their children with things. These children, whom we call “Baby Boomers,’ grew up with having nearly all their expectations met, from basic education, to outstanding medical care when needed, to faster, more powerful cars to larger and more energy-efficient homes – all items their parents did without for much of their childhood.

It crosses my mind that Baby Boomers like me, are at fault for this crop of adults we call the ‘Millennial Generation.’ For the most part we had the good life as children and in an attempt to pass it on to our kids, we created a ‘false utopia’ for the majority of our children, from participation trophies to gold stars for simply turning in a school assignment on-time.

What I am trying to say is that each generation passes something along to the next, whether good or bad, and it is time we took responsibility for how our society is crumbling in front of us. God help us, if we don’t.


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