Man I wish I was born in the early 50's!

Jan 30, 2004
My father and I were chatting about how it was when he grew up. He was born in 52, myself in 80. I've been into hotrods my whole life and seem that I would have fit much better if I was his age. I know there is an "older" crowd on this board and figure you all would get a kick out of his email to me. Its a long read but well worth it and had me LOL a few times.

"Amen on being born in the early 50's. You miss the misery of WWII, are too young to barely know about Korea, but sure as hell old enough to be affected by VietNam and the weekly "body count" on TV. It was the first war fought on national TV in your living room. You would be old enough by 1966 or so to start driving the muscle cars of the day. No pollution devices, no catalytic converters, no PCV valves, no unleaded fuel....burn all the damn 93 octane you can pump thru your Holley quads at about 50c a gallon or so there abouts. Fuel shortages were years away and Elvis was really alive! If you asked anyone how many miles per gallon the car got, they would look at you like you were from another planet and tell you "its got 8 cylinders, what more do you want??" You got yelled at for drag racing insead of being thrown in jail and your car repo'd. The drug of choice was grass and "everybody" was doing it. Crack and meth and the rest, were for blacks in the inner city and rich people in the Hamptons. The biggest worry was your yearly lotter, not the Florida lottery - thats still decades away, but the draft lottery. If you got a low number in the drawing, you either enrolled in junior college real quick and took brain dead crap like 'political science' or you moved to Canada. They are all liberals and nuts up there anyway. If you wanted to make some serious coin you jumped on the band wagon and went to Alaska to build the Trans-Alaska pipeline for several years. No life whatsoever but they paid insane wages. Really insane compared to local work.

Pretty much the only thing you feared beside the draft was getting your chick PG, the clap, herpies and Gonarreah. Drank beer long before you were legal, but you also had the common sense not to get behind the wheel and drive after a few cold ones. If you acted like an ass-hole your friends put you in your place and took care of you, because they were reliable friends! You could drive anything from a new fancy Mustang to a Olds 442 (really groovy) to a VW microbus with a lawnmower engine and tons of peace symbols all over the outside - and no A/C either because you were a peace/earth/anti-war freak and didnt need A/C!!!! Drag strips were plentiful but they werent called drag strips, they were old abandoned runways from WWII airfields. The fence was usually torn down and you were looking at 2 miles of straight, flat runway to race on. You just had to stay away from those nasty steel tie downs embedded in the concrete which were as thick as your axle. Cops didnt care, you werent on I-95 racing anyway.....opps I forgot.....what I-95? It was still on the drawing board. Even if you were broke (who wasnt, the internet boom hadnt been invented by Al Gore quite yet), you could still pick up a muscle car that needed work from some goofy guy who couldnt turn a wrench for 500 smackers. You didnt worry about running the VIN number on CarFax, because you knew the car had been somewhat beat up - you could see that - but no one tried to stick you with a jalopy that came out of the Lower Ninth Ward after being buried in mud for 3 weeks. People had some semblence of decency. If you were being ripped off you at least KNEW you were being ripped off and accepted it. Almost nothing was made in China except new Chinese people. Had enough cheap crap made in the USA anyway. Japan even invented a city called USA, Japan because no one wanted those damn Jap toys. Speaking of that, you looked at the brand new Jap cars and laughed out loud and wondered how a full grown American red-neck could possibly fit in one and how fast it would go on 50hp. It made a good joke while running around in your Chevy.

A computer was a huge monstrosity that sat in a far away Government building that ate paper cards by the zillions and spit out data that no one understood anyway.
If someone got in trouble for doing something stupid they were scolded and reprimanded and an odd thing happended.....they felt bad, they felt guilty and thats about all anybody needed to change their ways. Peer pressure was strong and you didnt want to look dumb in front of your buddies. You changed your ways and shaped up quick so your boss/parents/girlfriend/teacher or whomever never found out.
Suing someone was reserved for rich snobs with lots of money and a terrible attitude. Someone had to practically annoy you to death before you called a lawyer.
And if the state had an insane, sick and twisted bastard locked up for killing an 8 year old girl, they sat him down in the electric chair and never waited for some sick bleeding heard pinko ACLU attorney to petition the Supreme Court to save his sick ass just because he "got Jesus" at the last minute. The warden pulled the switch and everyone felt a hell of a lot better to know his miserable carcass wasnt walking around anymore.

If someone pissed you off real bad you just punched his lights out and didnt have to think twice or 3 times and worry if you would be spending the rest of the year in jail, bunking with your new husband, Bubba, for assault and battery. Cops would come out, find out what happened, get a big chuckle and tell the guy with the bleeding nose not to be so stupid the next time. End of story. And if you ever dared dream of telling another human being that some day people would hijack a huge jetliner full of passengers and fly it into a skyscraper on purpose, they would immediately call the guys in the white coats, put a straight jack on you and haul your insane butt off to a mental institution for treatment. Everyone knew hijacking was a sport carried out by disgruntled Cubans wanting to go to Havana without paying the fare. It was just another trip you notched in your list of places you have visited..

Yeah, I only wish I could have grown up in the late 90's and early 21 century when men were women, women were men and rockers werent successful unless they spent time in the slammer and the biggest movie was about 2 guys going at it in a tent!! My kind of world all where we worry more about a "wardrobe malfunction" in the Superbowl than when the next sick fanatics are going to try to kill each one of us and our kids.

Yup, you missed a great set of decades. You would have loved them a whole lot. When we go to the Tower Shoppes car show on Friday night we could see old Doug with his bald head sitting down between his twin beauties all polished up and gleaming almost as bright as the smile on his face as throngs of young whipper snappes pass by admiring the shiny chrome on the bumpers and hearing stories from the good old days while looking at the original sticker on the door that said you paid $2,575 for a 400 hp monster before most of them were born.

You DID miss a good one!!!!! Sorry.

I was born in 1954 and could have written that letter verbatim.

Your Dad sounds like a really cool guy. Thank your lucky stars you have a father who cares enough for you to tell you about the past you never knew.

Nice post.
I was born 6/7/40 gasoline was 16 cents per gallon when i was 17. oil was 20 cents per quart. a coke cost a nickle. yea i worked on the farm for 3 bucks per day, i enlisted in the military when i was 20 pay was 79.00 dollars per month, in 1964 i paid 1300.00 for a 63 biscane with a 409 inch 425 hp the car had 6000 miles on it, i bought a 66 vet back in 70 for 2000 bucks still got it, i have owned so many muscle cars, street rods, custom cars, i dont have time to list them all. sad part is i like my turbo stage two regal as well as any of the cars that i have owned, end being old is no holliday, being alive and healthy is, have a nice day , :) oc,