August 5, 2011

"Yesterday", USA...

I sometimes wish I could go back to a time when life was simpler, when there were only three channels to watch on TV, when radios were "AM" and "FM" was a dream of the future. When you could go to the gas station and fill up that big old Oldsmobile station wagon that held 25 gallons of gas and after you handed the full-service attendant a twenty dollar bill at your car window, he'd actually bring change back to you. Oh, and he'd check your oil and other fluids and wash your windows too, with no extra charge.

But could we as a nation, step back in time to those days and live happily and content again or have we become too attached to technology and the "efficiency" of modern conveniences? 

I would like to see someone develop a new town and call it "Yesterday, USA". Now, this town could be located anywhere...in the middle of Kansas, upstate New York, on the plains of Iowa or deep in the heart of Texas. No matter where it was, it would be set up and designed with "yesterday" in mind. No satellite dishes to clutter the horizon, no cell phones, internet or laptops and pc's to take our minds off of what's important.

In order to live in "Yesterday", new residents would have to agree that no "modern conveniences" would be allowed. The town would have all of the "amenities" of the '50's and '60's. Your telephone would ring and there would be no caller I.D. so you would never know who was calling. Each time you answered the phone, you'd either be surprised or appalled. Oh, and there would be no answering machine. The party would have to keep calling back until someone answered. Supper would be at 6:00 p.m. each night and if you weren't at the table to eat, you didn't eat. Families would gather at the table, not in front of the TV and actually discuss their day and enjoy the company of family for the entire meal.

Stores and businesses would be closed on Sundays. No more buying music, playing cards or alcohol because of the Blue Laws. Kids would happily play outside and help hang clothes out on the line and take them down again to help mama with her daily chores. 

Children would be respectful and young boys would display decency and not allow their pants to fall beyond their waist and reveal their underpants. Girls would dress modestly and wouldn't wear low cut dresses or tops and cause distractions.  Kids would say "yes ma'am" or "no thank you" and if they acted rudely at a friends house, they knew exactly what would be waiting on them when they finally made it back home.

Families would get up on Sundays and go to church or to a place of worship of their choice. After church, an invitation to someones house for Sunday lunch would always be welcomed and accepted.

Doctors would drop by your home from time to time if you needed them to. If you called a business, a person in America would answer the phone and there would be no frustrating electronic answering service to "direct your call" to whomever you needed to speak to or someone telling you to "Press 1 for English". Television programs would promote values and morals and there would be no "Sex in the City" or shows to downplay the importance of marriage and healthy relationships.

People would gladly rise to say the "Pledge of Allegience" and sing the "National Anthem" without someone feeling offended or complaining to the local authorities. Businesses wouldn't be afraid to place a Nativity or a greeting of "Merry Christmas" on a wall because everyone would live knowing, this is the United States of America and freedom of speech and worship are guaranteed rights, just because you're an American. Politicians would actually go to Washington, D.C. as a representatives "of the people, for the people and by the people" and not abuse their privilege of service as a way to further their own agenda or to skirt the law entirely.

After a long, productive day, at 10:00 p.m., when all was still and quiet in the home, the faceless and monotonous sound of the television station announcer would break the silence and ask the question "It's 10:00 p.m., do you know where your children are"? After he finished, the old Indian Chief, sitting in the middle of the television "test pattern", would come on the screen, followed by the piercing sound of the old "tone pattern", until the station came back on the air early the next morning.

I know this sounds far-fetched to a lot of you. But I just described a way of life that actually existed, less than 40 years ago, right here in the United States. Am I hoping for too much? Could we, as Americans, ever get back to that simple life that was so grand? If someone were to do this, I'd be so thrilled that I just might become the very first resident of "Yesterday, USA".

The Impulsive Texan