In 1941 when my parents were married, it was expected that the woman if working give up her job for a man to take, so they kept their marriage a secret. The times were the woman became a housewife, the Dad worked, and the Mom took care of the kids and home. They were a few steps better than in Grandmothers generation where woman could not vote, and did not dare be seen smoking in public. My moms generation as a Catholic was to raise very large families, and produce lots of Catholic babies. Its no wonder generations of women felt inadaquate, worthless, and became alcoholics during the day.
We have become an instant gratification society with every gadget and entertainment at our fingertips from the microwave to video games. We all eat on the run and family dinners are almost extinct. Kids are not as prone to go outside and play like we did, play in the yard, have a ballgame, play cowboys or war, or have a snowball fight. They come home and go right to the television. Like I said about dress codes, in the 50's my Father went to work in a white shirt, tie and suit everyday. Their parties with friends were always dress up events, suits and evening dress. In the east, you were not allowed to wear bluejeans and tee shirts to school, you had to wear slacks and collared shirt. Tennis shoes were black and white keds only for gym class, and you wore real leather street shoes. Gentlemen opened doors for ladies, and pulled their chairs out for them. Dinner table edicate was taught to everyone, and I never addressed an adult by first name unless permitted to if they were close family friends. They were always Mr. or Mrs.. We did not have fast food restraunts when I was a kid, during summer only a hamburger stand was open down by the river. Matinee's were always a double feature with a cartoon, and cost about $1.00. WE never ran around town cussing and swearing if an adult was in view. On our block everyone knew everyone, and the welcome wagon came out when someone new moved in. Nobody had a fenced in yard, even today in my old neighborhood. When we came to California, nobody knows the neighbor, everyone has private yards, everyone is fenced in.
Even in the 60's my wife was discouraged by counsolers that a Veternarian was a mans job, and that she should consider home economics as a major since women become housewifes and mothers.
Values and thinking has changed and not all for the better. The 50's were much simpler times in many ways, a time when all our parents wanted to do was leave the war behind them, and have families. I was born in a extraordinary time, not just the Roswell year, but also the year Chuck Yeager broke the sound barriar, something my Father was very much a part of the Bell X-1 program. I grew up in the aviation culture of Bell Aircraft, with Dad a Department head in Aeronautical enginnering. He was part of all the X-plane programs for Bell, and as a kid grew up with knowing he did Top Secret programs. It was a time when loyalty to the Government was a serious issue, and in resume's they talk about that in recommending for positions. It was a time of the McCarthy Era, J Edgar Hoover, and a sharp eye for communist infiltrators, and strict sevalance of workers by the FBI. The 50'a were a golden age of military aviation technology, and Dad probably spent more time at Wright Patterson than home.