Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n07)
Right in my Own Backyard - Thinking about Then and Now - by Brandt Carter
posted: Apr. 02, 2010
Thinking about Then and Now
Growing up near Broad Ripple imprinted my memory vividly. Yes, there were all kinds of places, people, and experiences that left indelible marks, but equally significant are the values and sensations that were so formative. I think my childhood was pretty typical, much like that of other kids during the same era. I am the youngest of three and easily adapted to my rank in the family.
I was blessed to have a mom and dad who loved each other, each of us, and were committed to our family. As children we knew it was important to develop a good work ethic, to tell the truth and be honest, to live up to family standards, and to participate in the well-being of our community.
Times may not have been as complex as today, but they also seem to have been less hurried and harried, more black and white, and more navigable. How well I remember:
• We said the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer and sang patriotic songs daily at school.
• We understood parents ruled, and children were to behave.
• We knew to be home in time for dinner and meet other family schedules to avoid discipline.
• We knew to respect adults be they family, teachers, neighbors, police, or community figures.
• We learned "save the nickels and dimes, and dollars will follow."
• We understood saving and paying cash for what we wanted, with lay-away or installment payments being the closest thing to credit.
• We learned manners and took pride in being appropriate.
• We relished foods as they were in season and didn't expect them year around.
• We depended on morning and afternoon newspapers to keep us informed.
By contrast, today is quite different. The fast pace, globalization, the information age, and more complicated lifestyles have become the norm. I don't know if the old days were better, but it sure seems I can understand them more easily than what I am living today.