Tuesday, June 16, 2009

16 June 1955 “Talking Point Tuesday”

time-machine So, today's ‘Talking Point’ is three fold. First, if you had a time machine would you go back to the 1950s or another time? timemachineWould you go back if you could not return to your own time. And the final part of the question, using the time machine of studying history and research, what things (clothes, attitudes, etc) could we revive realistically to make a new ‘modern vintage’ lifestyle today?

Also, just so there is no misunderstanding of yesterdays post, I am still continuing my project. My ‘rant’ was my own realization that I can remake my present and be very much in the world and still have my 1955 lifestyle. That was meant for my future. I am still determined to finish out this year best I can 1955 style.

Now, for those of you who want to play, lets hear from you for today's ‘talking point’.


  1. That's tough! There are so many time periods that I just love. Of course, the farther back you go, the more simple everything was. Harder, yes, but more simple. If I really had to choose, I think I would pick the 50's, even if I couldn't come back to the present.

    As far as changing things for "modern vintage" I would love to change attitudes! People just aren't the same anymore.

  2. I would for sure go back in time even knowing I could not return.
    I envy those times and often wonder how it would have been. I find that the lifestyle and morals of those days is what I yearn today.

  3. I don't think I would go back. People evolve and change for a reason...survival. I do think there are good things that are lost with progression, but I don't think a person has to go back in time to retrieve them. And I don't think it is realistic to expect everyone to have the same values and expectations and so I believe a person can be a good person even while others around them are maybe 'not so good'. Since we all know there are people with less than 'honorable intentions' in all time periods.
    I'll stay put! :)

  4. Although I was born very early in the 1950's, I remember the second half of that decade. My grandmother was born in 1892 and lived with us for many years. I had the influence of my parents and grandmother from the years that they lived through.

    There were many things from my childhood that were "left over" from the thirties and the forties that I experienced first hand. Some of those things are considered "sweet" and "quaint," and others are considered "repressive" or "awful." It depends upon your perspective.

    The fifties and early sixties were good years for me. I am not so certain, however, that my interpretation of "good" would be the same for those is the twenty, thirty, or even forty age ranges of today. What was considered societal norms then, would be either laughable or repulsive today depending on one's opinion. It would be quite a culture shock, even for those who lived through those times; people have short memories.

    I have a very clear idea of life during the 1940's. My parents were extremely influenced by the war years. Their approach to politics and the war was the political correctness of the time. History, however, does not support this point of view. Those war years formed their attitudes throughout the 1950's as well.

    Today, our cultural opinions are determined by the media with ideas that were "developing" during those times. It is no accident that news and information sources, television, "music," movies, and the like all sound, look, and act the same.

    People were not "better" in the 1950's. Sin and vice have been around since the creation of humand kind. The difference, however, was the societal brakes. Those things were not openly encouraged or embraced as they are today. While some consider this a good thing, I do not. By discouraging a "poor" lifestyle, at least in the open, life was a bit better.

    There are many people who have eschewed our present lifestlye for one in the past. Tasha Tudor lived her life in the 1860's until she died. She did however, made money from it through modern inventions. We can never go back; we must always go forward. We are able, however, to go forward in the manner that we have chosen, but there are limitations.

    Your 1950's project will probably have a lasting influence of your life, probably cropping up in small ways that you would have never expected.

  5. This is tough. I agree that attitudes need to be brought into focus for the sake of mankind. Selfishness runs ramped. I love the victorian era except women could not own themselves untill at least 30 years old. Also class ditiction came in to play. The 30's brought the dust bowl, 40's raveged by war. The 50s was atomic fear and the 60's vietnam war. It never stops. If I left I would be leaving children and Grandchildren. So naturally I would not go.
    BUT if I could the 50's makes the most sense to me as the sense of hope and high expectations for this country having the ability to accomplish anything was great. Although the fear of atomic war was on the back of the mind, many other joys over shadow those fears. Winning wwII I think made the U.S. feel confident. I enjoy that clothing was still modest and the no bra generation had not stepped up yet. People still had manners. Music had words you could hear, sing to , and understand without censorship. Schools and parents respected each other and standards were held high for our children. People in general had not lost their self-respect. Men and women better understood there gender and how to make a home. I can not help but think of what the opinion of someone ( and I am not trying to be insulting) who is not white (as I am) would say about each time era. I often take it for granted that life was good. But it wasn't for everyone.

  6. 50’s Gal,
    I would not return to the 1950’s permanently – I suppose I would if I could return to modern times. We are so lucky in the new developments of modern medicine that I think it would be hard to see people get sick and know that there would one day be a cure or remedy for those ailments and not be able to do anything about it.
    I would however like to see society change and have better manners and thoughtfulness toward others. People taking responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of those actions. I would like to see families spend more time together. More support for the women who choose homemaking as a career choice. Support for parents who choose to be at home with their children instead of sending them to daycare. I would like to see etiquette taught at school and home economics.
    It would be nice to see people dress up a little more everyday instead of wearing sweats that might as well be pajamas or more skin showing than on a hot day at the beach.
    It would be nice for people to actually make their own clothes instead of buying clothes made in sweat shops in third world countries. If clothes are made in third world countries the workers should be paid fairly for their work and that should be reflected in prices here.
    I would like to see people take pride in a job well done.
    I would like to see more people shopping locally and supporting local businesses.
    I wish common sense and common courtesy were a little more common these days.
    My two cents worth.
    Michelle in Canada

  7. First of all, I am so glad that you are continuing on! I was already starting to have withdrawal symptoms!

    As to today’s post, if I could never return, that would be a BIG dilemma! If I could take my entire family, that would be different.

    If I had a time machine, I would assume that it was a working model, so I would visit several eras. The first would be somewhere in the mid 1800s. Their dress was beautiful. They way they self-sustained was valuable, and all of the knowledge that you just used everyday in your household would be a great present to me! I would love to learn from those hard-working women.

    From the 1950s, I would bring back much of what your blog is all about, the worthiness of the homemaker, the ability for women to stay home like they should be able to, and lady-like dress. I would do away with our overall slovenliness in dress, in attitude, and the vulgar downfall of our society’s language and actions that are so widely accepted now days.

    Using the time machine as history, I would attempt to bring back morality, chivalry, manners, and love for fellow man. These, I think, would encompass many worthy traits and what a new modern vintage world could have!

  8. michele and zebu I agree wholeheartedly. And, I do think we here, will try to make some social change. Certainly, we may not change the world, but if we help each other and change our own minds and those of others for the better, than hurrah for us and we, in a way, are using the vintage power of words, deeds, patience, listening, and of course personal advice.
    Anon-great comment. Certainly, already, my 1950s life, though still in the project, comes forward often. As I have mentioned before, sometimes I consider my 1955 "me" as a person of strength and fortitude that I can call forth in the midst of dilemma or need. I have also loved the 19th c most of my life. This year of 1955 is almost modern for me on some level, though of course a great wake up call for all that I have come to see wrong with the modern world. Certainly tv and computers, in and of themselves are not bad, but can be used in a creative way that aids and benefits ones fulfilled life, such as writing this blog or watching a movie with friends and family, as an aide and an addition to ones life, but when one sits for hours watching mindless shows they have seen a hundred times before and subject themselves to the propaganda of ads, I think that is sad for them and for us. IT robs them of so much of their life in the way of control and self satisfaction and us, as it takes that person out of the picture of conversation and sharing. Have you ever tried to have a meaningful deep conversation with someone when they have the tv on? So, there are so many things good about the modern world, but I do agree the atitude and overall mindset of the modern person is really bad. I don't know why? We have so much and yet I see so many with scowels on their face and no "hello" or "excuse me" for one another. That is what I meant by a new vintage that allows us to use the modern technology and world in a way that supports the social atitudes and actions of the past. I think we can do it, don't you gals?

  9. Sorry, I'm late on the comment...
    My first reaction would be the 1850's or so. I agree with Zebu about their sustaining lifestyle and having a knowledge of the skills needed to live that way.

    Even though music wasn't well-circulated back then, I believe I would have enjoyed the basic mountain music or folk music or whatever would have been available to me nearby.

    Art would not have been so readily displayed in galleries and such (to common people), but then maybe there would be a finding of art in nature and arts by our own hands.

    Though men were supposed to be gentlemen around ladies, and maybe there was much more of that...I can't help but think about the cases in which a woman was abused and there just weren't any other options for her.

    So, this is a tough one. The 1950's seem to be the ideal in the ways of promising women's independence and the arts; except, for me I think I would prefer a time before the industrial revolution, when society was still living fairly naturally.


  10. I would enjoy visiting various eras of the past, but I would not like to stay there. I prefer to live in the present and attempt to bring the things I like about the past into my life today.

  11. I have quietly read your blog for quite a few months. I have totally enjoyed your project. Not just the historical aspect of it, but your musings on it. I would love to go back in time for awhile to see things first hand, but I wouldn't want to stay.

    I was a journalism major eons ago and I couldn't do it. I couldn't purposefully manipulate people and ideas for sensationalism and ratings. Those years of my life opened my eyes to things that have since shaped my life. I think that is why I have enjoyed your commentary. Life is not really how it is presented to us, nor are people really how they are presented to us. I wonder if this is why blogging and the internet have gained so much popularity. Because here we get to hear and see real people. Yes, we don't always present ourselves with our worst flaws, but the majority don't purposefully set out with intentions to misrepresent ourselves.

    Life has always been identical in certain aspects no matter what time period you live in. People are born, they live, they love, they make mistakes, the have accomplishments, they die. Life is not perfect. What is the interesting thing and what I feel I see is a lot of people longing for the "good ole days." They are not really longing for the amount work, but the inner side of things. People want to be inspired, to be uplifted, to have some worthy goal in their lives, to have something to live for. We don't really have that in our day and age.

    People want heros. Hollywood is full of people that's lives are displayed for us fully, all sad and depressing. If I wanted depressing I could look no further than my own family. Why in the world do I want Brittney Spears' dysfunction to look to. In the golden years of Hollywood actors and actresses had affairs, did drugs, and had the same emotional upheavels they have today. They just didn't spread it full cover to cover on all papers or across all screens. This was good. It gave people some one to look up to, something to aspire to. It gave people hope. The same with politics and politicians. War has always and will always be violent. Innocent peoplehave always and will always be killed. The difference between today and yesterday is that things were not made public. And to me that is how it should be. Some things should be kept as those things of which we do not speak.

    My view is that people are not really looking for a simplier life, they are looking for hope in their lives. Hope comes from positive things. I do not live in a world of rose colored glasses. I live in a world that understands if you are constantly bombarded by negativity and hopelessness you become that. We have become that as a society.

    I also abhor people who say that this is the way things are today and there is nothing we can do about it. We can do something about it. You may want to use your dishwasher more, you may want to use your microwave, those things are not what I see you have discovered from this experiment. A microwave does not make you or break you. It's the attitude you have discovered from your experiment. An attitude you have wrote of several times. One of picking yourself up by your boot straps and doing what's right even when you don't feel like it. That seems a lot of what we are missing today. We live in such a self centered society.

    I think if we could all go back in time and spend some time finding out what made people tick, what made them keep going even in the face of terrible odds, then return to the wonderful world of today it would make a huge impact on our society and maybe even save it from the dangerous downward spiral it is on today.

  12. I was so happy to see the time machine image! I watched that movie over and over as a child! What a nice emory! I need to share it with my own children:)

  13. That's tough. I have to say, though I would love to use a time machine to get back to the Regency-Edwardian eras, I'm not so certain I would. It would really depend upon the caste to which I was transported. Bearing that in mind, I don't think I can fully answer the last of the questions. Hmm...

  14. I've been thinking of an answer to this question. It's hard because as much as I'd like to go back to this time period I think it wouldn't be as idealized as I imagine or has been presented to the generations following. It would be fun to go and learn how to be a "green" housewife (without really trying because that's just how things were) and really be taught how to run a household because, as you've mentioned, this is something our generation has missed out on.

    Cindi, I love your comments about all the Hollywood drama. It's so ridiculous and dumbs down our society. And how true that while our lives are very different the basics, like birth, death, and not being perfect are similar.


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