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Today’s “Freaky Friday” edition explores what I would encounter if I lived in a different era. I thought it would be easier if I started with the decade prior to my birth and then move backwards!

THE 1950s

Women weren’t entering the work force as more than nurses, teachers, switchboard operators, secretaries, waitresses or stewardesses (notice the different terminology than today?).  Generally if women attended college, it was for a nursing or teaching degree, to get involved in a sorority which could help them move in the correct social circles or to find a husband.  They weren’t inspired to reach for the sky to do anything they desired.

Families found entertainment through television which had reached the mainstream.  Evenings were spent watching “Your Show of Shows”, “Ozzie and Harriett” and Milton Berle.  They also spent time at local community social events or through travel usually in their new “finned” automobiles.  Air travel wasn’t as common as it is today.  Films that captured attention included science fiction especially in the face of the new Cold War. (see Footnote 1)

Young women wore poodle skirts, rolled up blue jeans, penny loafers and bobby sox.  They dressed conservatively lest they be saddled with an unsavory reputation.  Married and older women wore tailored suits to church and social ocassions.  They were polished and dressed well when they were out in public.

Rock and roll was brand new and under close scrutiny from parents and those in authority.  Musical artists who came into their own during this decade include Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley and the Comets among many others.

Women who were married, especially after children were born, stayed at home and ran the household.  Not only was she the housekeeper, the cook, and the laundress, but she took care of everyone’s schedule, made a hot meal three times a day, joined the PTA, the church ladies organization, and community or social groups.

When she went to the grocery store, she generally paid less than $1/gallon of milk; less than .20/loaf of bread; and less than $1 for a T-bone steak.  When her new Ford (costing less than $2,500) was filled up with gas, she paid less than .30 per gallon. (see Footnote 2)

SummarY 1950S vs 2008

  • Career: Secretary – CEO/owner of own business
  • Education: high school diploma – PhD
  • Being Unmarried: Old Maid – Single Woman
  • Being married: wife & mother – partner in marriage
  • Entertainment: Ozzie & Harriett (not quite reality TV) – Survivor (reality TV)
  • Films: The Blob – The Dark Knight
  • Music: Early Rock & Roll – Heavy Metal
  • Daily life: Centered around needs of family & others – attempting to be Superwoman
  • Social activities: PTA, garden club – (still) PTA, physical fitness activities, sports, volunteerism
  • In the Home: cooking, cleaning, etc. – dividing up the chores, hiring a lawn & maid service to help
  • Prices: .27/gallon of gas – $3.40/gallon; .90/gallon of milk – $4/gallon of milk
  • Travel: family vehicle – air travel

In conclusion, I can’t honestly say I would be less happy in the decade of the 1950s as I am today.  My parents were older when I was born so they had lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and the 1950s so they had the values of the time.  In many ways my values were shaped from how I was raised and the ideals within my family.  Yet, I’ve come to appreciate and sometimes depend on the technology we have today.  Don’t have time to go to the library, check the internet.  Want to see a movie that no one else in the family wants to see, download it and watch it whenever you want on your computer or Ipod.  Forget what else you were supposed to buy at the store, use the cell phone to call home.  Don’t have time to wash all those dishes, load the dishwasher.  Don’t have time to preheat the oven and cook dinner, set the microwave.  Unfortunately the down side to all of this is that patience is tested – not only for waiting for a page to download from the computer but waiting in line at the post office or in traffic.  Not often is there time to actually stop and smell the flowers let alone eat two or three meals together each night.  Days are scheduled down to the last minute without any give built in for spontaneity and fun.  Perhaps it’s time to bring a little of the 1950s “slowness” to modern times – if only to be able to appreciate each day before it draws to a close, lost forever in all those other days that we eventually wish we could have again.

Footnote 1: Wikipedia – 1950s

Footnote 2: What it cost in 1954

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Many of you have been following the Genea-Blogger Group Games during the last couple weeks and the closing ceremonies were yesterday.  Thomas MacEntee from Destination: Austin Family hosted the ceremonies. Please go to Closing Ceremonies to see all the flags of the participants and the medals won.

Here are the awards I received:

Cite Sources – Platinum

Organize Your Research – Gold

Write! Write! Write! – Diamond

Genealogical Acts of Kindness – Diamond

I want to congratulate all of the participants on – not only acquiring a medal or two (or three or four or . . . ) – but on getting a little more organized.  We are such a great team!  Go Team GBG!

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I completed my last task early this morning in the GBG games.  Whew!  I was able to get quite a bit completed – though I would like to have done more.  I think this has challenged many of us in the genea-blogging world the last two weeks.  Thanks to Thomas MacEntee, Miriam Robbins Midkiff and Kathryn M. Doyle for being the administrators for these games as well as the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.  You all really keep us on our toes and make us strive to research deeper, keep proper documentation, stay organized, remember to keep back-ups of our information, and to write what we know.  Thank you!

So without further ado – these are my final stats:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources - completed over 50 citations using John Wiley’s “How to Cite Sources”. Platinum Medal

2. Back up Your Data – didn’t complete.

3. Organize Your Research:
   
A) 0
    B) More than 20 – complete
    C) 0
    D) More than 20 – complete
    E) Created at least 20 new entries in the database; scanned over 20 photos – Complete
    F) Didn’t complete
Three Tasks – Gold Medal

4. Write! Write! Write!
    A) Wrote a Summary of my blog
    B) Participated in several of these
    C) Prepared at least 3 items in draft mode and published later.
    D) Wrote a Bio of my ancestor (finished today!)
    E) Didn’t do
Completed 4 Tasks – Diamond Medal

5. Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness
    A) Commented on several new (to me) blogs
    B) Joined more than 5 new blog networks
    C) Sent an invitation to another genealogist to join Facebook
    D) Didn’t do
    E) Indexed gravesites for Find-a-Grave (over 20)
    F) Didn’t do
4 Tasks Complete – Diamond Medal

Congratulations to all the participants and to all those who won any level of medals!

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This weeks’ Edition of Freaky Friday includes two posts! Enjoy!

As I was reading through the genea-blogs this week, I came across Mystery of Baby Samuel at Little Bytes of Life. This post written by Elizabeth is very poignant and filled with mystery. Read about the connection her toddler daughter has with the headstone of Baby Samuel and perhaps you can also help unravel the mystery! (update: Kathryn at California Genealogical Society and Library Blog is hot on the trail of new information!)

Due to circumstances beyond my control (spending all day at a car dealership and all evening discussing the vehicle sitting in front of our house) – my original 3rd Edition Freaky Friday post will be published next week! 

This week’s edition looks like this -

The older child is my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson.  The younger child – unknown.  As far as I know – no one knows who this is.  My grandfather didn’t have a younger brother.  He his 12 years older than his sister, Eva, and I don’t think my grandfather appears to be of the correct age.  This isn’t a very good scan of the photo but the younger child is dressed like a boy so I don’t think it was a girl.  My thought it could be a cousin or even a friend.  Did people generally include non-family members in photos in the early 1900’s?

My Grandad and this unknown child are dressed like “men”.  They appeared very uncomfortable in these photos – wearing clothes that made them look “old” instead of children. 

I tend to think this photo and another one taken at the same time of the same unknown child with Grandad – are rather odd.

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This morning I received an invitation to join the “Getting to Know You Challenge for Bloggers” in order for those of us in the Genea-Bloggers group to glean more information on each other’s blogs.  There is also the upcoming Carnival of Genealogy 55th Edition – Show and Tell, 5th Edition Smile for the Camera – Crowning Glory, Blog Action Day on October 15th – Poverty, the on-going Genea-Blogger Group Games on Facebook, and my own Freaky Friday challenge.  The meme’s “Stores of Yesteryear” and “The Soundtracks of my Salad Days” have already been written.

And I’m partially done with writing a biography on one of my ancestors for the Group Games.  Looks like some great challenges coming up which give me a chance to flex my writing muscles (as opposed to those leg or arm muscles being used by the athletes at the Olympics!) in order to publish some wonderful posts.

Yesterday I noticed that footnoteMaven wrote an article on Using Family Photographs on Shades of the Departed on how to create a MOO greeting card. This looks like something (as a digital scrapbook artist) I would like to do – which means one more thing to add to my list!

I want to thank the hosts for these carnivals, meme’s, and challenges.  If you have not joined the Genea-Blogger group on Facebook, I urge you to do so.  You aren’t required to participate in any or all of the challenges however the topics do provide inspiration.  If you have tons of documents and photographs that need to be scanned – you are also encouraged to participate in Scanfest happening this coming Saturday.  I won’t be participating as I hope to be car shopping (and buying) on Saturday.

If you have Central European or Irish Ancestry, there are also the 10th Edition of Carnival of Central and European Genealogy hosted by Jessica at Jessica’s GeneaJournal and Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture hosted by Small Leaved Shamrock.

I urge you to give any one of these challenges a look and serious thought to participating!

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I spent a couple hours yesterday evening on the Rootsweb Social Security Index page in an attempt to check on death dates for people in my Amore family (and extended family, in-laws, out-laws, etc.)  I was able to find dates for over 20 people and make the correct citations for my sources!  I plan on doing more of the same today.

My genea-blogger game stats as of today stand at:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources - I had completed 50 citations and have actually done several more – Platinum Medal

2. Back Up Your Data – have not done any of this yet.

3. Organize Your Research - B. Complete; D. Complete; E. Complete (both adding people to the database and scanning in over 20 documents/photos) – Gold Medal

4. Write! Write! Write! - A. Complete; B. Complete (I’ve participated in both the “Smile for the Camera” – Favorite Photograph; “Carnival of Genealogy – 54th Edition” – Family Language”; “Stores from Yesteryear” (meme); “The Soundtracks of My Salad Days” (meme); as well as Wordless Wednesday, Tuesday Thingers, and have started my own challenge – “Freaky Friday”. C. Complete – I think I’ve completed 3-4 draft mode posts that I publish within a few days of drafting.  Working on currently – D. Write a Brief Biographical Sketch.  Gold Medal

5. Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindess - A. Complete; B. Complete (I’ve joined several); C. Complete; E. Complete (Find a Grave). Diamond Medal

I think I’m pretty much on track with my goals – and then some.  I’ve also spent time entering documentation into my research log.  For ease I started with my children since I know pretty much where all legal or offical documents are located or have already entered the information; then myself; my parents and grandparents. If I move from myself backward I find that I have more official documentation and can see exactly what I still need (censuses, death records/certificates; obituaries; baptismal; etc.)

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Last week, Tim Abbott from Walking the Berkshires posted a challenge that asked, What were the 10 most influencial albums of your formative teenaged years? I’ve read several genea-blogger posts and know that once I list the music that shaped my life as an adolescent, I’ll appear as the teeny-bopper I really was!

So without further ado:

  • Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies & Welcome to My Nightmare
  • Barry Manilow – Tryin’ to Get the Feeling
  • Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic & Get Your Wings
  • Osmonds – The Plan
  • Rick Springfield – Wait for Night
  • Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever & Spirits Having Flown
  • Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive
  • Original Soundtrack of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
  • Original Soundtrack of the Who’s “Tommy”
  • Kiss – Alive & Destroyer
  • Elton John – Elton John & Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Bay City Rollers – It’s a Game
  • The Beatles – White Album

Okay – so there are actually 18 albums!  I also had a few singles that shaped my formative teenage years:

  • Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven
  • Cher – Dark Lady
  • Rick Springfield – Weep No More
  • Bay City Rollers – The Way I Feel Tonight
  • Kiss – Beth
  • Eagles – Hotel California

See, told you – teeny bopper!  The albums, I’d hear at least once a week & the singles – probably every day!

In all fairness, I enjoy most types of music (just not behind country 100%!)  Music has always been a big part of my life.  My favorite morning is to put on some music, pick up a good book, pour myself a steaming cup of coffee and settle in to enjoy the music of my youth.

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Make sure to head over to Carnival of Genealogy, 54th Edition hosted by Donna Pointkouski at What’s Past is Prologue. The theme is “The Family Language” and there are 30 submissions by 29 authors. We want to thank Donna for hosting this Carnival!
Make sure you visit all of these posts and leave a comment!
The 55th Edition will be on “Show and Tell” and will be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Submissions are due by September 1st.

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Actually yesterday I worked some more on tagging photos and making sure I had good descriptions.  It was Texas Tax Free Weekend and I had yet to get my grandson some new school clothes and shoes. So to take advantage of no sales tax, we went shopping yesterday afternoon.  I also thought a lot about the biography that I will be writing about one of my ancestors. I have decided who I’m going to spotlight so stay tuned for that post! 

I also spent yesterday looking at other genealogy blogs and signing up to participate in the Songs that Shaped My Youth meme.  I found out that there is a national blogging day in October and the theme will be on Poverty so have been thinking a lot about how to tie in genealogy and poverty as it applies to my ancestors.

Today I’m enjoying the rain in North Texas. We’ve had some lately but no where near enough.  But today it’s been pretty steady so far.  Hopefully our grass will be greening up!

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I didn’t have much time yesterday to post about my daily progress in the GB group games due to the rain (in North Texas we were asking ourselves – what is that coming down from the sky? And enjoying it!), work, and daily household stuff!

Yesterday evening I scanned 24 photos as part of Category 3: Organize Your Research, part E. Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents.  After scanning, I went through and added Descriptions, who was the photographer (if known), who was in the picture, where it was taken, why it was taken (reunion, party, holiday, etc.), year it was taken (if known), how those in the picture are related, and who has ownership of the original photo.  My software asks for Keywords instead of Tags so I inserted all the keywords I could think of in that area.  I also made sure they were in the correct digital files.

So for that Category, I am now up to the completion of 2 items which gives me a Silver Medal.

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