I Thought My Grandfather Was Dead
It Goes On … and on … and on.
Broadcast on The Mike Malloy Show February 21, 2012.
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My mom’s step-dad was the only grandfather I ever knew. He was a short, stout, outwardly devout Christian and looked like a Norman Rockwell American straight from a cover of The Saturday Evening Post. He and the rest of Nixon’s “Silent Majority” were taken completely by surprise by the 60’s. The seemingly placid era of the 50’s was turned upside down when Negroes forgot their place and demanded Civil Rights. The next thing he knew young people defied authority and refused to support the war in Vietnam. Women suddenly seemed to lose their minds and wanted control over their own bodies. Clean cut kids started growing their hair long, smoking dope, and having irresponsible sex. This deeply disturbed millions of Americans like my grandfather who sincerely believed sex was only safely discussed within the confines of a Reader’s Digest article.
I can understand his confusion and anger. At the end of World War Two there was only one colossus bestriding the globe and that was us.
We Won. And we got our Just Reward.
We were the biggest, and the baddest, and we had Gawd and The Bomb on our side. (Not necessarily in that order.) We had the factories and the money, we had the know-how, and no matter how you sliced it … We Were The Good Guys. The United States could do just about anything … and we were poised to do just that. All Americans had to do was go to work, cash their paychecks, and start buying the American Dream as advertised on their new television sets.