Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Every Move You Make

1950 - 2015
Every Move You Make!
By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown September 16, 2015

A lot of people are not as fortunate as I am given the year I was born, 1945.  Besides World War II ending in 1945, yours truly was born in Youngstown, Ohio.  I don't remember much before 1950 and thus the reason this Nugget is entitled 1950-2015. 

I do remember the snow/blizzard of 1950 that hit Youngstown.  Specifically I remember the snow piles that were above my head.  I remember the street on which we lived where the snow was packed so tightly and so thick that a Schlitz Beer Truck that traveled the street on a regular basis did so on this day as well.  The driver was shocked to find the massive Oak Tree branches that he had cleared day after day before the storm now had no clearance at all.  Suddenly and violently the top of the truck was opened like a can and there was Schlitz Beer all over the street.  Lots of happy neighbors.

I also remember our elementary school class having Atomic Bomb Drills where we would all climb under our desks to protect us from the impending evil as if that would really save us from anything.

I remember the first black & white television and not long after that the first color television set.  In both cases the television sets outpaced the reception you could receive.  Oftentimes one of us would stand holding onto aluminium foil covered rabbit ears antenna to get the best reception on one of the three stations we could watch.

I remember actually walking to school all the way through to Junior High School.  Even attending High School I remember hitchhiking my way to school - no buses that I remember.  I once got into a 1962 Chevy Super Sport with 4 on the floor and a brass plate on the dash that read, "Do not lower the windows when speed exceeds 120 mph", that actually happened, the sign, not the speed.

I remember getting home from school and grabbing my baseball glove, bat and ball and heading to the park on my bike and not returning home until dark.  In the winter I would put on my boots, gloves, heavy coat and hat grab my skates and walk to the park where they would flood the tennis courts for us kids to skate.  Then at 9:00 PM when they would turn the lights off, home we went - walking in the snow alone.

I also remember watching Father Knows Best on television - all was right with the world.  Dads worked, Moms worked as homemakers, which is now a dirty word.  It was not necessary for a two income family if one had a good job.  So most of us had the opportunity to have a parent at home all the time.  Bloody noses, open wounds, breakfast, lunch, dinner and shoulders to cry on.  And there was always the pats on the back for doing a good job.  I remember turning my 45 rpm record player/radio on to WKBN and Jimmy Dudley to listen to the Cleveland Indians play baseball at night when I was supposed to be sleeping.  I remember sleeping with the windows open, year round and sometimes waking up with snow on my desk.

Why am I remembering these things now?  I recall sitting in a required presentation by Dr. Morris Massey ( that the U. S. Coast Guard "required" us all attend.  That was in the late 60's and I can recall it as if it were yesterday.  Why?  Because of its content and title.  "You Are What You Are (Today) Because of Where You Were When You Were Ten!"  Think about that.  If you were 10 during the depression years, you would have developed beliefs and principles brought on by the Great Depression.  You might have learned to be very selective in how you spent money or what and how much you would eat, etc.  I was 10 in the mid 50's and like I said, Father Knows Best and all was right in the world - really no wars, one parent working, one not, 2.5 children to a family and everyone was happy, at least in my world.  Then came the 60's and with it came Vietnam, flower children, free drugs, free sex, etc.  Again values and principles; or not.  You can go through history and ask yourself what kind of beliefs, values and principles were created during those years?

Why is this important?  It was important to the Leadership of the Coast Guard because we had youngsters and we had "old farts" excuse the language but that is what we called them.  So when an "old fart" had to discuss behavior with the youngsters they were coming from entirely different eras and thus different beliefs, values and principles. The "old farts" were hard on the youngsters because they had no formal training involving the different time frames, beliefs, values and principles.  It went without saying that everyone, according to age, were on different pages in the book.  As I said, I can remember the presentation as if it were yesterday.  That presentation also helped me in my real estate career by better understanding where my customers beliefs and values were coming from and most were not from the mid-50s as mine were.  Great, great, great training.

I write this now because at age 70 you must remember when I was 10, all was right with the world as compared to now where the world, at least to me, is rapidly falling apart.  I don't understand how younger people of today are more interested in playing video games, watching reality TV and having a general disinterest in what is happening in the world.  I remember joining the Coast Guard and feeling like I was doing something important with my life, saving people - serving my country.  I remember looking in the mirror every morning to see if my shirt was properly starched and wrinkle free, my name tag was not only straight, it was right side up and all my insignias and ribbons were on correctly.  I took great pride in that uniform - it was the uniform of my country and I was its ambassador - at least that is what I thought and believed.

But then it was Vietnam, and the aftermath of Vietnam with all the veterans returning home to a home that didn't want them - they were baby killers if you remember the shouts and articles.  America was falling apart under Jimmy Carter who became known as the worst President of the United States - ever!  Then came Ronald Reagan who shared his American Dream with everyone and almost immediately the world seemed to have righted itself.  So if you were 10 during the Reagan years, you grew up with a bustling economy, jobs were plentiful, pay was good if not great.  If you were 10 during the Carter years - well let's say it was not pleasant.

But if you grew up in the Clinton years what was the dominant memory of President Clinton - the blue dress.  My God, the President was having sex with an intern in the Oval Office which was not only apparently okay to do but it was also okay for the President to lie about it to the public.  This may and probably had been going on for a long time with past Presidents but who knew?  Now we knew, and what was the message being sent to 10 year olds during this horrible mess?

God forbid that you were 10 on 9/11.  I can't even begin to imagine what a 10 year old went through during that period and all the terrorism and murders that have occurred ever since 9/11.  They almost seem to be routine, expected and accepted.  What a horrible thought that is; again, at least to me it is.

But why is it not an absolute horrible thought to everyone else?  Why do so many not seem to care or even pay attention?  I am more convinced than ever that it goes back to "You Are What You Are Because of Where You Were When You Were 10!"

Here is the question for you the reader, when were you 10 years old?  What was happening in your environment to cause you to develop the behaviors and beliefs not to mention your character that has become entrenched in your mindset?  Was your environment positive or negative?  More importantly, what can we learn from this if it is all true? 

What about the environment you are bringing your children up in?  What kind of beliefs, values, principles will they develop because of the environment you are creating for them?  As an example, we all know smoking is bad for your health and the health of those folks around you.  So if you have children around the age of 10 and they see you smoking, that makes it okay to do and they would like to be like you; after all you are their parent(s) are you not?  Or let's say you cuss a great deal or even a little deal.  A 10 year old may think that such language is acceptable and even desirable; it makes them adult-like.  Or maybe you drink a bit too much and too often.  Again what message are you sending to a 10 year old?  Drinking is permissible and again desirable.  And of course there are the drugs; hopefully not for you!   Better yet, babies are born without an ounce of prejudice in their little bodies.  Where do you think youngsters get their prejudices from?  Unfortunately not only do they get it from their parents, they can now get it from their video games, television shows and books if they even read books.  And speaking of books, Dr. Ben Carson who is running for President in 2015 gives the credit for reaching such a high pinnacle to his mother.  She would make Ben and his brother, who all lived in the worst parts of Detroit at the time, read a book-a-week and then give her a book report before they could do anything else.  He said a library card saved him and his brother from the disasters others in his neighborhood experienced growing up and dying young.  Do you read books in front of your 10 year old?  If not, how can you expect him or her to want to read as you do or do not?

If you have never heard Andy Andrews talk about the Butterfly Effect, you need to.  It is only 10 minutes long and you can see it at:  In effect it means that each one of us has the ability through his or her actions to change the world.  Just one action causes another action to occur and on and on it extends.  It is a brilliant video clip that by itself could change the world just as you and I can by our actions or inactions.

Today the world if falling apart like no other time in my memory 1950-2105.  What am I going to do to help fix it?  Maybe just writing this Nugget for the Noggin or maybe something I might post on Facebook, an email I might send or a conversation I might have that affects others.  I flap my butterfly wings to cause someone else to do something, and they flap their butterfly wings, that causes something else to happen that in the end helps to change the world back to a peaceful place to live.

What are you going to do?  Where are you going to flap your butterfly wings?  Whose life are you going to help improve?  What lessons are you going to give your 10 year old?

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