I was born in 1962, and I grew up during the 1970’s.
It really was a great time to grow up. I could ride my bike down to the local store and get a Popsicle for 12 cents or a candy bar for 10 cents. There was actually penny candy. I would meet my best friend at the corner—we both had a love of reading. We would ride our bikes to the public library and get a basket of books or go to the high school swimming pool for open swim where it cost a quarter for three hours of swimming bliss.
Other things I remember—smiley pins, peace, not war, singing “where have all the flowers gone” in folk Mass, seeing the names of the missing in action of our young men in Vietnam after the nightly news, getting a POW bracelet and realizing my person became missing on my birthday, Watergate, women burning their bras and the Equal Rights Amendment.
I was the youngest of four children. I had two sisters and one brother. It was a traditional family of the time, where my father went off to work and my mother stayed home. My mother was different than other mothers. She was a little older as she had me at 34, which was considered “old” in 1962. She also encouraged her daughters to do things even if it wasn’t common for someone of their gender. My two sisters and brother and I were an equal opportunity household when it came to lawn care. We had a huge lawn. I will mention that we had like three or four lawnmowers and hopefully, one would work. In my friend’s family, the brother or father would end up with the duty of mowing the lawn. In our family it was shared, between the siblings. I don’t remember my brother sharing in the housework duties; I will have to ask my mother about that.
I remember my mother with some of her lady friends starting a league of women voters group in town. I also recall my mother inviting her friends over for a brown bag lunch and they had to talk about a certain pre-determined subject (no gossip). The time I overheard them they were discussing the pros and cons of the various presidential candidates. It got interesting, as the ladies at the brown bag lunch represented both major parties.
My best friend Pam and I spent a lot of time together. We met before Kindergarten. I helped her zip her coat, so our horrible mean kindergarten teacher wouldn’t yell at Pam.
We were both Catholic and spent time at CCD (church school). When we were in 5th or 6th grade, our priest was going to come to our class and perform the Catholic Mass. Our priest was actually a Monsieur (a “higher up” in the Catholic world) and really a nice person. I told him that I didn’t think it was fair that girls couldn’t be alter people. At that time only boys could do the duties. My husband was an alter boy, growing up in a nearby town. ERA had not gotten to the Catholic Church in 1973. Pam and I couldn’t be alter girls. Our priest decided to let us be alter girls at the mass that was held at our CCD class in the neighbor’s home. It was a big deal in our life...Unfortunately we couldn’t perform the duties at church. That was one of the many disappoints that I had, early in life.
When I used to attend the Little League games that my friend Pam’s brother played in, there weren’t any girls playing. The town didn’t even have summer softball. Pam and I did swim competitively, as that was a sport both sexes could take part in.
Fast forward to the early 1990s and my son played Little League baseball and youth hockey. There were a few girls playing both sports. One of my son’s female friends played on her middle school hockey team and I remember opposing fans yelling, “get her!” They hated seeing a girl playing hockey with the boys. From the 1970s to the 1990s, females moved forward, but a lot of people still didn’t accept it. I was very happy when that one female that my son played youth hockey, earned a full scholarship to a division 1 school to play hockey. You go girl!
When one of my closest and dearest friends graduated from her high school as valedictorian, she planned on pursing a nursing degree. Her parents were happy about it. My friend recently told me that my father pulled her aside and said “you are smart enough to be a doctor; you should be a doctor.” She came from a good home where her brothers mowed the lawn and she stayed inside to do housework. She said that no one had faith in her like my father did. That is how most females grew up during the 1970s.
The females of my son’s generation have had many opportunities that my generation has not. The generation before me had even less.
At my Democratic Caucus I was standing outside handing out information about Senator Clinton. Some of the men had some really demeaning things to say about her. This came from supposedly “open-minded” Democrats. I thought back to the ice rink—“Get her!”
I don’t think many of the young women who are be supporting Barack Obama realize how ground-breaking Hillary Clinton is. I knew little about Mrs. Clinton until I read her autography, a few years ago. Yes, I am still an avid reader. Luckily, I don’t have to ride my bike to my local library as I would have to go for quite a long ride. I was blown away when I read where Hillary came from and what she has done in her life. When I was hankering to be an alter girl, Hillary Rodham was attending Yale Law School.
It is a time for a woman to be given the opportunity to run the show in the USA. Currently, according to Parade Magazine, there are 13 other female heads of state in the world. It is time for a women president in the USA. She is the best qualified. America thinks they are so with it, but we have yet to have women at the highest level in our country
I get a lot of emails. I have split my adult life between being a Republican and Democrat and for a very short time, I was as a Green. I get information from all sides. I know how the other side thinks.
A few months back, I received an email. I am not sure the exact date as I deleted it. The email told about Senator Obama coming to Maine. I was interested as I really like the opportunity to see candidates in person. I am a closet political “junkie.” Then I read the email and I realized it was a fundraiser and I had to pay $25 to see him. I emailed the person who was the contact. I told him that I wanted to see Senator Obama but I wasn’t a supporter yet. I asked where Senator Obama would be speaking for free. The Obama organizer said I would have to pay to see him in Maine. I replied that I could understand that they needed to have a fundraiser, but they should have another event for free. Even if it was for a 10 minute event. That way people like me could hear the senator and maybe become a Senator Obama supporter, or “groupie.” The organizer indicated that I could go to NH and hear him for free, if I wanted. I thought it was odd that I have heard many candidates for free, such as Dick Chenney, John Edwards, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean. I hadn’t supported any of them, until I saw them in person. I didn’t get to hear Senator Obama, as I wasn’t going to part with my $25.
I have asked Obama supporters why they support him. The answers are pretty much the same. “We want a change in Washington. It’s time for a change.We want to bring the country together. We want to bring Republicans, iIndependents and Democrats together. We want to unitify the country.”
I am the same age as Senator Obama and like I said earlier, I have spent half my adult life as a Republican and the other half a Democrat. The right dislikes what the left stands for, and the left dislikes what the right stands for. I know first hand as we cannot talk politics with my husband’s family. We were not on speaking terms during the last presidential election. At Thanksgiving, I had a seating plan to keep the Republicans separated from the Democrats. Don’t you think the rest of the country will feel the same way about their party and their views? We just need to all get along. It is easy to say but harder to do. I know first hand.
Have Obama supporters drunk the kool aid and think Obama will just go to Washington even without having any experience and track record and will just work together with all and everyone will play nicely in the sandbox? While we are at it, we also want to end world hunger, Aids and child abuse. Just saying we want a change doesn’t make it happen.
I want change from my business-to-business sales job and so I am going to be an airplane pilot. Oh, I don’t have the experience and yes I wear glasses so it really wouldn’t work out too well. I do want change, so miracles will just happen. I will have 20/20 vision and I will fly international, not domestic, because I want to see Italy. It’s my change, so I can dream.
We do need a change but the change is Hillary! Give the girl a chance. Listen to her. She has something besides merely saying “we need a change.” She has qualifications and policies to back up her talk. It’s not just empty words.