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How did people 'hook up' in the Golden Era?

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Big J, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. My dad just got out of high school - he claimed - we never found a diploma or other evidence that he made it that far. He was a successful small businessman (and professional gambler [probably bookie as well] - he had a full life), but unquestionably had a passive dislike (insecurity?) toward those who had college or further-advanced degrees.

    "Educated idiots" was one of his favorite terms to refer to those who had gone to college but he thought were stupid. He regular said he was proud of his "degree from the school of hard knocks."

    To be fair, he never discourage me from going to college and, even, encouraged it as he said it was a necessary thing for many fields "today." But that was the point, to him it was not about becoming educated, expanding your mind, learning new disciplines, being exposed to a wider field of thought, different ideas, etc., it was a grudging acknowledgment that one needed "to get your ticket punched" to get into or advance in certain fields.

    He made it clear before, during and after I had my degree that he did not see it as any great achievement (I agree with this - getting a degree from a state university hardly put me in some small pool of people) or any reason to be proud (I've never been smug or thought myself special for doing what over ten thousand at just my school alone did each year).

    He's been dead now over 25 years and with a lot less emotion to it, I understand that he felt insecure to have a son go to college when he didn't - he'd shoot me if I ever said that to or about him, but I think that was true. He - as noted - did want me to go, but it was in a dismissive way about the entire experience - which I get from his perspective.

    Last thought: my college experience was outstanding as I went college to learn and availed myself of all the resources there to do so. In college, I did expand my mind, gained exposure to disciplines and fields of study I didn't even know existed and learned ways to approach problems and new information that has helped me my entire life. I am grateful to have had that opportunity as it worked for me. Some people went, partied and, IMHO, got very little out of it - their choice as it was their dime. Other people I've known in my life never went to college and educated themselves way beyond my level of formal education and that of many college graduates. College is a resource - it helps some (me), doesn't work for others (40% or more drop out and many more graduate by coasting) and many educate themselves in other ways. And, IMHO, none of this is about intelligence or IQ or whatever one wants to call "it" as, IMHO, intelligence is different from education and is not binary, reducible to a number or easy to define.

    We personal-freedom-loving libertarians have not one issue with Dr. Martin and his wife and mistress as long as it was all consensual (which it very much sounds like it was). And heck, he created an enduring superhero.
  2. I'm pretty sure Churchill's support for eugenics was supported by a quote along those lines - but yes, OWH in Buck v Bell is the original. Thanks, that was bugging me - I had a feeling there was something else lurking in the background.... OWH was another of the ones we studied in that eugenics debate from the pov of it being a popular view among people we might not have expected it to be!
  3. Yup. Those who boast of superior intellect betray an insecurity about it.

    My stepdad, who came into my life at such an early age that I have no memory of life before him (my biological father died when I was four months old) was profoundly insecure about his intellect relative to that of my two older brothers and me. His ways of "compensating" took loud and violent forms.

    I don't know of any truly empirical way to measure intelligence, or even to define it. But whatever it is, it isn't static. A person can turn a well-functioning brain to mush, or he can sharpen it.
  4. Agreed and further, there are so many "types" of intelligence. I worked with people who could solve a complex problem with amazing insight, but couldn't offer up a suggestion to create a new way of doing something to save their life. They were very intelligent (even highly intelligent) problem solvers to existing systems, but seemed to have less high intelligence when it came to being creative or coming up with completely new solutions.

    And, of course, I worked with people who were the complete opposite - had ten smart new ideas a day to do something in a fresh or different way, etc., but were not particularly good at fixing an existing system or process problem. And those are just two examples of the incredible variety that intelligence takes. Reducing intelligence to one number seems impossible to me.
  5. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    And ...

    I've worked doing events with some EXTREMELY intelligent people, Nobel prize winning scientists and the like. In their fields they are heroes, and with good reason. Outside of that, though many clearly felt that their god-like powers of the intellect made them superior to all mankind they could barely tie their shoes. Some of this was that they had blinded themselves with arrogance, some of it was just pure garden variety dopiness.

    I tend to equate real intelligence with traction. You can have a powerful engine in your car but unless the whole vehicle is engineered to transmit that power to the ground, you'll just spin your wheels. A balance of power and traction is vastly superior to pure intellectual power.

    My Dad quit school in the middle of the tenth grade but educated himself very effectively (though without some of the intellectual give and take you find in the ultimate college environment ... um, for the record, I don't consider much of today's college environment the least bit "ultimate.'). When asked by people later on if he would recommend skipping college and getting out to see the world he would usually answer: "Sure, if you can read from 100 non fiction books a year for the rest of your life." He actually did that and it worked pretty damn well but it is beyond most people's focus or patience. On the other hand, if he hadn't made it in a very, very, limited range of professions he would have died a well read ditch digger. Proper college is a must, it's just becoming harder and harder to find a proper college.
  6. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I'm not so sure it's hard t find a proper college, whatever proper might mean. The joke around here is that there's a college off every exit on the interstate, which is close to true. But when you finish college, you eventually realize that scarcely half of what you presumably learned had anything to do with the field you are entering and also, that you really didn't learn that much to begin with. In other words, it is obvious that you haven't mastered anything. That takes another year or two. The possible employments you might find are so different from one another that the education has to be fairly general. So anyway, you never really stop learning.

    But college sets you apart from those who never went. Your total outlook changes and your experiences will be different. You will have a lot in common with other college graduates. None of this is necessarily good or bad; it just is.

    I thought for sure this was going to be a thread about how nice young men met nice young women in the past before the internet. But how on earth do you meet people on the internet? People used to do things socially and believe it or not, they still do. Young people still go to dances (that's where I met my wife), though not like they used to, for sure. But you can't met a nice young lady if you stay home and watch TV. Television probably killed dancing. For entertainment, people would go out for an evening of dancing and that was what supported the big and not so big bands. You wouldn't have gone to a bar to meet anyone nice, I imagine, if that were a requirement.
  7. 59Lark

    59Lark A-List Customer

    I think this post migrated off topic but many do , my parents who lived in the golden era met at a barn dance, they were children of farmers and they became a farm couple and i was born on their farm, when i was 22 i met my wife at a bowling alley with a church league, now i am 54 and my wife wants to move on and start a new life and i wonder where i will meet some one again, my children tell me the future is dating sites but being a ludite, that seems imidating , i saw this post and it made me wonder, what the future holds for this dinosaur, rotary phones, stetson fedoras, studebaker cars and mechanical machinery repair seems to lost to the golden era, hey i got left behind 59 lark.
  8. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Meeting someone else is a social thing and the internet is only a virtual reality. There used to be, I think (before my time), lonely hearts clubs where you exchanged letters and photos and hoped for the best. The alternative, if you were a stay-at-home type, was to let your aunt fix you up with someone. If you hope to meet someone on the internet (who isn't a policeman posing as a 14-year old girl), then you're going to wind up with someone else who spends a lot of time on the internet, too.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially when you're too old to go dancing.
  9. Here's an interesting look at how one middle-class couple met and courted and married in the early 1930s -- as chronicled in a masters' thesis written by their sociologist granddaughter.

    Basically the two met at work -- the fella was a manager in a department store and the gal worked there as a clerk. One thing led to another, and a long trail of letters documents the development of their relationship and the concerns they had regarding contraception. It's one couple in what was a minority social class at the time, but it's still an interesting window.
    Edward likes this.
  10. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    That's interesting. Although many things may have been discussed before and about marriage, few things would have been written down and fewer things remembered or revealed to others. Morals change in unpredictable ways and never logically. First of all, it is from when people "courted," and that says a lot right there.

    My wife's grandmother supposedly never married until her father died, by which time she was almost 40. But marry she did and she had two children, both girls, both still living (at 93 and 95!). Supposedly, according to my wife, she, the grandmother, had wanted to marry someone else way back when but he was a cousin and that didn't fly. I don't recall how she met the man she married. My wife's grandfather worked at a boy's boarding school and lived on the grounds, so my mother-in-law and her sister grew up at a boy's boarding school.

    When my daughter, now married, told my mother-in-law she was engaged, she said "Don't have kids right away." And so far, they haven't. I think my wife was the youngest in her family to ever marry--of those that did. I was past 30 myself when we married but my wife was still in her 20s.

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