Today is my birthday which is no big deal anymore. We have a lot of birthdays in the family during August, seems to be a lot of cuddling during December as the cold months settle.
Back in 1955, the year I was born, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president – he raised minimum wage from 75 cents to $1 an hour which didn’t rise much over the the 20 years as my first jobs as a mechanical and architectural draftsman netted $1.50 to $2.50 an hour. My jobs in paper mills and construction in the mid 1970s ranged from 5 to $8 dependent on the job position (these were union jobs).
There were two hurricanes in August of 1955, Connie and Diane which moved through the northeast. Connie killed 43 in NC, SC, Virginia & Maryland. The hurricane pounded the Eastern U.S. for 11 days. Following Connie two days later Hurricane Diane flooded Connecticut River killing 190 & doing $1.8 billion damage. Eighteen inches of rain fell in Westfield, Massachusetts. 12.5 inches fell in Burlington, Connecticut from Diane (both state records). Death toll was 400.
A lot of things have changed both socially and with technology since the 1950s. Families lived closer together and in neighborhood everyone was social knowing all the families around them. Black and white T.V.s were coming into homes and every kid had to have a transistor radio. Hi-Fi phonographs were popular, which had a pair of large 12″ full range speakers. We only had AM radio, some of the tube sets had shortwave also.
All the kids in the neighborhood were outside playing until dark, there was no worries of kidnappings and many home were left unlocked over night. Mom and pop stores provided the food and daily needs families needed, seems there was one on every block, and they prospered before the big box stores moved in and put them out of business.
We have some rain moving into the area this morning mainly south of Grand Rapids which will be the case today. I have been waiting for a rainy morning to work on some of my in door hobby projects – I have an electronics lab upstairs and a wood shop in the basement. With all the dry clear days I have been outside doing lawn and building maintenance. It is time for a break. The best chance of storms will be south and east of Grand Rapids later today.
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