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vallo13

Livin" in the 40's

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Did anyone in this forum ever wish they lived life in the 40's?

The forty's era seemed cool. I would sit and listen to my folks talk about the era and think I wish I was born then(well...maybe not now ,I'd be in my 80's)was it the style of clothes,hair,cars or the way Hollywood was then. And the of course then movie stars. The fact that all people were on the same financial status,There were movie books and serials, 10 cent movies it just seemed to be a nation where we all got along. sometimes now watching classics on TCM I feel that way again.What do you think....

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Well, there is no question that it was an exceptional decade. Of course it was a nightmarish time for many people, as World War II was raging on so many fronts, and nearly every American knew some loss as a result. My grandmother used to tell me about her life as a young woman during those years; she would never sugarcoat it, but it still came over as an exciting time to be alive.

 

I found myself mesmerized by the whole 1930s and '40s era when she and I watched old movies together. Hard to say why it caught my attention, as I was born well after that time. But I do love the clothes and the music and the movies and the slang. Would I go back? Only if the time machine could reverse and bring me back eventually. Culturally the 1960s don't interest me much, but we certainly made significant social progress then!

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And there weren't so many distractions to corrupt kids' minds, like video-games and MP3s. However, there wasn't TCM or DVD to enjoy great films whenever you darn well feel like along with air-conditional vehicles and the Internet to discuss the things discussed here with people, like me, you don't know personally. But the ladies sure seemed lovely.

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for the Forties, well actually the Twenties, and Thirties too, and maybe the Fifties and Sixties.

 

Okay, I can stop there as I definitely do not have a fond feeling for the Seventies or Eighties!

 

Interestingly, though one might think living through the Depression and War Years was quite debilitating, I too have had relatives talk about the fun things they did trading ration stamps, and collecting foil into those balls, and having hose [this was the women relatives of course, although my relatives being quite outre, not only knew gay people from that time period, but knew some rather wild folks who lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, who were male hippie types with long hair and sandals, and knew all about dilated pupils, just like Gene Krupa] which would not run, since they made the stockings in a lockstitch so as to save women from getting runners....and other fun things like buying those chubby coats, which were sheared and called Lapin [for rabbits that are French..haha!] and you see them in old films.

 

My women relatives saved a lot of their clothes, so I have I Miller shoes, and bias cut dresses, and art deco jewelry that is fun to wear to costume parties. I remember my relatives talking about how they would go to the theatre for the whole day sometimes, and watch vaudeville shows with W.C. Fields, and Blackstone the Magician, and even Houdini, and can you imagine how much fun that would be? Seeing a cartoon, and a serial, and a B-movie and then an A-movie, and all kinds of live acts. Wow...I bet they were tired when they finally went home.

 

The old movie magazines present a glorified picture, but just like my grandmother has said a million times, that no one really with a good brain thought that the Martians were here during the Welles' broadcast, which she listened to...I think most people living then were not as awestruck with movie stars as people are now. But they did enjoy their pictures, but the stars made so much less money, and really had to toe the line at the studios.

 

I'd like to ride in one of those old cars with a running board or rumble seat, and being in those old movie palaces must have been much more entertaining, than sitting in these puny, ugly multiplex chopped up theaters now.

 

Great question, Vallo!

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I was born in 1941 and have some childhood memories of those days; enough to wish I could go back. One, and it's a bit silly, was the reassurance I felt when I'd hear Gabriel Heatter begin his radio newscast with "There's good news tonight!" I wasn't intellectually mature enough yet to know worry, but something in the way he said those words made me feel safer.

 

Another was radio itself. The cultural flavor of those days cannot be understood without experiencing radio. I'd especially recommend it to lovers of classic films. It acquainted me with classic Hollywood even as a 6-year old. I knew about Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, and so on. Lux Theater, Screen Directors Playhouse, and Screen Guild Theater are widely available on the 'net and great entertainment.

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I was just reading about cars with rumble seats, and I was fascinated with them as a child. My mother once said to me, ride in one in the dead of winter, and you might not be quite that fascinated.

 

I'm just wondering for anyone around in the 40's, did people then want to be back in time also, or were they content with their lives then.

 

Basically, I would love to be able to time travel, but not sure if I would to stay.

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I have to agree with the posters who say it would be great to visit but I don't know how well any of us would do with the actual day to day living of the 1930s and the 1940s.

 

I, too, would love to sit in the old movie palaces and watch the Greats on the silver screen but one thing we should keep in mind is that people were terribly poor during the Depression. Coming up with a dime to go to the movies was not always as easy as it sounds. Back then, you didn't go to the movies on an impulse, stop by the ATM, get your money and go.

 

If you were a person of color, your life was segregated whether you lived in the North or the South.

 

If you were a woman, you had a difficult time getting credit at a bank, everything was in your husband's name. Daily housework was done by hand. Clothes were washed and then but through a hand wringer before being hung out on the line to dry. Dishes were done by hand after every meal. Few families could afford vacuum cleaners.

 

Life was probably harder back then but people managed with out all the things that we take for granted. I know folks who grew up during those years who today still marvel at how their parents managed to put food on the table for the traditional Sunday dinner. It was only when they were much older did they realize their fathers were sitting there wondering if they would have a traditional Sunday dinner the following week.

 

Rationing during the war. If you liked sugar with your coffee every day, you had to figure out how to stretch that sugar because everything was rationed. Paper, film, sugar, gas, you name it, it was rationed. Few people had cars and those that did had to buy gas using rationing stamps so vacations were few and far between.

 

Mothers took jobs in the war plants to make ends meet because their husbands were 'over there'. Everyone, it seemed, knew someone off fighting in Europe or the Pacific. The one thing you dreaded was a knock at the door and find the Western Union telegram boy standing there.

 

By the time the war was over, the country was tired of all the rationing, all the hard times. Right after the war the ecomony slumped. Finally towards the end of the decade, the post war boom kicked in and everyone born since then has reaped that benefit in one way or another.

 

Cars, styles, movies, culture all seem so much better with hindsight no matter what decade you are looking at. But, the reality of those years is usually much different than what we have been presented with in tv shows and movies that look back at those eras.

 

As much as I love that era (and believe me, to be able to experience Los Angeles when there were still orange groves every where and it really was a dream factory town would be awesome.) but, at the end of the day, I don't know that I could live there.

 

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Being born in 1934, I can attest to many things the posters have said. I was seven at the outbreak of the war. Times were tough,but there were good times too. I for one would love to be able to revisit the years of my youth.Strange to say, but I hold many fond memories from those years.

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You know, I've always been more fascinated by the 20's, even though my parents were young adults during the 40's. The 20's seem like they would be the equivalent of the late 60's, where young adults were making unprecidented changes in their lifestyles that were completely different than previous generations. I know things were tough then, but I've always loved the 1920's.

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At least in the forties I saw those classic serials one week at a time as they were mean't to be seen. Also for 12 cents we were in the theater from 2pm until about 6pm. WHAT A BARGAIN!

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