By Abe Villarreal
Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong generation. I love listening to the old standards. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, they all take me to another place.
Those over the top movies of the ’30s and ’40s where movie star legends were too big for the big screen are just my thing. They didn’t seem like you and me, they were untouchable celebrities that we could only dream of meeting but knew we never would.
Today, everything is a little too real. There is nowhere to get away. TV shows remind us of the kind of things that are troubling us in our own lives. Movie actors show us their every move. We are supposed to believe that celebrities are just like us.
I was born in the early ' 80s before social media consumed us and led us to believe that everything, every moment should be shared. There are no more secrets or whispers in the corners of rooms filled with smoke and the smell of a hard drink.
That was a different time, but I’ve learned and fantasized about it thanks to a couple of “old” friends that enjoy talking about their good old days. I constantly hear that times used to be simpler. Life was easier to understand.
It sure seems that way from watching reruns of I Love Lucy and other TV classics. But life must have been complicated in so many ways. People worked all day for everything they had. They didn’t expect anything in return. Nothing was free, and you thanked your lucky stars for the penny you had in your pocket.
I love reading Sunday Comics in the local paper. They take me back to those times. In about four squares of colorful characters, you can learn a life lesson. Garfield’s look alone helped explain life or at least make you feel better about it.
Dennis was undoubtedly a menace, but not today’s kind. His trouble was solvable, and everything was O.K. by the end of the day. The kids from Peanuts helped us understand that hard conversations could be understood between people who were open-minded and a little silly.
Maybe times were simpler during the days of Drive-Ins and sock-hoppers. The advances of the last 50 years have made us more prosperous, but perhaps not happier. We have bigger houses and faster cars. Our phones are computers in our pockets, and there are hundreds of TV channels to leave you clicking through all afternoon.
And with all that, conversations seem more complicated, arguments more heated. Rights and wrongs are not so clear anymore. People don’t understand each other. What we once thought was simple, seems confusing.
We don’t take deep breaths. We make deep sighs. We are tired, working, working, working. Life is hard to balance. Living a life like those in The Family Circus cartoon is not a reality.
In some ways, we need to go back to the time when playing a scratchy record and hearing the smooth voice of Tony Bennett was part of our daily lives. Sitting back, throwing our feet in the air and getting lost in the music.
Fly me to the moon...