Viewpoint–Lucky One Percent of Americans

(Editor’s note: A reader sent this, which was originally posted July 2022 in the Western Outdoor Times. CTN thought you might enjoy it.)

The one percent age group was born between 1930 and 1946, which is a 16-year span. In 2022, those people were between 76 and 92 years old.

Interesting Facts:

This was the smallest group of children born since the early 1900’s.  This was the last generation, to climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war.

This is the last generation to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves. You saved tin foil and poured fried meat fat into tin cans. You can remember milk being delivered to your house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

This is the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, you “imagined” what you heard on the radio. With no TV until the 1950s, you spent your childhood “playing outside.”

Two children jump through a fire hydrant’s spray on a street in New York, circa 1950.                    Orlando/Getty Images

There was no Little League. There was no city playground for kids. The lack of television in your early years meant that you had little real understanding of what the world was like.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party lines), and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy). Computers were called calculators; they were hand-cranked. Typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

‘INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on your radio in the evening.

It was felt that new highways would bring jobs and mobility. The radio network expanded from three stations to thousands. Your parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into working hard to make a living for their families.

You weren’t neglected, but you weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. Parents were glad you played by yourselves. They were busy discovering the postwar world.

You entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where you were welcomed, enjoyed yourselves, felt secure in your future although the depression and poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

You came of age in the ’50s and ’60s. You are the last generation to experience an interlude there were no threats to our homeland. World War II was over and the cold war, terrorism, global warming, and perpetual economic

Insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease. Only your generation can remember both a time of great war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty.

You grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better… More than 99% of you are retired and you should feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times!”

If you have already reached the age of 80 years old, you have outlived 99% of all the other people currently in the world! You are a one percenter.



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2 Responses to Viewpoint–Lucky One Percent of Americans

  1. Arlene K. Weber says:

    I was one of the one percent. One thing I would like to add is the fact that though the newspapers and magazines were mostly for adults there were Comic Books including one on Superman for children to enjoy and one could buy them at the local drugstore.

  2. Trina Saltzman says:

    i’m a one percenter. Born 1938, 85 years old. I remember standing with my mother at the butcher shop with her ration book in her hand. Lining our garbage pail with newspaper, putting it at the curb for the garbage man to pick-up. Walking the 6 blocks to my elementary school, with only a 10 year old to help us cross streets,. no mommies in our neighborhood drove. I’m sorry for the 99% that didn’t make it. Every day is a gift.

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