After the Boom: United We Stand— Warts and All

I know the range of age for retired people grows wider and wider with each passing year. For starters, people retire a lot earlier than they used to and, of course, as a group we live longer. This is the domain of the Baby Boomer, whose legions began marching beyond the traditional retirement age of 65 in 2011. The first group of Baby Boomers was born in 1946— the year following the demise of World War II.

Most of our parents didn’t go to college, but it was important to them that their children had that opportunity. We had the draft and a war in Southeast Asia to make going to college even more enticing in the sixties. I got to do both and, surviving a tour in Vietnam, I got to come back and work my way through college as a married man with a financial assist from the GI Bill. Some served, some protested and some did all they could not to do either.

We shared a common culture and it is a bond that unites us still. If you are a Boomer or older you will surely remember most of the following:

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking— Of course, we still have Yellow Pages but the role of the telephone has changed drastically. With texting, many of us are letting our fingers do the talking…

Good Night, Chet — For those who watched the news on ABC and…

That’s the Way It Is if you relied on Walter Cronkite for your news…

Just the Facts, Ma’am—an oft-repeated line on Dragnet, which was popular before the war on radio and for a couple of decades on TV…

War! What Is It Good For!— A bit of musical protest during the Vietnam years (Edwin Starr), and the answer was, “Absolutely nothing!”

Hell no, we won’t go— Well, I did, but at least I made it back. Too many didn’t. Anti-war and civil rights demonstrations often went hand in hand. Protest nowadays requires a perceived injustice and an excuse for some to burn, loot and destroy…

Black is Beautiful— The seeds of racial pride are planted for coming generations…

Good to the Last drop— It was a coffee lover’s slogan (Maxwell House) when you made your own for pennies a cup before there was a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts…

The Devil Made Me Do It— The catch phrase from Flip Wilson in drag when variety shows ruled TV Land…

Stifle yourself— Archie Bunker showed us how stupid racism is, but not everyone (mostly stupid racists) realized the joke was on them…

Have It Your Way— Well, you could hold the pickle, hold the lettuce at Burger King, and they’d be glad to hold the burger for the same price…

Two All-Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun— the most memorized 15 words in advertising history…

Some of the following slogans and phrases would be politically incorrect today. How about:

My Wife… I think I’ll keep her— Can you remember what product this line promoted in 1972? Let’s just say this iron-rich tonic should have stuck with its “tired blood” commercial…

Take my wife, please— This had the makings of being politically incorrect, but as a one-liner from Henny Youngman it didn’t offend…

I’m Susan, Fly Me! — This National Airlines commercial was definitely offensive on the threshold of the women’s liberation movement. The airline went out of business in 1980. So much for flying stewardesses…

Atsa Spicy Meatball— This would probably be regarded as offensive to Italian Americans today, but it sold a lot of Alka-Seltzer. It was a close second to another Alka-Seltzer tagline, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”

We Will Bury You! It was the Cold War and Nikita Kruschev, now dead and buried, was our archenemy…

Duck and Cover— Speaking of Kruschev, it was the source on many a nightmare for school children in the fifties taught this Civil Defense maneuver in the event a Russian lobbed nuclear bomb was to explode nearby…

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste— This slogan originated on behalf of the United Negro College Fund (now known as UNCF) more than four decades ago and is still widely quoted when accenting the importance of education…

Don’t trust anyone over 30— Remember the Generation Gap? This was popular when I was in my twenties. I believed it then, but came to realize the sacrifice those who fought in World War II and Korea made for us…

A silly millimeter longer— Smokers got a bigger bang for their buck with the longer Chesterfield cigarette. I guessed Benson & Hedges until I looked it up. Chesterfield also came up with the more forgettable, Blow some my way.

Speaking of smoking…

Are you smoking more and enjoying it less? This was asked by Camel, which was also a cigarette some people walked a mile for— if they had enough wind to make it, that is…

Put that in your pipe and smoke it was not an ad slogan but a popular idiom back in the days when most men— and a good number of women— smoked. It basically means that if you don’t like what I say, too bad.

So I guess you’ll have to put that in your pipe and smoke it. You’ll most likely have to do it outside, though.

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About Wes

Wes is the sole copywriter/editor at SkillUnlimited and provides copy-editing services for internet marketing, website copy, book editing, and more.

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