Write Again…Very little stays the same

Published 12:55 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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To one extent or another I would guess most of us look back, from time to time, and recall at least parts of our childhood with much fondness.  

This isn’t to say that everyone has mostly good memories from those times in their lives. Sad it is for those who experienced difficult or traumatic events that remain with them always.  Sad, indeed.  

Each generation, some more so than others, grows up in a culture, in a society, that is at least a bit different than the preceding one. That is simply the way of it, you know, nothing stays exactly the same.  Customs, viewpoints, even values. Sometimes, especially values.  

Enough of my effete attempt at being analytical. I’ll leave such to the sociologists.  

I do know, however, that listening to my parents tell me about their growing up days really interested me. It would seem to me that today’s young people probably would be uninterested in listening to their parents’ reminiscences of childhood. Today’s youth are focused almost entirely on their hand-held devices, probably centered on social media, as it is called. That’s simply how it seems to be.

While my mother, Irene Whitehurst Houston, (1917-89) didn’t talk a lot about her childhood, she did tell me of some of the things she experienced, as a girl growing up on a farm. She talked about her siblings, their farm pets (a chicken and a pony), her days as a student at the school in Conetoe. I don’t recall her dwelling on such things as no indoor plumbing, no central heat (air conditioning wasn’t even heard of), no paved rural roads, and other things we now take for granted.

Her teens were spent during the very depths of the Great Depression. They ate what they grew or raised, but there was scant money for non-essentials. That was the way of it, especially so for most farm people.  

My father, Francis Bartow Houston, (1907-90) lived his first twelve years in Monroe, NC, with his parents. During this time his three older sisters left home, first for college (which was a bit out of the norm for girls of that period), and then for marriage. My paternal grandfather (1862-1919) died when my father was twelve. He was Walter Bartow Houston. My grandmother, Mary Harvey Fitzgerald Houston, (1871-194?) was called Molly.  

I recall loving to hear my father talk about his growing up pals, and the things they did together. That all ended when his father died, and he was sent off to prep school, and then later went to live in Macon, Georgia, with a married older sister, and attended Lanier High School. He told me about his football and track days there and I loved hearing about all of it.  

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know if today’s youth have much interest in hearing about their parents’ growing up years. I would rather doubt it. Their world is driven mostly by staying connected through technology. An obsession for some.  How they love their addict-a-phones.

Oh, well. As we all come to learn as we wend our way through life, not much really stays the same.  

That’s just the way of it.

Take care of yourselves now…you hear.