All American Barbecue

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The Smell of Democracy in the Air

Every July 4th our split level development would be shrouded by the smoke of burning charcoal, the sizzling smell of democracy was in the air.

Besides a parade, nothing was more quintessentially American than a July 4th back yard barbecue. Like some sacred Old Testament tradition of sacrificing an animal to please the Lord, every Independence Day a burnt offering of seared flesh was offered up in homage to Uncle Sam.

And in that confident mid-century soaring bull market, Democracy was as vital to our health as a Delmonico steak.

Dad knew tossing a hunk of meat on a sizzling grill, the ubiquitous package of Kingsford briquettes at the ready, proclaimed to the world “I’m proud to be an American.”

The Smell of Capitalism In The Air

Wealth from Waste

In fact nothing was more American than those Kingsford briquettes. Invented by the quintessential American capitalist Henry Ford as a way of further lining his own pockets, Ford had a better idea. By charring the wood scraps left over from his Model T’s and mixing them with starch fillers and just the right amount of chemicals, industrious Mr. Ford created briquettes.

Ford Briquettes

The smell of democracy was indeed in the air – nothing reeked of capitalism more than turning industrial waste into profit.

Excerpt from Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear Family Copyright (©) 2014 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

 

 

Empty Nest Syndrome

Our wonderful contributing editor, Sally Edelstein, adds more reverie to the thoughts on today’s graduates:

Education-Graduation-Tears

Thoughts in a Mothers Eye -Vintage Gruen Watches Ad 1945

To the click of camera shutters and the ring of stirring oratory, hundreds of thousands of students have stepped forward this spring to receive diplomas from the colleges and universities of our vast country, thus marking an age-old rite of passage into the American Dream.

Amidst the ivy-covered towers of venerable universities, that familiar ritual characterized by cheers and tears has been repeated for generations.

Like many parents of past generations, today’s teary eyed baby boomers are gripped with a host of feelings – sadness, depression, grief and worry. But for today’s parent their constellation of feelings is less about the loss of their child moving on as the fading dream of their own retirement.

Ever the ground-breakers, boomer parents are gripped by a new condition-empty nest syndrome.

Empty Nest Syndrome

Visions of that dream retirement home deep in the blue mountains of Asheville, North Carolina get dimmer with each day as savings are slowly dwindling between supporting their adult children and aging parents.

As more boomerang kids live at home due to the bleak job market, and the elderly life expectancy is ever-increasing, feathering the boomers nest egg becomes an impossibility, as much as an outmoded pipe dream as that high paying job is for their kid.

Sandwiched between the millenials and the greatest generation, baby boomers may soon go bust.

Now that’s something to get teary over.