It was MY time.

In the 1950’s, the time period in most ‘Danny Boy Stories’, there were no cell phones, no PC’s, no laptop computers, no e-readers or tablets, in fact police officers had no way to communicate with headquarters except on their bulky car radio or by telephone. Air travel was still largely by piston-propeller driven aircraft, and, if you lived within a city limits one actually walked to school.

Hot date? If so you collected your date by going to the front door, helped her on with her coat, opened the car door (usually borrowed your parent’s car, or walked), helped the young woman into the vehicle. If you honked at the curb, sorry Charlie, you had no date. A movie, dancing at the local Teen Canteen, or the near-by soda shop was what young couples did on a date, but a lonesome, gravel, county road was also a destination.

Common courtesy was common. There was a six-week educational section in junior high (seventh and eighth grade) school during which everyone was taught etiquette…no, really. Boys could wear blue-jeans or slacks (with a belt) and a shirt. Girls wore blouses or sweaters and skirts, no slacks or jeans, nothing revealing. A duck-tail or flattop hair cut was about as wild as guys were permitted. Yes, saddle shoes, white bucks, poodle skirts, senior cords, and sock hops, were all popular.

Oddly enough, we learned how to ride bicycles without helmet and knee/elbow pads, and a few teens were just beginning to get their own cars, usually something dated 1936 to 1941 that needed work. (1941 Plymouth, 1948 Crosley, 1956 Ford Victoria, are pictured below) Studebaker, Nash, Packard, Kaiser, and other cars were still being manufactured, and autos were more plentiful after having been non-existent during World War Two.

Of course, it was not all peaches and cream, as indicated below, but it was certainly less complicated and less stressful. So, what about 1955, for example?(http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1955.html)

“1955 consumerism takes off in a big way with the sale of some 7.9 million cars in the US with 7 out of 10 families now owning a motor car, and new laws were put in place requiring seat belts to be installed on all new cars. The average wages were now $3,851 per year, and the minimum wage was raised to $1.00 per hour. The first McDonalds was erected in 1955 and more fast foods and TV dinners are appearing including fish fingers. The first cans of Coca-Cola are sold up till then it had only been sold in bottles. Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols including Elvis Presley , Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and The Platters, and young men’s fashion matches the times with pink shirts and charcoal grey slacks and suits.

How Much things cost in 1955: Yearly Inflation Rate USA 0.28%;Average Cost of new house $10.950.00; Average Monthly Rent $87.00; Average Yearly Wages $4.130.00; Minimum Hourly Wage $1.00; Average Cost of a new car $1,900.00; Cost of a gallon of Gas 23 cents; Black and White TV $99.95.

What Events Happened in 1955– US military intervention in Iran; Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage; The St. Lawrence Seaway opens to Ocean Vessels from Montreal to US ports on the Great Lakes; The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies sign the Warsaw Pact giving integration of military, economic and cultural policy between the eight Communist nations; Disneyland opens in California on July 17th; ‘In God We Trust’ is added to all US paper currency; United Airlines Flight 629 is blown up shortly after takeoff over Longmont, Colorado; New Synthetic Material Polyurethane used in more and more everyday goods; Emmett Till, a black fourteen year old teenager is murdered for not showing respect to a white woman in Money, MS; African American Rosa Parks is arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery AL.

Technology 1955– First pocket transistor radios available; Fish Fingers are marketed by Bird’s Eye; The first Atomically generated power is used in the US.

Inventions– Atomic Clock, England; Hovercraft, England, by Christopher Cockerell; Lego, Gotfried Kirk Christiansen; Velcro, Switzerland, by George De Mestral.

Popular Culture 1955– Ray Kroc starts the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain; First riot at an Elvis Presley concert takes place in Jacksonville, FL; “The $64,000 Question” the popular US television game show starts; James Dean’s stars in the movie East of Eden; James Dean killed in car accident near Cholame, CA; First Guinness Book of World Records Published; “The Mickey Mouse Club” debuts on ABC.

Popular Films–Oklahoma; The Quatermass Xperiment; Rebel without a Cause; To Catch A Thief ; The Quatermass Xperiment; The seven year itch.

Popular Singers–Elvis Presley ; Bill Haley and the Comets ” Rock Around The Clock”; Chuck Berry; Fats Domino; The Platters.”

[Note: Every fictional “Danny Boy Stories” is inspired by real happenings. http:www.dannyboystories.com]

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