Letters to the editor

Thinking back to better times


To the editor:

Sorin Keirkagard said, “We live life forward, and experience it backward.”

I would like to share some of my experience with you, some of which may be part of your experience also. Only if you are old enough.

When youngsters called adults by their surnames. When 18-year-olds polished their own nails, and kids worse a dress to their first day of school. Their teachers wore dresses and suits, and Miss Flynn — the principal of P.S. 95 — actually signed my diploma as though she actually knew me as a person, which she did.

When we said the non-denominational Regents prayer every morning, and the Sunday evening television news aired President Eisenhower leaving a church each week.

A time when we were dealing with “juvenile delinquency” and opiates were nowhere in our vocabulary. A candy bar was a nickel, as was a Coke, and a McDonald’s hamburger was 15 cents.

You could write Sen. Jacob Davits about a constitutional issue and get a detailed response. When the seemingly endless campaign for the presidential party nomination was settled by the “bosses” in the “smoke-filled room.”

The political parties were not locked in extreme positions, and each part actually had “moderates” capable of compromise. Oh, there was corruption in government (and there always will be), but it was kept within some reason. Conspiracy theories were not common.

When retail “regular price” actually had integrity, and Brooks Brothers had only two one-week sales a year (as did Bloomingdale’s). When you concluded a transaction in a store, the sales associate actually said, “Thank you.”

When a high school graduate could get a decent job with a career path, and a bachelor’s degree did not have to be followed up by a master’s to have meaning in a career.

When Hunter College cost $24 a semester, and textbooks were reasonable. It was thought a holder of a liberal arts degree could do most anything, and college was less vocational training.

I could go on, but I have to answer a friend’s email.


Howard Ring,