My parents were married in 1951. If they were still living, July 14 would mark their 68th wedding anniversary.

I only know the ’50s through photos, movies or old stories, but the country, to me, seemed so new back then, like it was still growing.

Today, it seems like the country is old and perpetually in a bad mood. Like the old man screaming at kids to stay off his lawn.

It would be nice to take a little trip back in time to see what the country was like, and what my parents were like back then.

I know things have changed so much.

A little research shows the times were much different back then — and cheaper.

A new house, on average, cost $9,000 and people made $3,500 a year.

A gallon of gas was 19 cents, and you could drive a new car off the lot for $1,500.

When you went to the local grocery store you payed 16 cents for a loaf of bread, a pound of hamburger was 50 cents, bacon was 52 cents by the pound, and a dozen eggs were 24 cents.

When you got home from work you settled in to watch “I Love Lucy.”

Times have changed.

The median house is valued at $226,700. The median yearly income is $47,060.

A gallon of gas costs $2.50, on average, and a new car $34,000.

A loaf of bread is $2.50, a pound of ground beef is $3.77, the average cost of one pound of bacon is $6.11, and one dozen eggs cost $2.96.

Can’t imagine how different things will be in 10 or 20 years from now, just as my parents could never envision electric cars, cell phones or more than three television channels.

As a kid I never imagined what the world would be like when I grew up, and trying to guess what the future holds is for people a lot smarter than me.

Right now there are people working on things that will amaze us some day.

Even though I would never want to go back to a life without all these conveniences, it does seem like there was a slower, more peaceful pace years ago.

People shopped downtown because that’s where the businesses were; not in a mall and certainly not on a computer.

Baseball was the national pastime because we didn’t have a dozen other things to do.

Dinner time meant gathering around the table where families talked to each other face-to-face, not through texts.

Now, Uber has teamed up to delivery McDonald’s to our homes, for those too lazy to go through a drive-thru.

My parents lived through a lot, and maybe they thought the same things I’m thinking now. Maybe they missed their “good, old days.”

At any rate, we don’t get to pick the times we live through, so we should make the best of the time we have.

Sure would be nice to get some of that 19 cent gas, though.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.