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The Fuzzy Fifties

November 08, 1987

When Jack Miles makes the statement (referring to the 1950s), ". . . I cannot imagine a decade of American history to which I would less like to return," I can't help but wonder to which decade he would prefer to return ("Please, Don't Bring Back the '50s," Nov. 1).

The depression of the '30s? The World War II of the '40s? Maybe he would like to return to the '60s with the Vietnam War, the hippies and the drug culture that spawned people like Charles Manson? With the '70s came the sexual revolution and an ever-widening drug culture.

My daughters have told me many times that they envied me my high school days in Salt Lake City. The popular kids in school neither smoked nor drank, drugs were unheard of and teen-age sex was uncommon. Our movies were musicals, Westerns and romance, rather than blood, gore and sex.

My children entered high school in the late '60s and early '70s when the drug culture was going strong and, like thousands of other young people in America, my son become a victim of it. He died in 1984 at age 28 of an accidental drug overdose.

Maybe Miles can now understand my "longing for the past" when, at least to me, "life was so much simpler then."

The biggest joy in my life, at the moment, is my beautiful 9-month-old granddaughter, Shannon. I shudder when I think of what the future will be like for her. If I could give Shannon the greatest gift of all, it would be to give her back the American '50s and, yes, the sweetness and the innocence.


Sherman Oaks

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