What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 80...Dear Mr. President...Long ago and far away, in a land that made me, me.

Day 80

Dear President Obama,

The good news is it's been about a week since my last letter to you, I thought I’d give your staff a break from reading what the Gadfly Granny has to say.

I promised to write only positive messages. Well it's been a struggle. You celebrated your 50th birthday meaning you were born in 1961. Since you’re not much older than my son Dennis, born in ‘64, you may not be able to relate too much of what I remember of the 50’s. A truly "happier" time… less complicated, less rushed, and less saturated with 24/7 repetitive news communications.  Less sensationalized headlines and sound bites, and a lot less hysteria.

Oh, social networking existed… we called it talking to one another, usually face to face. Of course the 50’s were far from perfect, because many of our American citizens also suffered from inequality and social injustice.  It took the Civil Rights movement a decade beyond to generate the momentum that was required to instill fairness and equality. But the sentiment is still worth reviewing, because there were many basically good people who just wanted the best for their families.  They wanted to live in a peaceful and successful society, to work hard, to give back, and retire with their benefits secure… much like Americans today.

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot, 
Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot. 
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,

For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born, 
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee' 
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see, 
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice, 
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.

We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three, 
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp, 
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be, 
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead, 
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.

And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees, 
Madonna’s name was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars, 
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.

And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant happy and fancy-free, 
And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag, 
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.

And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea, 
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.

And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three, 
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say, 
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A. 
They send us invitations to join AARP, 
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans, 
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines. 
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be, 
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

I don’t know who wrote that, or I would certainly give them credit. But, I can understand is why it would be nice to step back for a minute and remember a time when Sunday’s were for church and family. Back to a time when people listened to one another, and understood that while we may not agree, we showed respect for the other person’s point of view.

We’ve had enough name-calling and ‘labeling’ to last us all a lifetime. It’s time to come together for the good of our country… I know you’re with me on this, and rest assured… I’m with you too.

Most Respectfully,

Your Gadfly Granny ~ Marcia Reimers

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