Daily Prompt
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

We have a daily prompt Fifty. I could not figure out what to write about the word fifty. I thought, write about when I turned 50 years old, then decided that wasn’t really exciting writing material. Most of my life experiences haven’t been newsmakers.

I thought I would write about the time my cousin and I went to the livestock arena to watch a livestock sale in progress. It was very exciting, watching all of the big buyers send secret signals to the auctioneer. The price of a critter keeps going up higher and higher and you can’t see where the bid is coming from.

The sale usually starts out with the cows and calves and toward the end sheep and goats. My cousin said, “let’s get about $.50 worth of Billy Goats.” I asked, “how many Billy goats do you get for $.50? How many goats do we need? I think we better pass on the Billy goats. Big time livestock buyers, he was messing with my head!

I decided to write about the year 1950. The United States was just coming out of a recession. It was belt-tightening time for many. My parents got divorced in 1950. My mother had three hungry, growing boys to raise on her own.

One thing I do remember, the gravy got real thin some meals. There wasn’t a whole lot, to go with the gravy at other meals. We learned how to chop up bacon ends and pieces, fry it, pour off the extra grease, keep it for other use. Sautee the bacon with chopped onions, add flour, burn it a little, slowly add milk and water,(no lumps) then stir like mad until it was thick. Lucky for us, the day-old bread store was near. The first ole margarine was a clear bag of white grease with an orange pill in it. Break the pill and squeeze that bag half a day, you almost had ‘can’t believe it’s not butter.’

When the 1950s started moving, “there was a whole lot of shaken going on.” Rock ‘n roll was born in the mid-fifties and is still alive and well. There must have been a new rock ‘n roll group hitting Ed Sullivan’s stage every week of the year. None will ever be remembered as the “King” Elvis Presley when he made his first appearance on Ed Sullivan’s stage. It looked like Ed Sullivan may be ready to have a heart attack, when Elvis started all of his gyrations on Sullivan’s national TV show. The TV was still in its infancy in those days. The cameras didn’t show Elvis below the waistline after the first minute. Remember drive-in cafes, carhops on roller skates? Peanuts in your coke?

The economy started growing really well. There was lots of employment, many women kept their jobs after the Second World War. There were honest mortgages for new homes being built. More and more people were moving from the rural areas into the cities. Times were looking very good for young families, starting out in their new homes under the G.I. Bill.

The population grew by 28 million people in the 1950s. Harry S Truman was the president when North Korea decided to invade the South. The lawmakers in Washington, just coming out of the Second World War didn’t want anything to do with a war in Korea. President Truman committed troops in June of 1950, offering to help South Korea in a limited way. The United States citizens, families sacrificed 54,246 lives lost.

Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower became the president in 1953. An armistice was signed with North Korea on July 27, 1953. The 38th parallel became the new boundary between North Korea and South Korea, and it stands that way today with armed forces on each side of the boundary looking at each other every day of the week.

President Eisenhower was a retired Army general, I do believe that is why he was so knowledgeable about the ramifications of war and the government’s relationships with those who supply the armament for those wars. I would like to quote Gen. Eisenhower here. He made this speech at the end of his presidency.

“Fearful that the military-industrial complex was developing an enormous power to absorb national resources, Eisenhower issued one last warning. “As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow”. In retrospect, the words of the President demonstrated extreme insight into the future of America, as the Cold War continued with increasing urgency, and Vietnam tore the nation apart.


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