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Whatever your era, a key is to try to make your own world best it can be

May 27, 2007|By TONY MULIERI

I have a friend who readily admits he got stuck in the '50s.

That's the late 1950s, to be exact.

He contends that life was better then, people were kinder to one another and the music ... oh, the music was the best, he says.

Elvis lives.

For the past 20 years or so, my friend has hunted yard sales and scoured estate sales and you name it to acquire items from the '50s. His basement is a shrine to that era.

He recently got satellite music for his car and he had it programmed so '50s music dominates his listening pleasure. Is that a juxtaposition or what?

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It makes you think just how much you are influenced by the era you grew up in. For me, it was the '60s and '70s - a tumultuous time.

I witnessed the assassinations - President John F. Kennedy, his brother, Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr. - man walking on the moon, Watergate, the Vietnam War, Woodstock. I listened to the music of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan.

I rooted for the Baltimore Colts. Who?

Can you imagine having grown up in the 1990s and 2000s - to have Sept. 11 as the watershed event of your lifetime? Who would you trust?

Of course, they have been the recipients of the technology explosion. They can text message like I am typing now. Cell phones, iPods and PCs are their tools. They can get lost in a video game, like we did with a good book.

I really don't know which era was the best to grow up in and, of course, we don't have that choice. Generations come one after another.

Those young people at Virginia Tech will forever be haunted by the massacre that occurred at their school.

My friend from the '50s tells me he's appalled by what he sees and hears today. He contends there has been a total deterioration of society from the lyrics they allow in songs today, steroids in sports, shock jocks such as Don Imus, even down to the clerk at the store who can't make change and doesn't know how to treat people at the counter.

Whew.

My children grew up in the '80s and '90s. That was a great time for me. I could walk through the gates of the Little League field and leave all of my other problems behind me. I loved everything about that time - Boy Scouts, school plays, family outings.

I don't know what my four boys would say about that era, but having a family together, even if it seems to fly by through the years, is a true blessing. For sure, there are speed bumps along the way.

But maybe that's the answer.

We live through these decades. Events happen around us. We are influenced by them for sure, but we have our own lives to live. We really can't control how the world turns, but we can surround ourselves with our family and friends and try to make that world the best it can be.

We can't predict what the next decade will bring.

But you can bet things won't remain the same.

Tony Mulieri is managing editor of The Daily Mail. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7647, or by e-mail at tonym@herald-mail.com

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