Exploring Generations: The Baby Boomers
We sometimes associate Baby Boomers with the hippie era, rock and roll, Elvis Presley or Woodstock, but ultimately baby boomers epitomize the phrase “pull yourself up by your boot straps”. Those born between 1946 and 1964 demonstrate to many Americans and younger generations what hard work truly means.
“When I was born in 1956 in southeast Texas, we had a slower paced and more laid back style of life,” Deen Cauthorn, a mid-generation Baby Boomer, said. “As a kid, we played outside without any trouble or worry as long as we checked in with Mom occasionally. We did whatever we wanted, but we were still expected to respect our elders, finish our chores and mind the rules.”
Rock and Roll music
In the time of records, eight-track tapes and albums, rock and roll was the biggest thing music had to offer. Artists like Elvis Presley, Led Zepplin, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more made rock and roll history.
“In the 60s and 70s, rock and roll music was huge and was believed to have inspired our creativity,” Cauthorn said. “The 70s music era was my favorite, though, and I still listen to it today because it brings back fond memories of that time and the simplicity of life then.”
Television was also a very common influence for Baby Boomers. A movie theater ticket cost around 75 cents and Western movies, Captain Kangaroo, shows starring Elvis Presley and drive-in movie theaters were very popular.
“Television was our only form of technology when I was growing up,” Cauthorn said. “When I was a kid, my bedtime was 8 p.m., but I would hide behind the door watching television after my bedtime so my parents wouldn’t see me. And as I got older, I liked braving the mosquitoes and going to the drive-in theaters.”
On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas. Cauthorn, 7 at the time, said that even at a young age he knew how much that moment impacted all of America. He still remembers the incident and its aftermath today.
“President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on a Friday when I was in the second grade,” Cauthorn said. “Our teacher told us the President had been shot and that we needed to go home and talk with our parents. I walked to my grandmother’s and later my mother explained to me what was going on. I’ll never forget our eyes being glued to the television all weekend.”
Beginning in November 1955 and lasting for more than two decades was the Vietnam War. Young men were being drafted for the war and Cauthorn said he remembers many fleeing to Canada to escape the draft.
“I was in high school during the Vietnam War and I remember us all having to get draft cards,” Cauthorn said. “I was placed in the A1 category, which was extremely high, but I was too young to go. Years later when the war was finally over, a big relief fell over me because I never had to fear being drafted again.”
Dedicated and career driven
Dedication to family and work is what describes Baby Boomers best according to Cauthorn. Baby Boomers are so dedicated to their careers that they are working longer hours and delay retirement more than any other generation. This dedication could even be the reason why Baby Boomers make up a majority of America’s corporate executives, firm leaders, senior paralegals and legal managers.
“In my generation, if we are in a job we dislike or if everything seems to be going wrong, we have the drive and dedication to make things work,” Cauthorn said. “If things go wrong at first, we always try harder because there is no giving up.”