All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Home Run

Fred Reed takes a swing at his 50th high school reunion and knocks it out of the park.

When We Were America

There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of us who were in it. Our yearbook looked like ten thousand others across America, portraits with acne removed in the photo lab, the basket ball team exactly like everybody else’s, the cheerleaders conventionally glorious, conventional adolescent good-byes in ball-point pen—but without misspelling or bad grammar.
The names in the yearbook are just names: Sonny, Rosie, Butch, Kenny, Joyce, Cecil, Ricky, Kit. Just names. But. But, but, but. With any of these people you could leave your keys in the car—we did—or the front door unlocked—we did. We had one cop in the country, Jay Powell, a state trooper, and he had little to do. The high school did not have metal detectors or police patrolling the halls. We had none of the behavior that now makes these things necessary. It wasn’t in the culture. We could have raped, killed, robbed, fathered countless illegitimate children like barnyard animals. We didn’t.
It wasn’t in the culture.
That tag line,  "It wasn’t in the culture." sums up the entire article.  Take a walk down memory lane in what was once America.  I know Freed is remembering it right.  I wasn't there in 1964.  I know he is right because of this line: "Sex had occurred to us, but didn’t occupy our thoughts except when we were awake."  I never spent much time in Virginia, but I do still remember what it was to be young and with a girl who made me glad to be a boy.

Take a gander at Fred's piece.  It's worth your time.


  1. One of my favorite columns by Fred was about when he was a child and the things he used to do. My favorite of that was when he took a can of wasp spray and killed a big red wasp nest in a tree. Then he took the nest down and gathered up all the dead wasps he could find and glued them to the nest. He walked down to the little grocery store there in town and walked through it holding out the wasp nest.

  2. WaterBoy4:18 PM

    "That tag line, "It wasn’t in the culture." sums up the entire article. Take a walk down memory lane in what was once America."

    Reminiscing of the good ol' days is fine. But pining to return to those days is futile. That genie is out of the bottle, and is not going to go back in.

  3. Res Ipsa4:58 PM

    The worst part about not having the good ole days, isn't that I can't enjoy them anymore, its that my children can't enjoy them at all.

    I'd love to let my kids ride their bikes to the park without me.

    I wish I could let my son take a 22 on a walk and let him shoot varmints.

    I think it would be great to be able to send my children to school and not have to worry about their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Heck, it would be great if you could send them to school and have them get a proper education, but they don't do that anymore either.

    I moved to the most free, least crime, and most traditional American state I could before having children. Things are good here. Yet its still not as good, free or safe as northern Michigan in the 1970's.

    I think every generation looks at their youth through rose colored glasses. This is more than that, there has been a terrible shift in the fabric of American culture. What's worse is we know how to fix it, but wont.

  4. WaterBoy6:13 PM

    This is all true, especially the last line.

    And that's why the genie is not going back in -- most people enjoy having it out and refuse to put it back.

    So be it.

  5. Susan6:53 PM

    My kids could never understand why I would not let them just roam our property. Even though we had 22 acres, we were still too close to the road for my peace of mind.

    Your line about the good old days is exactly what bothers me about them. Our kids were denied a carefree childhood for the most part because of the monsters in the world.

    I also think our culture started the slide towards oblivion when Roe v Wade was made the law of the land, and respect, dignity and a serious lack of shame over bad personal behavior became the way of life in the West.

    I grew up in a pretty small town until I was in the 8th grade, then we moved to Portland, Oregon. The social differences were so night and day different to me. For instance, in the small high school I attended, we NEVER would have had a pregnant cheerleader, especially not one who paraded her pregnancy. But there she was, in her cheerleader uniform, pregnant. It made for interesting cheering I will say for her.

    I know that the "young 'uns over at Vox's think that 50's and 60's music was stupid for the most part, but you know what? After the tapioca white bread innocence of a Leave it to Beaver childhood, The Beetles and The Stones were really a shock to the national psyche. People in their mid 40's and younger just don't get it because they have grown up with all that "stupid" music, whereas their elders did not. So all they have left is mocking and ridicule.

  6. Fred was talking about his first illicit beer. I remember mine as well. I didn't get drunk. I just remember splitting a beer with my best friend. We were so afraid we were going to get caught that we must have chewed two packs of gum to cover up our breath.

  7. Giraffe2:52 PM

    I'm not sure why its gone.

    I ran all over my little town unsupervised in the 80's. Got in less trouble than Fred.

  8. Susan3:49 PM

    It wasn't in the culture.

    Well look at what we do have in our culture now. Top of the list is abortion and the resulting disrespect of life as a result.

    Next we have the Sandra Flukes of the world screaming for us to pay for their promiscuous behavior instead of them taking responsibility for it themselves.

    Lastly, we have an entertainment and media culture that sexualizes children right out of their childhoods. When they are presented to the world by the entertainment and media as tiny little sex objects, why would that not be attractive to all the perverts out there?

    I may have slightly oversimplified things, but the cultural differences in the "back then" and the now are the depth and size of the Grand Canyon.