Spring Went Sproing in 1965, Part 3

Today’s post comes from Clyde of Mankato 

In the spring of 1965 my world went as topsy-turvy as did the politics and weather of Minnesota. Do you think the picture is a scene from the The Graduate? My world did not go quite that tupsy-turvy in the spring and summer of 1965..

I have related before on this blog the speed and folly of our rapid courtship. What I want to address is a few large changes in that period of history. First I will remind you that on our wedding day I was an infantile 20 years old; she was a mature 25, the adjectives expressing how people perceived our age difference. What strikes me now as I recall that spring and summer, is what a watershed were the years between Sandy’s gradation year, 1958, and mine, 1963.

In Sandy’s big-city high school graduation class going directly to college was uncommon. Few of her women classmates went to a four-year school. Sandy was in about twenty weddings of classmates between 1958 and 1960, with most of the brides pregnant, which was a large social sin at the time. Almost all of those marriages ended in divorce.

Sandy’s life choices were the big three: teacher, nurse, secretary. She chose the later, not conceiving how she could afford to attend college in that time of little support or encouragement for female students, or co-eds, as they were called then in that derogatory manner. The married women never expected to work outside the home, which almost all of them eventually did. Most of the husbands took unskilled jobs, which they had planned to do, or learned a trade from their fathers. At age 25 Sandy was on the brink of spinsterhood.

In my small-town class, despite being one of the least motivated classes in the school’s history, about one-half of my class went to college, about one-half of that one-half were women, several in nursing or teaching, but others choosing other career paths. Only three or four of my classmates, as near as I know, were pregnant for the wedding.

In weddings for her classmates and mine, the husband was zero to seven years older. A younger husband was very rare. Many assumed that our marriage was doomed, both for the speed of our marriage and for the age-difference. Sandy’s classmates did not know how to deal with me. I gather that the same age difference, 20 and 25, is still regarded as a peculiarity only if the man is the younger.

Throwing Rice

Larger cultural changes were occurring in that five-year gap, too, such as the Viet Nam War and the active objection to it. Civil rights arose. Sandy’s class had one African-American, in a school now dominated by non-white students. My class had one Native-American student. The decade of the 60’s scorned the values and styles the decade of the 50’s. The country turned hard left.

The gap has created some interesting disphasia (my coined word) in our life. When Sandy became pregnant at age 30, which she was not supposed to be capable of doing, the medical world was full of angst at her old age. Our children were born when most of her classmate friends had children starting junior high. Proceeding cultural changes have widened the gap. All but one of her classmate friends have great grandchildren; our grandchildren are age 2, 10, and 12. I know little about my classmates, but they seem to have grandchildren of an age similar to mine.

Her classmates have remained in a narrow world and remained staunch knee-jerk Eisenhower Republicans. Has there been a greater shift in presidents than between lethargic hands-off old Eisenhower and inspiring progressive youthful Kennedy?

All of this change seems to have impacted women more than men. I saw this directly when I was a U of M student. I had none of the interests of the other male students, such as drinking and pursuing co-eds. As a result, I had several friends, whom we called re-treads instead of co-eds. These were women who had married young, often one or two years into college. Now 10-15 years later, they were back in college or had started college. I suppose most of them have since died. They were a fun lot with which to share coffee at Coffman.

How are you disphasic?

55 thoughts on “Spring Went Sproing in 1965, Part 3”

  1. Morning all! Thanks for a great look back, Clyde.

    I was 39 when I went to China and came home with my treasure. This makes me quite a bit older than most of my daughter’s contemporaries. I felt this most keenly when she was in elementary school and all the other parents were 10-15 years younger than I am.

    Hopefully being a bit older gave me a bit more wisdom and made me a bit better parent – I think she’s turning out great (although I will admit to being a bit biased)!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. aack. Makes me quite a bit older than “the parents of” my daugher’s contemporaries. Sheesh – say it right as I was hitting “Post Comment”.

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      1. I’m kind of in the same boat – though somehow have managed to find a co-hort of kids and parents where I am only 5-7 years older…my (college) friends mostly now have kids in college or high school. I’m definitely the “bumper” with a kid about to go into middle school.

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  2. great post clyde thanks
    5 years was a lot at 20 now still i would imagine.
    i datd gals a year or two older but 5 would have been a big deal.
    i too am an older parent having my first at thirty five and my last so i will be 65 when she graduates high school. but i was going t be 65 that year anyway
    security is for the insecure and so i guess my most disphasic aspect is my launching a new carreer at 60. looking forward to it and it will be a kick. i am doing it differently than i would have at 20 for sure.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I did everything on time as I was expected to do and found that each of those actions was ill-advised.

    *I graduated at age 21 after exactly 4 years of college.
    * I immediately got married 2 months later, still age 21.
    *I got my masters degree at age 26.
    *Child came along age 28.

    Such an attempt at being a good girl.

    Remember the old jump rope rhyme:
    **** and Jacque sitting in a tree
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G
    First comes love
    Next comes marriage
    Then along comes the baby carriage.

    Next was the divorce. The first husband was a nice guy, just wrong for me. The masters degree and the child were both great additions to life.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I followed Jacque’s route, but none of my actions proved to be ill-advised. I suppose having daughter nine years after son was somewhat unusual. Many of my high school class are grandparents many times over, while I have nary a grandchild. Son and daughter in law are not doing things according to the popular plan. They have been married for six years, and will not start a family until DIL is done with graduate school next year.

    In the eyes of the locals here we are as odd as can be. We have different last names.our children don’t live here, we don’t frequent the Elks Club, and we don’t have grandchildren.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Disphasia is my life story. The only time I remember truly following the pack is when I got confirmed in 8th grade; I’d already rejected Christianity and was searching for my own system of belief, but I decided I was enough of an outcast in my parochial school, I didn’t need another reason for them to hate me. It was the first (and last) time I was so spectacularly untrue to myself, and I’ve regretted it ever since.

    Any other time I find myself about to join in, I inevitably end up backing away, if not running for the exit. Science fiction fandom has been the only culture I’ve been able to feel comfortable in, and even that has been fitting less well recently. I’ve never been partnered, never wanted kids, don’t have contact with my family, don’t own a house, don’t have a permanent job, don’t eat meat, no one has even heard of my sexual orientation, and as if being Wiccan wasn’t sufficiently weird, I’ve gotten drawn into Polytheism, so I’m trying to figure out what practices to keep/adopt from Dianic Wicce, Druidry AND Heathenism, and how to integrate them (if they can be, which I sometimes doubt), at the same time developing a devotional practice. At this rate I’ll be a permanent community of one…which is fine, so long as that community isn’t existing under a bridge or something…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. tl;dr — I’m a total, unapologetic freak. And yet, I’m far from the strangest person I know, which should perhaps disturb me but is actually somehow comforting.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Crowgirl, I just love that you embrace your freakishness so wholeheartedly. It takes a lot of courage to blaze your own trail rather follow the beaten path. The trail would not be the same without you.

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    2. I think we are all a group of one and as for trying to figure out which dtuff to keep and which to follow id say you have faked it well enough so far that it could just become The crowgirlisticism you need to focus on
      Life can be simple I am told
      It’s never been that way in my experience though
      But it can be good and fulfilling and a way to put one foot in front of the other and make it better one step at a time

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        1. It sounds sort of like tim… but this person says life isn’t simple, and tim wrote a post a while ago about life being simple. So, who knows?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Clyde. I love that rice-throwing photo.

    Most of my life choices have been unconventional. I used to be prouder of that than I am now.Some choices didn’t work out well, although I need to remind myself that if I’d made more conventional choices I could have regrets about them now too.

    I never planned to fall in love with a woman eight years younger than I. And yet I did. Early in our marriage the age disparity was sometimes an issue. But not for long. She was always the alpha, the one who gave orders and expected others to comply, so people didn’t really consider the difference in our ages.

    By the time I became a middle-aged “house husband” (if you can remember that awkward social concept) our friends didn’t consider it odd that my wife was a high-flying executive and I was the one picking my daughter up after school.

    We thought we were being bold and original. Now . . . well, let’s leave it at that!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. II like disphasia, Clyde. I have a friend married to a ma just two years her junior, and people didn’t think that one would last, either. But here they are 45 years later…

    I didn’t have my son till I was almost 33, so that’s a little disphasic. I started new careers (book business at 42 and organizing in 54), but those didn’t last terribly long. I retired kind of early…

    OT: my neighborhood friend Lola (now almost 13) will be here for an overnight later today while her mom is away. Will probably be scarce on the Trail for a couple of days. (And I haven’t got my guest post in yet…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BiR I have a suggestion for something you can do with Lola. Take her to see the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. It is being called the best movie of the year, and it has the endorsement of my daughter and grandson. Liam was enthusiastic enough to want to go back to see it again. Molly wonders if she should bring tissues to the theater. Expect to be amused and educated, as the film is based on cutting edge understanding of how the brain functions.

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      1. Oh and if Molly is anything like me, yes she should be tissues. I teared up in a couple of different places, but there is one for sure……

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  8. I was told when I was pregnant with Miss S that being over 35 made me a “geriatric mother.” Bah. Even my regular doc was appalled by that label. I do joke, though, that if Daughter follows in the pattern of her great grandmother (first child in her mid 20s in 1934), grandmother (first child in her late 20s in 1962) and me (first/only child in her late 30s), I might be in assisted living before I see a grandchild (should there be one). Ah well. It’s what comes of coming from a line of women who put education first. And yes, my grandmother was a teacher and my grandfather’s sisters were nurses. Mom was a Fulbright Scholar and then got a Master’s degree before becoming a parent (and a well-regarded church musician). Not wanting to appear a slacker, I also got a Master’s before I settled down to marriage and parenthood (Husband started and finished his M.S. after Miss S was in the world – probably backwards by traditional standards).

    And then, like Steve, there is the whole backwards gender roles in the house. Husband does the laundry and dishes (and a good chunk of the cleaning). I take care of house maintenance, plumbing, etc. Daughter learned early that the power tools in the basement were Mommy’s…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a Canadian friend described as an “elderly prima gravida” when she was expecting her first child in her early 40″. My, was she offended!

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  9. I’ve heard the term “phased retirement” used to describe a Time Spent Working graph with a gradual downward slope instead of an abrupt dropoff at 65 or 66 or 67. That’s what I’ve been experimenting with since I was in my early 40’s. It means less money and more time to goof off. Managing the health insurance piece has been the biggest challenge.

    “Disphased retirement” may be more accurate.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thanks, Clyde, for this window into the early years of your marriage.
    Fun photos.

    For a person who has pretty much been a rebel all her life, but who has nevertheless managed to have a very ordinary one, I don’t know to what extent I can claim disphasia. (That word is so uncomfortably close to dysphasia that I hesitate to associate myself with it.)

    After graduating from high school as the odd duck, a year younger than the other students, my youthful plans for my future were to become a nurse. Nursing school would not accept me until I turned eighteen, so I had two years to kill. Thus began the meandering, circuitous path that has led to where I am today.

    I was twenty-five before I started college, and for me that was a good thing. I was more mature and focused, and perhaps felt a bit more of an urgency to get an education than most of my eighteen year old freshman peers. In other words, I was in school to learn, not to party – although we squeezed in some of that too.

    Six years into my first marriage, wasband was afflicted with the seven year itch and our marriage began to unravel. That was a major crossroads for me. It wasn’t until then, ten years after arriving in this country, that I really became an immigrant. Until then I had been the wife of an American and had merely lived here; now I made the conscious decision to stay here.

    I’m six years older than current husband, but at thirty-six and thirty years of age when we got married, age has never been an issue, and for the most part we both ignore gender roles. Unfortunately, neither of us is blessed with whatever gene that makes housecleaning look attractive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So, what happened between 1958 and 1963 to instigate such changes between the women of your respective classes. Could it be the occasion of my birth in 1958 that changed the world?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have thought about the WHY. My guess, the confluence of a few forces pointed in the same direction, which I think is true of most change. But now I can just the person responsible has accepted the blame.

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  12. Nice prompt to walk down memory lane, Clyde. I was pregnant at 19 then married six months later because that’s what pregnant young women were supposed to do in that era. I’d earn some credits at U of M by then. After the birth of a second baby one year later, I became an all-out rebel, fighting for civil rights and against the war fiercely. My poor first wasband was powerless to control my exuberance for these causes and had no way of knowing that I was acting out of my pent-up adolescence. My mother hovered over my life throughout childhood, not even allowing overnights with friends. I joined a sorority at the U and wasn’t allowed to stay overnight even then (was a commuter).

    I’ve wondered if my only way out of feeling suffocated at home was to get pregnant? I also fit the category of a “mature student”by reentering the U of M at 30 after divorcing. Those 10-year old credits were golden because they covered all the prerequisites. What I wasn’t planning on was continuing full time for seven years and two masters degrees.

    Armed with smugness for having two masters degrees, at age 38 I entered the job market for the very first time. Imagine sending out 65 resumes and being rejected for every job on the basis that I didn’t have the experience? This was the peak of Reagan’s recession when even very experienced workers were without jobs. Poor timing.

    The very last job for which I applied (before landing a part time position in an adolescent TX center) was part-time hall monitor for a high school..
    The rejection letter from even this lowly job utterly demoralized me.

    After divorcing (my 60th birthday present to myself), I once again reentered adolescent rebellion and haven’t completed that developmental phase still. I’ll likely be holding a pro-choice banner in my hand as I’m dying. I’ve taken aging gracefully to aging outrageously. That cloak of conventionality never fit me very well anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Greetings! Love your post, Clyde. How am I disphasic? I guess it’s because I am nearly 58 and still only work at a temporary job. My best, most interesting/challenging and well paid jobs were in the past. Best I can get now is temporary clerical work it seems I have husband and kids, but no house, no savings, no 401K, no investments and just don’t have the moxie to do my own business — although I keep thinking about it. I feel like I’m on the edge of a precipice — I”ll either fall off or take off flying when I find the right vehicle.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m about to be quite disphasic… this evening I attend an open house/registration at the local community college. Yep, mother of 3 (youngest is entering junior year of college), “grammie” to 4 – and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m hoping that taking a 9-month certificate program in something that I’m excited about will give me a new start in life.

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Glad someone (PJ) spoke to the pun.
    A sort of a aphasia, or something: my daughter and family are in D.C. right now. We as a family were there in 84. She takes photos that match photos from 84, as she did in Wiilamsburg. I took a photo of my two children reflected in a spacecraft. It was still there in the same place, so she duplicated it.
    One of cookbooks was on display. Funny.
    They did not tell the kids where they were going after leaving Myrtle Beach. They figured out Williamsburg by all the brochures. The kids did not figure out D.C. Until they saw the Washington Monument. Despite all the freeway signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 7:15 last night they were walking by the Washington Monument. A travel group guide stopped them. He had overbooked by four tickets for 7:30, which he gave them. Cool bit of serendipity.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am told that I now have to take somebody out practice driving, so cannot do a real comment, but wanted you to know I really loved this post, Clyde.

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        1. Wasband taught me how to drive. Never a cross word between us during the process. He was patient and encouraging and made for a wonderful teacher. Of course, we were driving on pretty deserted country roads near Cheyenne. If a saw a car approaching us in the distance, I panicked and wanted to pull over to make sure there was room for them to pass. He managed to reassure me there was plenty of room for us both.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. I am a little out of step because I was born during the second world war not after it and therefore was part of a group with no name that came before the baby boomers. I did join with the baby boomers to become a hippy, but I was old enough to know more about the conservative Eisenhower period than most of the hippies.

    My parents thought the Eisenhower years were great. I don’t think they were great. However, I don’t see the liberal approach of Kennedy as a great thing and I don’t see any hard turn to the left. I see myself living in a world that is still filled with many of the things that were not good in the fifties and have become bigger problems today.

    I am tried of people referring to any one who is slightly liberal as being on the left We need people who can lead us toward a much different world where fair play and a good life for everyone is more highly valued. I don’t see any reason to brand people as leftist because they disagree with many of the bad things that are happening and want a better world.

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      1. I’m not offended. I just have a strong reaction to the way some people these days think anyone who not a defender of some of the worst aspects of our society is a leftist. I’m sure you don’t use the term leftist that way, Clyde.

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