In the meantime, ain’t we got fun?

By Butch Dale

Are we living in tumultuous times . . . unlike anything in our nation’s history? I recently read a book about our country, and here are some of the comments and complaints, many of which may sound familiar . . . but folks, hold on. Don’t jump to any conclusions . . . just yet.

  • “Politics are corrupt, and politicians demand to be in the public eye for their own self-promotion.”
  • “Our President refuses to face responsibility. He seems lost and has a fondness for bloviating.”
  • “We lost many good men and women in an overseas war. We cannot get involved in all of the world’s problems.”
  • “The immigration and civil rights problems are getting worse each day.”
  • “Our young people seem to question all authority. They have no desire to work, and just want to have fun.”
  • “Some of the music nowadays is crazy, and much of it is just plain vulgar.”
  • “Hollywood celebrities and sports stars are placed on a pedestal and worshipped, and the amount of money they make is beyond ridiculous.”
  • “People spend money they don’t have . . . on things they don’t need . . . egged on by high paid advertising.”
  • “Large corporations and their huge profits have gotten out of hand. People have money invested in the stock market and have pushed up prices to reckless, unsustainable levels.”
  • “Organized gangs are everywhere, and they prey on big cities, where crime is rampant.”
  • “People read anything that is sensational or lurid. You cannot believe anything you read or hear on the news anymore.”
  • “Our country is a nation of fads . . . here today and gone tomorrow.”
  • “It seems like people are torn by two desires: the urge to be like everyone else, and the urge to be utterly different.”

As the author states, “Old values seem to have gone sour. The moral certainties of earlier years are coming under attack. The sanctity of family life has been eroded. America seems suspended between the innocence and security of childhood and the wisdom and poise of maturity.”

Another writer is quoted “a new generation dedicated more than the last to the fear of poverty and the worship of success, grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken.”

Well, gee whiz, gals and guys . . . perhaps we do live in unstable and uncertain times like never before. BUT HOLD ON A SECOND . . . The book that I read DESCRIBES LIFE IN THE 1920s . . . yes, ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO! And the “new generation” quote is from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, “This Side of Paradise,” published in 1920 . . . right after World War I and the Spanish Flu Epidemic, when Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge were elected as our Presidents during that decade . . . before the stock market crash in 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression years.

History often does repeat itself. Let us pray that the end result is not the same. But keep the faith, those of you who live here in good ol’ rural Montgomery County, Indiana. If we actually do have another Great Depression, we can get through it OK. Our parents and grandparents did. The people of Montgomery County are God-fearing, strong-willed, and unselfish citizens who are always willing to share and help others out in times of need. The big city folks are the ones who will struggle. As Hank Williams, Jr. said in his famous song:

“the interest is up and the stock market’s down, and you only get mugged if you go downtown . . . You can’t starve us out, and you can’t make us run . . . country folks can survive.”

Listen up! There is no use worrying about the future. We Montgomery

County folks get along just fine, and we always will. And if national problems escalate, we’ll manage. And as the popular 1921 song says, “in the meantime, in between time, ain’t we got fun!”

John “Butch” Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.