I was born at the end of WW-II and grew up in the 50's. I feel very lucky to have experienced that time. It was a good time in America. I grew up in the country-- 5 miles from the nearest town. We had all the modern stuff I would need today: electricity, stove, refrigerator, indoor plumbing, and even TV (only 3 stations-- but even today with 100+, I'd still watch reruns of Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel or Gunsmoke). A simpler time for sure: no cell phones, no i-Pod, no computers, no video games, etc.-- and we very, very rarely ever got bored. (You never, ever wanted tell your folks you had nothing to do, 'cause they would come up with all kinds of extra things that you HAD to do-- because there was already a pretty good list of things you HAD to do.) I was a really good kid. I wasn't inherently better than either of my older brothers, but I learned early what happened when you gave dad or mom any back talk. (I guess today they would call it child abuse)-- but I learned it was easier to just do it- it was so much easier, and they (parents) really were not all that demanding-- they just did not tolerate any lack of respect (for any adults).
Just about every boy I know over 12 (except those that lived "in town") had a .22 rifle and his own, or access to a, shotgun. No one ever shot anybody. Our family would go away for a weekend and not even lock the house. The garage full of tools and stuff did not even have a lock; nor did the barn where we kept the saddles and tack. I don't ever recall anything being taken by theft-- sometimes a neighbor might borrow something-- but you got it back. Even as a young boy (8-10), I'd tear out of the house on a summer morning and my mom would tell me to be home for supper; nine or ten hours later, I'd be home for supper. No questions; no worries.
I'm sure the decades before the 50's were nealy as good of time to grow up-- but probably a bit "harder". While we had guns and shot a lot, we did not have to hunt to eat. Even in the 50's I had couple of friends that did not have "running water' and electricity. By the mid to late 60's, the times were changing . . . the 60's were great, but there was loss of the simpler times that will never be known again.