Reflections On Turning 50

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - August 31, 2011

My 50th birthday is coming soon. It’s a milestone that affords one to contemplate life until this point. Here are some reflections:

I remember when Christmas was a season of celebration focusing on the birth of Jesus Christ. Mangers, Three Wise Men, Christmas carolers and more were a signature of this joyous event. Today, I see groups and organizations doing all they can to de Christ Christmas. The elimination of “Merry Christmas” in stores, the illegality of manger scenes in the spirit of “equality” and if I see, “Xmas” one more time, I think I’ll scream. Jesus was not one of the X Men. He is the Savior of mankind.

I remember when I was a kid I would walk from my house in small town Midwest to the local park, to the movie theater downtown or by the pond in my own backyard. Today, news headlines are rife with children being stolen literally from their own driveways. Yes, there were terrible stories of violence against youths when I was growing up. Chiefly among them were the terrible murders of youngsters in Atlanta in the 1970s. But today it’s almost derigueur of news broadcasts where another child is brutalized and ultimately killed. Has our society become more depraved or are we simply being more readily apprised of such heinous crimes thanks to technology and a 24/7 news cycle?


I remember when I was a young, young child and our family gassed up our car at the local Sinclair gas station. I recall, vividly, the price of a gallon of gas: 29 cents. I understand there is the rate of inflation to consider, but less than 30 cents to almost $5 a gallon? What really happened? OK, I get the whole EPA mandate for cleaner air leading to unleaded gas and catalytic converters. I even remember the plastic hose covers in California that supposedly prevented vapors from entering the environment. Whatever. But what we’ve seen is the politicization of energy with associative massive windfalls to energy companies. Global corporations, corrupt governments and despots combined with a perpetually petroleum thirsty world is a dangerous recipe. For supporters of fossil fuel use, immediate construction of additional refineries in America built by Americans and manned with Americans is the first step to infusing supply. For those who support green energy, I hope it’s not too late to prevent similar manipulations and deceit that’s plagued us for decades in the Oil Era.

I know there are many other perspectives on how life was compared to how life is today.


I’d appreciate you sharing some of your memories as they relate to the days in which we live. Please indicate if I can use your thoughts in a follow up piece.

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