Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

“1955”

on March 3, 2012

 1955. A year of innovative beginnings.

The first McDonald’s opened its doors under bright golden arches.

Walt Disney threw open the gates to “the happiest place on earth.”

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and started the Civil

Rights movement.

And a year of sad endings.

After filming Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, a brilliant young actor   named James Dean lost his life in a tragic auto accident.

The Cold War split the world into two opposing camps. East against West. Democracy against Oppression. The threat of nuclear holocaust prompted terrified Americans to build bomb shelters in their basements. In South Vietnam, civil war began. In the United States, the House Un-American Affairs Committee raged on, issuing “contempt of Congress” citations to any citizen accused of anti-America activities.

In Washington, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking and Currency concluded that “less than one percent of all publicly held stocks [are] owned by individuals.”

James Baldwin penned Notes of a Native Son for a public obsessed with Elvis Presley and Bill Haley and the Comets. Rock and Roll music and TV ruled the air.

Beatnicks howled in coffee houses hazy with smoke.

And in the midst of all of this, I was born. Rebellious, angry, contentious, afraid, confused, seeking social justice and equality for people I did not know, condemning the status quo, rejecting old values and mores, fighting for something new and things I did not understand . . .

Chaos and confusion. Inner turmoil and ambivalence. Foggy, drug-induced dreams. Sweaty, free-loving sex.

The fear-mongering fifties bounced into the free-wheeling sixties, the violent, clashing Age of Aquarius. Poetry and politics became my royal couple, my release, my escape. Anger ruled the world into the seventies and beyond.

And all of this shaped me as a person, as a writer, as a thinker. Nature vs. nurture. Environment DOES take its toll on our psyche and well-being.

We may not understand the world, but we are part of it, and we are caught up in its rhythms and flow whether we want it or not.

I did not choose to be rebellious and angry. I merely reflected the world around me.

And it took many years and a lot of heart-rending experiences to teach me to look inward, inside myself, for the peace and rationality that I craved.

Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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2 responses to ““1955”

  1. fivereflections says:

    i know this year well… interesting reflections

    David in Maine USA

    • I was born in that year, so I don’t remember it. One of my earliest memories is watching Dick Clark on “American Bandstand” with my uncle. But I was amazed to discover how much was going on in 1955. I’d love to hear your memories of that year.Thanks!

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