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A personal anecdote about the Silent generation
#1
This is just a personal anecdote from my life that I shared some time ago on my blog:


Back in the early to mid-2000s, I lived in an apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the end of the block was a commercial plaza which had a barber shop, which is where I would go to get my hair cut. I must have gotten my haircuts there for five years. It was an old-fashioned men’s barbershop, a proprietorship owned and operated by two men. The chairs had ashtrays built into the armrests, though no one ever used them. There was a small TV up against the ceiling in one corner. Customers would hang around just for conversation. It was the kind of business that acts as a “third place,” or place of gathering and shared experience outside of the home or workplace.

From talking to one of the two men who ran the shop, I learned that it had opened in the 1950s. One of them had started the business, and then invited the other to be his partner. This guy told me he had been coming to work at this place ever since. It was the only place he had ever worked – and for longer than I had been alive. In contrast, since graduating from Virginia Tech in 1988, I had worked at ten different jobs in four different states.

Judging from their life story and apparent age, the two barbers must have been members of the Silent generation, born 1925-1942. Their career stability is characteristic of their generation, as my career instability is characteristic of mine – Generation X, born 1961-1981. When you read laments about the lack of job security in this day and age, you are reading about this trend.

This instability hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go the same place for work for decades on end. Honestly I think it would drive me crazy. I have enjoyed my nomadic contractor life, despite the insecurities, as I described in an earlier post. I have been exposed to so many different environments, and met so many different people. It’s been an adventure. But what I have missed, which the two Silent generation barbers enjoyed, is a deep sense of belonging to a community of people rooted in one place.

Shortly before I moved out of that apartment, I heard from the old guy while he was cutting my hair that his partner had gotten sick, and was planning to retire. He was going to retire as well, since he didn’t want to run the business alone. Not long afterward, the store was empty. The chairs, the counters, the TV on the shelf – everything was gone.

Then a tattoo shop opened up at the same location. It only lasted a few months before it closed – some younger entrepreneur’s failed dream. Next came a gift shop. Then I moved away, so I have no idea if the gift shop lasted, or if any business with staying power could ever survive there again. Or where all the men who used to hang out at the barbershop now went to instead – if they ever found a new third place.

original link: http://stevebarrera.com/a-tale-of-two-generations/
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#2
The culture is changing. People go to watch TV, most likely cable TV, to find someone who allegedly shares their beliefs. It used to be the barbershop or the tavern.

Most of us need an occasional drink as an excuse to loosen up a bit. Some of us loosen up a bit too much. A tattoo parlor out of a barbershop? I often need a haircut. I do not have or want a tattoo. A gift ship? I would lay odds that it has failed. Most of us do not need more stuff. I am in economic distress, but even I would love to downsize, divesting myself of stuff that I no longer need. The problem is that there are few buyers.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
(12-19-2018, 04:06 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: The culture is changing. People go to watch TV, most likely cable TV, to find someone who allegedly shares their beliefs. It used to be the barbershop or the tavern.

Most of us need an occasional drink as an  excuse to loosen up a bit. Some of us loosen up a bit too much. A tattoo parlor out of a barbershop?  I often need a haircut.  I do not have or want a tattoo. A gift ship? I would lay odds that it has failed. Most of us do not need more stuff.  I am in economic distress, but even I would love to downsize, divesting myself of stuff that I no longer need. The problem is that there are few buyers.

Hair salon/barber shop - a business that will never lose demand. They only quit the business because they got to retirement age.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
Reply


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