We hear from ‘Time’ person of the year about his debut book-guest post

Time person of the year in 1966 was the collective 'Twenty-five and under', the baby boomer generation. Image from mentalfloss.com
Time person of the year in 1966 was the collective ‘Twenty-five and under’, the baby boomer generation. Image from mentalfloss.com

To celebrate the fourth of July, we have an American baby boomer, author, and blogger guest posting today.

In September 2014, I traveled nearly two thousand miles to attend my small town high school’s fiftieth reunion. It was only the second one I went to, and was excited this time. The other one was the thirtieth reunion, and I went because I just happened to be in town to attend to my terminally ill mother.

Our class reunion happened over three days. During those days, most of the conversations related about how things were while we were growing up, and how different things have become in the intervening fifty years.  Those conversations launched me on my mission of recreating the memories that not only my classmates have but also the vast majority of American baby boomers.

I researched books with similar titles, and discovered that while many books examine the effect that adult baby boomers have had on the country, politics, and society, few have dealt with the formative years of this influential generation—and my project was launched.

In the book, I’ve tried to describe the events and the environment in which we grew up. While much of the contents are quite serious, almost like a sociology textbook, I’ve included humor in the examination of the world that shaped our generation. Growing up in the 1950s and coming of age in the 1960s was quite unique. “Baby Boomer Reflections” is more than nostalgia. It’s a storehouse of powerful memories boomers can share with their children and grandchildren, offering a chance to pass on the wisdom of a lifetime—a chance I wish someone had offered me when I was a brash young man on the cusp of adulthood. It was the most formative time of our lives, as we navigated the challenges and pitfalls of high school and developed memories that would last a lifetime.

Included in those memories, in fact so prominently that many chapters begin with a particular title, is the music with which we grew up. From the decline of the big band era to the beginning of rock and roll, the sounds of those times is special. So are the cars we drove, the television shows we watched and the games we played, all of which are in the book.

I think that I’ve been able to recreate those golden years in the book, and that I’ve written a compelling recollection of the events that shaped a generation by bringing these powerful communal memories back to life, and to inspire others to remember their reactions to the major moments and pivotal events of their youth. The book ends concurrently with our graduation and concludes with events that probably became the catalysts for major change; things like the assassination of President Kennedy, civil rights legislation, the woman’s liberation movement, the New York World’s Fair and Vietnam.

In conclusion and previously stated, many books examine the effect adult boomers have had on the world, but this is one of the few that examines the effect that the world had on boomers. By turns serious and comical, these recollections offer lessons to future generations while entertaining anyone who grew up in “the good old days.” These important moments deserve to be remembered and cherished.

I am hugely delighted to announce that today’s post is courtesy of Fred Arnow from Baby Boomer Reflections. Fred has recently released a book containing reflections and memories from his childhood, from 1946 until 1964: the 18 years of Fred’s childhood. One of my personal favourite posts regards the chemistry set (bringing a different interpretation to the word ‘Boomer’), and the gender stereotyping associated with advertising back then. Lastly, Fred’s book is available on Kindle on Amazon.com, where it has been universally well received with ten five star ratings (which is no mean feat). I am reading the book myself, and a review will be forthcoming in the next few months.

2 thoughts on “We hear from ‘Time’ person of the year about his debut book-guest post

    1. Haha yes, I have that feeling at the minute too. I’ve got some required reading over the summer for A levels and a few that I’ve told people I’ll review, and a whole shelf of books I’d like to read…
      Best, Matt


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