Monday, September 14, 2009

My fascination for the 1940's and 1950's

I love genealogy, and I love stories, real and fiction, about the 1940's and 1950's. I think I find this time frame so fascinating is because this is when my parents were young. I'm also partial to the 20th century versus prior historical periods. Again, I think this is because I knew people who lived during those times and I like to imagine what their lives were like. When I say "people", I mean people important in my life such as my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. My parents were teenagers in the 1940's and despite WWII and the fact my mom's family had a really rough time during the Great Depression, it sounded like she had a terrific teenage life. She had a lot of fun dating and riding street cars. She spouted off telephone exchanges as if she still used them daily. My mom was beautiful in pictures during those years and she had gorgeous, elegant dresses for her high school dances and weddings. The most recent movie I've watched touching on that time period is "Julie & Julia". Julia Child began cooking classes and working on her cookbook in the 1940's. Her sister was married in 1950 or close to it. When the movie showed her sister's wedding, the fashion including the dresses, hats, and hairstyles looked just like my mom's and my aunts'. I whispered to the daughter who was sitting next to me in the movie that this was the same year as my parents' wedding and the same type of dress they wore. She told her sister and they both thought it was pretty cool. Our generation and future generations of writers are lucky in this way. We have lots of movies to watch from the last hundred years or so if we want to see how people lived then. At least the gadgets and fashion and some of the scenery. I'm working on a time-travel romance featuring 1978. That's still fresh in my memory, more than the 80's which is a blur of diapers and Big Bird to me. I loved being a teenager in the 1970's. It was a really fun time. It doesn't feel historical to me - it feels like a year or two ago. I've never been a historical writer with the exception of a couple of time-travels featuring contemporary heroines who go back in time. I like to see the comparisons between today and yesteryear. But if I was to write a historical, it would most likely be from 1900 and forward where I can imagine members of my family being. My grandparents were all born in the 1890's except for my dad's mom who was born in the year 1900. They were young and falling in love in the 1920's. My grandfathers fought in WWII. My great-uncle died in WWII from Mustard gas. Likewise, my parents were kids during the Great Depression and teenagers during WWII. My mom's older brother fought in WWII then came home to marry his next door neighbor who'd been his penpal throughout the war. I would much prefer to watch a WWII romance than a cowboy flick set in the 19th century or before. Maybe that's why I love the Indiana Jones movies so much. But I love Singing in the Rain, too. Of course, they're great movies, but they're better yet for me because I can imagine my grandparents being young and having fun and falling in love then. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Shelley Munro said...

I really like the fashions as well. I've written one book for EC in this era (WWII).

Have you read LK Campbell's books? They're sweet romances and are all set during WWII.

Unknown said...

hmmm...possibly you see it as a time of innocence and simplcity and maybe an ideal compared to the crapaciousness you are dealing with now...that's as Freudian as I get

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