The 1950’s were arguably one of the most tumultuous periods in America’s recent history and anyone who grew up in those days understands all-too-well what it was like. The Korean War, The Cold War, and fear of communism were rampant.
However, for every sour memory, there’s a good one to ease the recollection, such as the rise of ‘Ol Blue Eyes’ Frank Sinatra, the soaring popularity of famous musicals such as The Sound of Music and South Pacific, and theatrical legends like Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean carving their names in the sky.
For a child growing up in these times, calling it a ‘whole different world’ would be an understatement. And in a humorous retelling of such bygone days, local Findlay author Barbara Lockard takes us backward into the days when children had much more freedom and had to get much more creative when it came to passing time. Whether or not it was safe was another matter.
A Humorous Time Machine
Barbara’s book, entitled Chapel Veils, Cough Drops and Queen for a Day: Being a Kid in the 1950s, is a look back from the perspective of someone who experienced everything the 50’s had to offer firsthand, told with the hope of making you laugh.
Barbara has been writing for a living for years, honing her skills with pens and keyboards for most of her adult life. But for most of it, writing a book wasn’t at the forefront of her priorities, at least not until that fateful year of 2020 when the pandemic raged across the world, forcing people into lockdown.
“It was sort of always my intent, you know you always say ‘when I retire, I’m just gonna write’, and you don’t,” Barbara said. “And I officially retired in 2019, and when the lockdown hit with the pandemic, I thought, ‘Gee, I can either go crazy, or I can start writing.”
And that’s just what she did. In March of 2020, she set up a blog site on WordPress which she updated once a week, rain or shine. In it, she recounted amusing anecdotes of her time spent as a child growing up in 1950’s Cincinnati with her family. Everything from careening down steep hills on Huffy and ‘bourgeois’ Schwinn bikes, trick-or-treating, mothers cure-all-cough drops, and popular telly from the time period.
By November of 2020, she’d amassed such a collection of amusing anecdotes that she decided to compile them all into a book, which she published via Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.
The Humor The World Needs
Barbara has already been working on her next book, which has been written, but as yet has no title. In the meantime, she’s focusing on marketing her first collection in the hope of cheering people up when they need a good chuckle. In a world where seriousness runs like fine wine, the world needs a laugh now more than ever. Barbara’s biggest focus when writing this book was on fun and humor. “I think this all gonna be pretty light-hearted stuff, I’m not going to get political, it’s just fun and reminiscing, and we need more of that.”
True to form, Chapel Veils, Cough Drops and Queen for a Day is exactly that; a goofy romp back in time during the days when kids spent their days biking all over creation and scrounging up deposit bottles to buy candy. It’s a breath of fresh air after such a hard year, and maybe it’s time to just think back on the days when life was a little simpler and grape ice cream cost nothing more than the change from a dollar pack of cigarettes.