Back in the day

Some of my most vivid memories of the 1960s involve traveling in a car.

Not where we went but how we went.

Back then, few people were safety belts. That included small children, who often stood in the front seat.

So every time the vehicle came to an abrupt stop, out went your parent’s right arm to stop your momentum.

That’s why I’m mad about Mad Men.

Set in the ’60s, the show centers on a Madison Avenue advertising firm and its debonair creative director Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, Besides being beautifully written and acted, the series sweats the details.

Men wore hats, women skirts. Cocktail hour lasted all day. And the cigarette smoke never cleared.

One of my favorite scenes is from an early season episode.

Don has brought his family to the country for a roadside picnic. As they prepare to leave, he tosses his empty beer onto the grass, and his wife, Betty, shakes free the trash from a blanket.

There were a lot of litterbugs then. That doesn’t make it right.

But to borrow from Walter Cronkite, that’s the way it was.

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