The person who I interviewed was my grandmother, Judy Mcdowell. She is sixty seven years old, and still acts like she’s twenty. She has definitely adapted to the changes of society through her life. Whether it be the clothes that she wears, the terms she uses, or the things she does. Judy was born in 1943. She grew up in Stamping Ground, KY. Stamping ground was a small little country town on the outskirts of Georgetown. To this day Stamping Ground is still country. It is small, quiet, and not heavily populated.
Nothing big is in the town besides a couple of gas stations, and a little corner grocery. My Grandmothers home life is probably different than some peoples today. Manners were a must. Yes mam and no mam we necessary in every situation, and don’t you dare forget your please and thank you’s. This is something you rarely see today. I will admit that I am at fault for not always saying yes mam and no mam, but I am usually good about saying please and thank you, most kids my age are not. You were polite to everyone you meet, whether you like them or not.
And you never even think of back talking your elders. If I had a nickel for every time that I have seen a child back talk their teachers, parents or boss I would be richer than Bill Gates. Now days kids don’t have any respect for anyone. If your parents asked you to do something you did it. You did it then, and you did it right. You would never half do something that your parents or teachers asked you to do. In my grandmothers words if you didn’t mind then you would for sure be receiving an “ass whooping”.
I am guilty of not doing what I am told, but I also have received my “ass whooping”, I guess some things haven’t changed. Most kids have to still do chores. I know in my house that I am expected to keep my room clean, and take my dogs out. I know friends that have to do a lot more than I do and people refer to that as “old fashioned”. This is because according to my grandmother that in her childhood when I asked her what chores she was expected to do, she replied with, “everything”. Everything could be pretty broad so I asked her to go into detail.
She was expected to iron clothes, which if I had to do I believe I would burn down the house. Also she would sweep the floors, which I have done maybe twice this year. Every night she would do the dishes, now days we just slip the dishes in the big magic box called the dish washer that cleans them for us, and to be honest, I don’t even know how to run that. During my interview the thing that surprised me most was when I came to the question, how old were you before you were allowed to date? My grandmother replied with, “well I got married at fifteen, so I guess fifteen. My grandmother has been in my life since I was born and I never knew she got married at fifteen. I am eighteen right now and honestly I do not ever want to get married. I cant imagine having all that responsibility, and being tied, “ball and chain”, to someone especially at such a young age. I believe that everyone should have time to be young and free, to go have fun, and get out there and meet someone. My grandmother married my granddaddy at fifteen, and the got divorced years later, I believe that is the result of getting married at such a young age.
If someone came into school when I was a freshmen and told me they were engaged I would call them crazy, and so would everyone else, even the parents. But back then it was what you did. You got married early so you could start a family and be a nice little housewife. Dates these days are not much different than back then. When I asked my grandmother where she would usually go on dates she said ball games. All the time kids my age would go to school baseball, basketball and football games with their significant other, where they would pay their way in and maybe even buy them a soda.
Something I hadn’t heard of was a “sock hop”. My grandmother said that and I had no clue what she was talking about. A sock hop was a dance. They would pay their money and go in where they would play music and they would go in and dance. This sounds about like the Ravens dances we have here, without all the alcohol, and I’m sure back then the dancing wasn’t “grinding” and the music wasn’t by Lil Wayne. At fifteen I sure as heck was not allowed to go to the drive in with a boy, and neither was my grandmother, before she got married of course, so that’s one things that has stayed the same, over protective fathers.
The thing that I think hasn’t changed the most is my grandmother’s favorite childhood toy, her doll. Every little girl I know has a doll. She carries it around, dresses it up and plays house with it. Of course there are some new dolls that can eat, pee, poop, and talk but there is still the old fashioned baby doll that any little girl would get enjoyment out of. That’s the best thing about a little girl, no matter when it is she can have fun and love something as simple as a little baby doll. I had the assumption that all mothers in the era were stay at home, but I was wrong.
I imagined them in my head with curled hair, in an apron, flipping a pancake with one hand and dusting a shelf with the other, all while the perfect little children were either asleep in the crib, or playing on the floor. So when I asked my grandmother if her mother had a job when she was younger I was surprised when she said yes. My great grandmother was a nurse at the hospital. This is a job that a lot of women still have these days. When I asked my grandmother did you get an allowance, she just laughed. Apparently no one back then had even heard of an allowance.
Me myself have never received an allowance, but I know many people who have and do. I guess my family is still “old fashioned”. Even now I am surprised at how many of my friends do not have a job. Their parents pay for their car, gas, and any other expenses. I have had a job since I was fifteen and will continue to have a job till I die probably. But so many kids these days do not have jobs, my grandmother did. Her first job was at a pencil factory. She would work and make pencils for barley any money, but she had to do it to get what she needed just like I have to do.
Obviously there has been many changes in society since 1943. I asked my grandmother what she believed was the biggest change in society that she has seen in her life and she responded the way kids act. She said that kids these days are not respectful like they used to be and I totally agree. Kids back talk and are rude to adults like its nothing. The things kids say to their parents I would never even dream of saying to my mother. Kids have changed, society has changed and my grandmother has been here for sixty-seven years to witness it all.