Lots of comments this week on the latest story, about the Red Scare of the 1950s and Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist campaign. It was an unsettled time of deep suspicion in America.
Luckily my family never seemed to be concerned about any of this and thought McCarthy was an insane fanatic. But I remember those days and I remember friends who started stockpiling canned foods and water, etc., just in case all this crazy talk brought on another war. We even knew a few who built bomb shelters. Luckily, America is still safe, even with a bunch of crazy nuts working in the government in Washington, D.C.
John came up with this ditty:
Just remember, paranoia will destroy ya.
I didn’t know about McCarthy at the time he was doing his worst, but I lived in Orange County, possibly the most conservative place in the US. Communism, freedom, the bomb, duck-and-cover, I remember all of it.
We did duck-and-cover drills at school… It’s unbelievable now, except that many in the USA now consider countries that provide universal healthcare to be socialist, i.e. almost as dangerous as the menaces of the past.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this weeks installment of Sleeper Avenue!!! You made me laugh, (the Volkswagen quote, “He’s not a Commie. He’s probably a Nazi), then I got a chill up my spine with the ending.
This from Robert:
I enjoyed this strip. I particularly liked the variety of drawing styles you employed in the various frames. Something made me conscious of how different they were, and I found myself flipping back and forth among them. A very satisfying experience.
Thanks for that. I’m really enjoying experimenting with the art. It’s gratifying that you noticed.
Duck and Cover drills! You Can Alway Trust the Communists (to be Communists)
I even remember the Army-McCarthy hearings and Edward R Murrow on McCarthy on television, though obviously the significance of those live events on tv only became clearer as I got older and looked back–
Best stuff before the Watergate hearings and “Country Lawyer” Sam Ervin…
Readers are still commenting about previous stories. Orvel wrote this about the tornado and the TV stories:
My family moved to Waco from So. Calif. in 1951.
I was only 6 when The Great Tornado struck in 1954, but to this day I vividly remember that sickly algae green color, and the stillness as the eye passed over.
Like one of those ‘where were you moments’ I remember the first color t.v. and where i was, or whose home it was in. Fantastic memories.
Great memories of the lone t.v. station, going to ‘kids day’ just to get a “possum grin” from that silly sock-puppet.
I’m like a kid all over again, eagerly anticipating my weekly ‘serial’ coming via email notice.
I’m hooked, and I love it.
And I’m delighted that you’re enjoying it.
Candace, who lived across the street from me on Sleeper, weighed in:
I honestly don’t remember when we got our TV, I think around 1954 or 55. We actually have a picture of it, black and white of course. I remember Dad constantly going to the 7-ll to check out the tubes, which were constantly going out. We watched Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room and a local show with Uncle Elihu. Good Times. Mom and Dad watched all the westerns and detective shows. I remember Dragnet and Joe Friday. I don’t know if you remember but when we moved to Sleeper, it still wasn’t paved. I have a picture of all the kids around the ice cream truck. The curbs are in but the streets are dirt.
I do remember. When they finally got around to paving Sleeper Ave., they piled huge mounds of dirt in the street for several days. We kids had a ball climbing those mountains. I’m not sure our parents were thrilled with how our clothes looked at the end of the day.
Thanks for all your feedback. Please keep reading and keep the comments coming.