Well, here we are.
Experiencing the last day of the last month of 2019.
In a few hours, we will step into a brand new year.
As none of us have a crystal ball, what lies ahead remains shrouded in mystery and all we can be sure of is, ‘time will tell.’
But because we are beginning a new version of the ‘roaring twenties,’ I was prompted to look back at what history is telling us about the ‘roaring twenties.’
Is there similarities? Does history, in fact, repeat itself.
It seems the decade that existed a hundred years ago marked the cutting edge of new freedoms in social, economic and cultural aspects of life. Perhaps, after the end of the war, people were almost desperate to seek some sort of reprieve from the horrific losses and devastation.
Whatever, the reason it seemed in the roaring twenties people adopted the motto of ‘anything goes.’
These were the days when people, people just like you and me, who were ordinary working folk, were able to purchase amazing things like cars and radios.
By the end of the 2020s, there were over 100 million radios in circulation.
I was thinking of getting my granddaughter a record player for Christmas. A vintage gift.
A radio would certainly be a vintage gift, as well.
Speaking of my granddaughter, she absolutely loves jazz and, in fact, plays in the school jazz band and listens to jazz (I was going to say on the radio) on her iPhone quite happily.
Apparently in the 20s, flapper was the term used to describe this particular type of young woman who would wore a short skirt and listened to jazz music.
Flappers were frowned on by the proper society.
I think I would have liked them.
These flapper girls.
Anyway, years ago I belonged to this group of jazz dancers (well, we weren’t really jazz dancers, but simply housewives wanting a night out). One night we dressed up and performed The Charleston before a huge crowd (as huge as the gym at the local school would hold).
It was incredibly fun and I felt quite young and sexy even though I was wearing shiny yellow lining I had made into a flapper dress and swinging brown shower beads.
I guess you had to be there.
In the ‘20s the economic boom was not equal although the rich were very rich and, apparently, idle and enjoyed a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption. However, agriculture suffered from low prices and entered recession.
Hmmm! Today, it seems we have never come out of a recession and, one thing we know for sure, about 2020, our gas prices at the pumps is going to jump to who knows what.
The one thing I found curiously uplifting about the 1920s was the number of famous people that left their mark in history during that era.
In 1927 Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic.
Amelia Earhart, a female aviator broke several records and was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932.
Louis Armstrong helped to popularize jazz music among both black and white population.
In 1928 D. H. Lawrence wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover which was banned for its sexual promiscuity and intermingling of social classes.
And Emily Murphy, the first woman magistrate in the British Empire joined forces with four other Canadian woman in 1927 to challenge an old Canadian law that said women should not be counted as persons.
That law is rather hard to wrap one’s head around, isn’t it.
If we weren’t considered persons, what were we considered?
And so as we look back on 100 years of history, it seems in some ways, we have grown up and matured and changed for the better.
But, as I watch my granddaughter; so young, so vital and alive and so very much into jazz music, I have to smile.
And, I think to myself, “some things never change.”
And that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Not a bad thing at all.
Happy New Year, everyone!