NOTES FROM THE NOVELIST
" An impressionist portrait of a troubled era. Crystal Ships is literary/historical fiction. While the novel involves a murder and other incidents that become clear only toward the end of the story, the novel is not written as a mystery. That is, it does not focus primarily on a crime solver’s search for the explanation of a crime."
"My novel, The Duke Don’t Dance is a saga of several lives born in the time period associated with America’s so-called “silent generation” (roughly 1926-1945, depending on the author).I do not, however, buy into generational stereotypes. In fact, breaking those stereotypes was partly the motivation of my novel."
SHARP'S 10 REASONS WHY
"Much writing on generations is pseudo-science, over-generalizing as to the extent to which those in any given time period share common values, arbitrary as to the start and end birth dates of a given “generation,” selective as to alleged tendencies of successive generations, and ignoring that a generation may evolve over time.
About the stereotypes, generalizations tend to be based on the supposed characteristics of those born in the early parts of a supposed generation, the clichés becoming less plausible for those born later."
10 Reasons Why the Silent Generation (b. 1926-1945)
is not in awe of Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1965)
1. We gave you Elvis, the Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, Doors, Joplin, Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Zappa, Hendrix, Tina, Dylan, and Clapton. You came up with the Bee Gees.
2. We were there at the March on Washington. The median boomer age then was seven.
3. A "Silent" woman could be both a Bond girl and a liberated woman and not feel any conflict or guilt. We produced Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Steinem.
4. While The Graduate was supposedly a Boomer epic, the music was written by Simon (b. 1941) and Garfunkle (b. 1941), the graduate played by Dustin Hoffman (b. 1937), his girlfriend by Katherine Ross (b 1942) and the movie written by Mike Nichols (b. 1931).
5. We are responsible for no Presidents and few prominent members of Congress.
6. Another boomer epic was The Big Chill, but it opened with the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (Jagger, b. 1943; Richards, b.1943; Watts, b. 1941; Bill Wyman, 1936) and the cast danced to Smokey Robinson (b., 1940), Marvin Gaye (b. 1939), Norman Whitfield (b. 1940), Hoyt Axton (b. 1938) and Aretha Franklin (b.1942)
7. We gave you perfectly good cocaine, and you turned it into crack.
8. Most of the performers at Woodstock were Silent Generation. The median boomer age during the Woodstock year of 1969 was 13.
9. Weed explodes less often than meth labs.
10. Our generation introduced “the pill;” yours introduced Viagra.
come to think of it
10 MORE Reasons Why
1. They were the parents to the greater part of the Baby Boom and look how that turned out.
2. You can only take so much of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey and the Andrews Sisters.
3. Tom Brokaw’s fawning over the generation can get really annoying.
4. Sure, Casablanca was great, but all those Audie Murphy war movies?
5. They gave our generation that insulting name, “Silent,” in 1951 when our average age was only eleven and our oldest just 25. The sanctimonious windbags.
6. They left race relations, the feminist awakening and the sexual revolution for us to deal with. (Well, it wasn’t all bad.)
7. They created the Cold War, we and the boomers had to fight in it.
8. Lucky Strikes, Camels and the other cigarette habits we imitated. The Greatest Generation tried to kill us, dammit (and themselves as well.)
9. They invented television.
10. They were parents to a good part of the Silent Generation and look how we turned out
10 Reasons Why
I’m not that much in awe
of my own silent generation
Well, I’m not that much in awe of my own “silent generation” either. Let’s see, some reasons are:
1. Most of us were never aware that we were supposed to be part of any so-called “Silent Generation” Some of us apparently thought we were just premature Baby Boomers and let the boomers claim our heritage for themselves. Others regretted missing out on being part of the Greatest Generation, like the Depression and World War II were such good times.
2. Worse yet, some accept the title “silent generation” for those born circa 1926-1945 without objecting to the pejorative that went with it, "withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, indifferent, unadventurous and silent." C’mon people!! It’s BS and you know it.
3. OK, sex and drugs and rock and roll can have their downsides.
4. For the most part, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the threat of nuclear annihilation and political assassinations were a buzz kill and we lived through ’em all...
5. Feeling bad that we never produced a President. Face the facts, Silents, there weren’t that many of us. We were outvoted!
6. Yes, we made breakthroughs in technology, but we did come up with the eight track tape.
7. Let’s face it, we left a lot to be resolved on racial and gender equality issues and religious tolerance. Still, we helped start the ball rolling.
8. With all of our great music, we stole “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from South Africa and inflicted it on the American people for decades.
9. We did produce Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacy, the Unibomber, probably the Boston Strangler, and some others, although the boomers do have a longer list of sociopaths.
10. We put up with an era of non-ideological, compromising, hypocritical politicians. Don’t you miss those days?
Still, the best kept secret is that we were the coolest generation, and should take credit for it. After all, we did invent rock and roll. It’s a little late, but as The Doors sang “The time to hesitate is through; No time to wallow in the mire…” Come on, Silents, light your fire!
10 Unrepentant Thoughts of Spring
1. Radishes are the best spring vegetable crop. They’re the first to mature and if they don’t come up no one gives a damn.
2. I can remember when kids did not hate long spring evenings because the light makes it harder to play video games.
3. At one time guys knew spring was soon to come when they started following the Grapefruit League and the Cactus League, even though it was stupid to do so. Now most guys only have the NFL preseason to alert them to a change of seasons and some wander from winter to summer without even noticing spring.
4. Baseball was always much more dramatic on radio than on TV.
5. Nothing could be finah than to be in Carolina in the morning because by the end of May the afternoon is just too blasted hot.
6. I reset my clocks, but I no longer spring forward.
7. Decorative cherry trees are like invisible strippers – the covering falls off quickly, but what’s the point?
8. Spring is pollen’s time to get even with people for last year’s messing with nature.
9. In the spring, a young man's fancy may turn to thoughts of love, but it seems unfortunate that they are wasting the rest of the year not responding to young women’s thoughts.
10. As you grow older, you develop a greater affection for perennials that revive themselves in the spring. I’m speaking of both flowers and people.
10 Summer Thoughts
1. July 4th is my favorite holiday because you get to blow things up.
2. The Beach Boys were the best Independence Day concert band ever.
3. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning, because the afternoons suck.
4. Radio was good for the summer sports fans because baseball was much more exciting on radio than it is on TV, you were rarely bothered by radio coverage of the Tour de France or golf and motor sport sounds made it easier to nap.
5. Americans use balconies less in the summer than any other nationality. Except for immigrants, the same is becoming true of public parks.
6. You can usually tell an upscale neighborhood by the number of joggers.
7. No matter what they say, hot dogs at a summer picnic or ball game are good for you.
8. Sweaty bikers dressed like Lance Armstrong look ridiculous.
9. Summer is worth it just for home-grown tomatoes
10. After mother’s/father’s day you have a prolonged vacation from holiday greeting cards, candy and flower obligations, store displays for holidays three months in the future and mandatory family gatherings.
YOU have exceeded expectations
Today I just ran across a US life expectancy table that went back to the 1940s and before. The very latest birth date for a member of the “silent generation,” according to those who compute such things was 1945, the year before the baby boom, and some put that last birthdate as early as 1941.
The greatest life expectancy in 1945 was under 68 years (for females). So, if you can read this, Silents, you have exceeded expectations! Now that you’ve lived longer than they were counting on, try to figure out what other trouble you can stir up!
" I do not buy into
MLK,Viet Nam and Such