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1955. It was a Very Weird Year

pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, 1955

Was going to post picture of a birthday, but so hot, thought snow might make us all feel cooler. I’m the short one. My grandma’s car in background. Photo was probably taken from front step.

Thirty-five years ago today, I was in the hospital giving birth. While that child deals with the trauma of turning thirty-five today, and perhaps has cake, I will be bracing for my own birthday tomorrow. Oh, don’t think I’m unhappy about turning older. Oh no, my birthday  bracing is more along the lines of, “What will go wrong?”

I’ve three? four? times had the A/C shut off, usually for several days. Broke an ankle, made my son’s truck break down not once, but twice, and does anyone remember Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, I thought so.

Getting older on my birthday is usually the easy part.

See? Mayhem. never comes ashore just to say hi or see how civilization is doing….

On the upside, I share a (sort of) birth year with Godzilla. Maybe all my bad luck is really his (her?) fault. Havoc does seem to follow wherever and whenever the beastie emerges from the depths of the sea. In any case, birthdays and New Year’s Day are times when we pause to look back and look forward.

Let’s start by looking back at my birth year:

What things cost in 1955:

  • Average Cost of new house $10.950.00
  • Average Monthly Rent $87.00
  • Average Yearly Wages $4.130.00
  • Minimum Hourly Rate $1.00
  • Average Cost of a new car $1,900.00
  • Cost of a gallon of Gas 23 cents
  • Ladies Swim Suits $12.95
  • Black and White TV $99.95

Notable events:

  • Disneyland opens in California
  • Rosa Parks arrest in Montgomery Alabama sets the American Civil Rights Movement in Motion
  •  “Scrabble” debuts on board game market
  • 1st presidential news conference filmed for TV (Eisenhower)
  • 1st atomic sub, USS Nautilus, launched at Groton Conn
  • McGuire Sisters’ “Sincerely” single goes to #1 & stays #1 for 10 weeks
  • Elvis Presley made his 1st TV appearance
  • Salk polio vaccine safe & effective; 4 billion dimes marched
  • Walt Disney’s “Lady & the Tramp” released
  • Hurricane Connie begins pounding US for 11 days
  • WINS radio, announces it will not play “copy” white cover versions of R&B (DJs must play Fats Domino’s “Ain’t It A Shame,” not Pat Boone’s)
  • “Gunsmoke” premieres on CBS TV Yes, this was a toy. I recall a baby shower some years later, where the bride-to-be couldn’t identify an ironing board.
  • Dedication of the first Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, the Bern Switzerland Temple
  • “Honeymooners” premieres
  • Persia signs Pact of Baghdad
  • Publication of The Return of the King, being the last part of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Nov 12th – Date returned to in “Back to the Future” & “Back to the Future II”

And if you want some more nostalgic, vintage fun, check out this page of 1955 toys.

This all seems very distant, looking at it from a world of internet and cell phones. It was a world without computers of any kind. It’s so hard to imagine now. But my grandmother had an even bigger technology transition than I’ve had. She was born in 1898. She went from horse and carriage to seeing a man walk on the moon. She lived long enough to see the beginning of the computer revolution, though I’m not sure if she ever used one.

Looking forward is a bit harder. I can’t make neat lists and let’s face it, I probably have more time behind me than ahead. Science fiction does a fairly decent job of looking ahead, though writers get it wrong, too. (1984 anyone?) But, taking The Jetsons  as a sort of cue, I’m still dreaming of  space ships to the distant stars, and cars that fly over traffic jams. Hoping it happens in (what’s left of ) my lifetime. Let’s face it, it never occurred to me that I’d some day be making phone calls or checking my email from the grocery store aisles.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, project enterprise series

This is a view from the old homestead taken this July. Was standing to the left from where the snow shot was taken.

I would also like my birthdays, going forward, to have cake and not repair calls. If it’s a quiet day, I’ll pop in and let you know. If it’s not, well, I’ll need blog posts in the future.

What about your birthdays? Lots of fun? Painful beyond belief? Mildly annoying? What about your birth year? Anything of note? Biggest change between then and now? What change do you see coming? Hope will come? Please leave a comment because I reward those who leave a comment. You are automatically entered into my monthly drawing for a $10 gift card from AnaBanana’s. The winner is announced in the first blog post of the new month, but it also helps if you leave an email address. 🙂


pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, 1955

(Thought I’d swap her regular logo for her zombie one. Rather suits the theme of this blog post…)

Perilously (and unrelentingly aging),


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