Hillsdale, MI. There are Baby Boomers, and almost everybody has been talking about them for what seems like way too long now; there are also Generations X, Y, Z, and Jones. Everybody gets named, it seems, except the generation that maybe started in 1933, when my friend Arlan Gilbert was born in the lowest month of USA babies in our history, and ended when my next youngest brother Tom Willson was born on March 19, 1944, just before the celebrated Boomers started socializing the earth.
We’re the NoName Generation.
We didn’t have our war: too young for Korea, too old for Vietnam. We might have had part of a depression, and certainly the absence of fathers during the Great War. We had the Great Prosperity, or so the 1950s seem now that our jobs have been exported to places all over the world and our workers have lost ground ever since the terrible summer of 1973, when our “allies” in the Middle East decided to keep their oil and our money under control.
The irony of us NoNamers is that although we got to enjoy The King and that girl who sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” the rest of what we got was to take responsibility for running what was left of Place. Limits. Liberty. while the Boomers and all the named generations enjoyed the fruits of the declining things that the “earlier generations” had built.
This might sound a little bitchy, and I guess it is. Lately I have been talking with men and women on this site and in colleges and around the midwest who seem to have no connection to what Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Tocqueville and Burke called the “little platoons.” The NoNamers have tried to hang on, but it was probably people of our own NoName generation who started the slide down the slippery slope: Bob Dylan, for example, and The King himself.
The disconnect is from place more than anything else, because place anchors limits and liberty, and in turn gives meaning to what Robert Frost said about family, the “place, where if you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
I sense a gap on FPR between NoNamers and most of the rest.