Aside from all the genocide, poverty, racism, sexism, and discrimination, it was a simpler, more innocent time growing up in the 1940s. Popular music still had trumpets in it, Shemp joined the Three Stooges, and kids played stickball in the streets.
But some families were so poor, they couldn’t afford sticks, which were expensive at the time. They couldn’t afford balls either, so they put apple cores in a sock, tied it up, and called it a ball. But then many people didn't have socks. So, instead of socks, they wrapped newspaper around their feet, then they would read their feet when they got home from school. Of course, shoes were also hard to come by, so they wrapped cardboard around their newspaper socks, and wore them as shoes. Some families lit their shoes and socks on fire to keep warm. Very stupid people lit their shoes and socks on fire while they were still on.
Rocks were also very essential to the average American's way of life in the 1940s. Rocks served multiple purposes, as they could be thrown, eaten, and sucked-on. It's amazing how much water you can get from a rock if you really suck on it. They were like popsicles in a way -- dirty, tasteless, popsicles. The great thing about rocks is they are free. The bad thing about rocks is they are really hard and difficult to digest. Several kids in the neighborhood died from eating rocks. Unfortunately, there were very few doctors in the 1940s, as most people cured their ills with large mallets and liquor.
Through it all was the war. World War II was a galvanizing experience for people across the land—it was like the American Idol of its day, except people rooted for the Americans to save the world and not Carrie Underwood to win the singing contest.
The war was on everyone’s mind—our sons were off fighting evil in Germany, the women were helping out back home, and the drunks continued to drink with great zeal, like it might be their last. People loved the president and listened to him speak on huge wooden radios in front of their fireplace. If they didn’t have a fireplace, they’d start a fire in the middle of the room and listen. If they didn’t have a radio, they built a fire and pretended to listen. Sometimes houses caught on fire, but if they did, people were sure to pitch in and help put it out. People loved to help one another out in the 1940s—which is why it is often called the Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. Of course, that makes all the other generations jealous and mad at Tom Brokaw.