Rushville Republican

Columns

January 24, 2013

Ward: The old days really were good

RUSHVILLE — The recent fire in an Amish establishment brought back memories of how it was a long time ago. The Amish don’t believe in insurance, but they do believe in helping each other. I noticed a bundle of buggies there the next day and within another day or two you could not tell there ever was a fire. The men worked, the ladies cooked, the children ran errands and thing got done. It was much like it used to be when my father was a youngster. There was no Social Security; you retired if you could when you were unable to work at all. If you had been able to keep some type of income for your old age, fine; if not, either your children other family members hopefully would take care of you or your out on your own. They did not have unemployment insurance of any kind. Again, you went on the dole or got a new job fast. Family was deep and close; going on the dole was something neither the family nor person cared to happen. But if needed it was usually there.

If you got hurt on the job in most instances you were once again on your own or your families own. If the bread winner died or was incapacitated again you looked for help, but not from the government. Franklin Roosevelt brought a lot of what we look at today and feel it has always been there but it hasn’t. No Medicare or Medicaid. No unemployment. In reality, not much of anything. Today these things are taken for granted and at times, as is the case in most thing we are involved in, are misused. They were originally enacted to help the country and its population to manage to live a good life, one that was going to have something at least from the federal government to retire on.

Some larger industries and businesses did have a retirement plan of sorts. They would give you so much a month for your remaining days if you worked for them say 50 years or so. There was no guarantee that if the industry or business went out of business that your retirement would continue. This was the Social Security of my day. I feel that many business entities today do not have anything like a retirement for their employees. They have 401-K’s and other ways to make money for retirement but seldom do they themselves guarantee what you will or will not get. When I started my work life it was with Sears & Roebuck and at that time they were huge in retailing. One of the custodians retired soon after I was hired on from college and he told me he got a monthly check from Sears that was the interest on his $350,000 in retirement account. And at the time that seemed to me to be a fortune, not so today.

Some accounts in federally regulated banks are insured by the government and the banks today. Earlier on they were not; if the bank went belly up so did your money. Your checking and savings and much else went along with the bankrupt bank. You usually would still owe someone your home mortgage or loan you had taken out from the bank but you still had that obligation. In reality, we today have so many more ways for us to exist than in my father’s youth it is quite amazing. Churches and other charity organizations were the only things many could count on other than their neighbor’s consideration and help.

Many farmers would help out if a neighbor was hurt or had an accident. They still do this today and I personally feel that is what makes us what we are. Others would come to help if you had a barn burn. Everyone would come out, much like the Amish of today, and within a few days at most you were back in business. Everyone felt good about it and knew that if they needed help it would be forthcoming. Today, we look to insurance and other means to do what was ours earlier on. We seem to have lost the closeness of family and friends and let it go to someone on the outside. In fact I personally feel that the lost of the cohesion of the family is what is the great problem we are facing today.

    The family was the basis for life way back when. You just did not do anything that would hurt the family. If you needed help the family was there and you knew it. My grandfather and grandmother basically were living on the boys when they got to the age of being unable to work. Grandpa Ward worked well into his 80s, falling out of the barn at 82. He took a couple of days off and then back to work. Grandpa passed away at 96 and my father at 92; both sides of grandparents lived well into their 80s. Family was the one thing that I feel held society together back then and we are missing that today. We talk about the good old days and many laugh at us for doing so. But let me tell you, in many instances it was indeed the good old days and we today could use a dose of what those intrepid individuals had.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on FoxNews.com with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014