It was a different world, more certain, more regimented, if you will.
They were the children of immigrants, bilingual from birth, some born in “the old world”, others of the first generation.
There was no such thing as childhood or teenage in those days. As soon as you were old enough to sit at the dinner table you were expected to behave as an adult.
In those days, forty was old. The difference between twenty and thirty then is as huge a gap as between twenty and fifty today.
You were young a brief moment, then expected, maybe demanded is a better word to marry, have children, be parents, and old forever.
When I look back, I am amazed that I viewed twenty eight year olds as grown men, permanently set in their lives as the butcher, the plumber, the police man.
A world, gone, as the neighbourhood is gone; for in 1950 the land was purchased, cleared, and brick apartment buildings were thrown up in what had been a quiet, pseudo-country “town” in the middle of Brooklyn.