Monday, November 18, 2013

Gladys Kravitz and The Dueling Banjos

Several years ago I was riding with a state trooper to deliver an emergency message to a Family.   We were in the sticks. I mean we were well off the beaten path.  In fact it was a little eerie late at night.  I made the following comment to my 20 something trooper: "I can hear the dueling banjos in the background."  He just gave me a quizzical look...I told him to forget it. But I was clearly reminded that every generation shares its own experiences in the realm of pop culture. 

A few months ago I was assisting several young police officers at a location where an unexpected death had occurred.  We were attempting to be as discreet as possible in order to preserve the deceased persons dignity.  But as usual there were nosy onlookers. One neighbor in particular stood on the sidewalk two doors down and stared. I told the officers that I should pull away and go speak with Gladys Kravitz regarding her invasive neighborliness.  Their response:  "Oh, you know her?" I told them to forget it. And I was reminded once again that every generation shares its own experiences in the realm of pop culture. 

I think people of all ages can work well together. I think we can play and laugh together too. I even think we can worship together.  But it takes some effort. There is plenty of room for communication breakdowns.  Life experiences during the formative years is very different for each generation.  I want to learn about the life experiences from people significantly older and younger than me. I want to have good friends from every adult generation. 

Should I encourage my young trooper to watch Deliverance? Hmm...maybe not.  Should I describe the beloved Bewitched character known as Gladys Kravitz to them? Maybe so... Whatever I choose it will be a cross pop cultural experience. 
And furthermore there will no references to The Brady Bunch in subsequent conversations with 20 something's. I did not watch that show at 7:00 every Friday night. And I most certainly did not have a love interest in Marcia Brady.  Those experiences with pop culture can remain in 1972 as far as I am concerned.. I

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