March 16, 1990 |
When I drove the first Hyundai Excel back in 1986, there were things about the new Korean subcompact that were memorably consistent with its $4,995 base price. Such as the window crank that came off in my hand the first time I tried to use it. My memories of the second-generation, 1990 Excel I just spent a week with aren't as indelible as those of the first car, and that's probably a plus for the manufacturer. After all, it is better to build a forgettable car than to field one memorable for its frailties.
May 21, 2006 |
As a presidential candidate, longtime U.S. senator and law professor, Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.) is used to being in some fairly elite company. But addressing graduates of the Class of 2006 at Widener University in Chester yesterday, he was feeling pretty ho-hum. "I'm about to join the ranks of forgotten commencement speakers," Biden joked. Still, he persevered. He even inspired, reminding the 776 men and women receiving degrees that they had the potential to do great things.
July 8, 1996 |
It's time for another All-Star Game, and we all know what that means. Time for that Ripken guy. Time for good old Barry Bonds. Time for the hit machines, Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs. Time for those regular old perennial all-stars to do their regular old perennial all-star thing. But savor the looks you get at them now, because as even Willie Mays and Hank Aaron discovered, "perennial" is not to be confused with "forever. " We hate to break it to today's perennials but, if they gaze into their rear-view mirrors, they'll see the next generation coming.
September 28, 1987 |
This happened around bedtime for the little guy. We had just concluded a summer trip that involved lots of flying. Perhaps that explains what happened. "Hey, Dad," he began. "I have a neat idea for a spaceship that can travel for years and make its own food and everything. It has this cool weapons system and small vehicles for short trips and . . . " He slipped into his deep dreams before he ever finished describing his neat vehicle, but I left his room wondering if I didn't wish I was 7 again.
October 17, 1986 |
"I'm sorry I can't stand around here and talk about books," a junior at Great Valley High School in Malvern said to his English teacher. "I have to get to work, and school isn't my job. " His job was at Gino's, flipping hamburgers. He was working 35 hours a week - earning money for a car (and insurance), stereo equipment, tapes - and movies, too, when he had time to go. It's an exhausting life, one shared by most of his classmates. After 3 o'clock, they're at Gino's or McDonald's, in the stockrooms at shopping centers, or loading trucks at warehouses all night.
May 26, 1991 |
Mary Curtis is getting ready to give it all away. Five decades of hard work as a doctor, five decades of owning homes that were bought cheap and sold expensive, five decades of saving money so that now the nest egg is measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her two children and two grandchildren already have been showered with gifts. Down payments have been made on houses. Two generations of college tuitions have been footed. Trips have been bankrolled to Australia, Hawaii and Japan.
June 15, 2004 |
EVEN IN this age of sperm banks, artificial insemination and single-mother adoptions, fathers are still relevant. While technology has reduced their significance in the reproductive dance, society has been unable - Herculean efforts to the contrary notwithstanding - to eliminate their role altogether. Fathers are still holed-up in the Alamo, valiantly defending themselves against a societal Santa Ana of political correctness and decaying family values. With luck, they might just survive the onslaught.
May 5, 1992 |
Recently, the New York Times published an article stating that the average 1988 campaign sound bite lasted about nine seconds. One might think this type of political presentation to be the journalistic equivalent of the Orwellian nightmare, with "Big Brother Television" restricting our access, our time and our words. This has long been a growing concern to most mature, voting-age Americans. But not to many members of the "monitor generation. " These are the men and women under the age of 26 who were educated by a two-headed hydra - television and the computer.
April 4, 2012 |
Periodically and cyclically, the economy will stink, even more so for people who are less experienced, educated or trained, the youngest members of the work force. The Depression walloped one generation. The recession, oil shortage, and stagflation whipped mine. Many classmates avoided the job market, or the pronounced lack thereof, by diving into grad school and further debt, which drove them toward more lucrative professional if not necessarily innovative endeavors. As The Inquirer's special report "Struggling for Work" makes clear, these are days of diminishing economic returns for the "millennial generation," adults 18 to 34, entering a challenging and rapidly changing marketplace.
January 31, 1996 |
Buried somewhere in the attic is an old New Yorker article in which the author's premise was that the post-World War II generation - roughly, those born between the mid-1920s and the mid-1940s - was a neglected and forgotten bunch. When they were children, during the Great Depression, their fathers would greet them with, "Don't bother me kid, while I try to figure out how to make the payments on the old Studebaker. " Years later, it would be, "Don't bug me kid while I read about how your big brother and his buddies invaded Normandy.