Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

an era defined

 We have all heard the expression, the end of an era. An era, as defined, is a long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic. There is no set period of time for it to be classified as such. It is my belief that I witnessed the end of an era. I was there when it passed into history. I do carry the memory of that time forward, but time has passed. On a personal level that era ended on Aug 8, 1971. That is the day I stepped aboard the Long Island railroad and headed west. When I next traveled east, back to the home I had left, it was gone. Lingering images remained, old faces and old memories. Reflecting on that I feel honored to have been a part of that. I did get to enjoy a piece of a past era. It wasn't just a time, it was indeed an era. I'm not certain how many are aware of the distinction, but I have grown acutely aware.
 In that definition, an era contains a particular feature or characteristic. The characteristic of that lost era was a particular breed of people. We called them Bonackers. There are many that like to identify themselves as such, even to this day. I was born and raised in the neighborhood of the Bonackers, although I admit to never really having been one. There are those that will tell me, yes you are, but they would be wrong. That is true simply because each of us that lived in that time would define a Bonacker differently. I knew a few of them folks and they were, as the saying goes, of the finest kind.  If they were judged by todays societal standards they would be classified quite differently. Fact is, they were , by some, even back then.The majority of them lived what could only be described as a hand to mouth existence. Fiercely independent and just as fiercely opinionated. They were upright folks that spoke their mind clearly and loudly. No mistaking what they meant and no nonsense about it. Those that lived a life more of pretense than substance, tended to be at odds with these folks. I wasn't aware at the time but stood on the shoreline as the final showdown took place. Money defeated character and an era ended.
 Now I'm not saying no Bonackers exist today, they certainly do. That is something you are born too. You don't inherit it through the blood but rather through the soul. If you never lived the life you can never be a Bonacker. That is why I say I am not one, never was. I just lived in the neighborhood. It is also something one can not aspire to. The best you could hope to obtain was a quiet acceptance of your presence. If you are from " away " you will always be from " away." The thing is that era has passed. There are a few " characters " left " but the show is over. The " set " has all been changed now, the old scenery remains in isolated places, but the stage has changed. A different era has begun.
  I view this with an impassioned eye. It is one of regret. The regret is not so much that the era has ended but that I took so little advantage of it. I think that is the way it is with the majority of us. We really don't know what we have till it's gone. I would add we don't know what is available either ! We are usually too busy to notice what is going on around us. The expression we can't see the trees for the forest applies. We should be taking a closer look. For those of you reading this that may not know what a Bonacker is, or was, I would write this. A Bonacker lived in a special place and time. Yes, it was called Bonac by those that lived there, but was never a formal name, it was more of a feeling.  And that feeling was the Norman Rockwell feeling of hearth and home. Truly the stuff of legend and lore. And I watched as it was legislated out of existence. Make no mistake about that, it was regulation that killed the Bonackers. They were never defeated by time or tide but by lawyers and the pen. The last great champion of the Bonackers has passed now and I read of that with sorrow, another chapter closed. Who will write the epilogue ? Not I, for I am unqualified to do so. I can think of a few but their numbers are dwindling. Time and tide will continue and so too legislation. If only man could learn to live by Gods laws alone we would stand a chance. Given time, man will legislate himself out of existence as surely as he did the Bonackers. The quest for the acquisition of wealth and power will spell the end.