Lo and behold, see what I came across this past weekend! These pictures were taken in 1954 during my grandparents’ trip to Miami. The world was a very different place then.
In 1954, the US exploded the world’s first hydrogen bomb, the Yonge Street subway opened in Toronto and Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. Eisenhower was President in the US and Louis St Laurent was Prime Minister in Canada. Elvis Presley started recording with Sun Records in Memphis. Joe McCarthy was admonished by the Senate. Construction of the St Lawrence Seaway began. TV was in its infancy and From Here to Eternity won the Oscar for Best Picture.
In 1954, the world was a very different place in smaller, more personal ways, too. My grandmother was a working mom in a pre-daycare era. Still, she sewed all her own clothes, ironed her sheets, made her own jams, pickles and marmalade, cooked a full dinner every night, entertained frequently, played bridge weekly, went to church and sang in the choir, packed 4 lunches for the next workday until my father was 21, and walked to the grocery store and back carrying her groceries because she did not drive. Yet, in my memory, never did she talk about being stressed or overworked. My grandparents never owned their own home and thought those who did were foolish. To their way of thinking, owning a house was a recipe for expense and responsibility and was a good way to suck the joy out of life. They preferred to spend their time and not very plentiful resources on opera tickets, weekends in New York City, golf courses, books and family. They understood the concept of living well better than we, as a society, seem to today.
In 1954, doctors treated their patients differently than they do today. When my grandmother found a lump in her breast, she went for a biopsy and woke from the anesthesia to find her breast and lymph nodes gone and her arm muscles damaged for life. There was no consultaton and no informed consent. The diagnosis of breast cancer spurred my grandparents to take what they thought would be their a last trip together, going by train across Canada, from Montreal to Banff to the West Coast. After that, there was no holding back their ”itchy feet.” As life played out over the next 30 years, they explored the world together, usually in the company of busloads of other teachers and their spouses. They visited Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Fiji, Bora Bora, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Peru, the Gallapagos Islands, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Egypt and Israel. Between the major jaunts and after they retired, they often went to Florida, trading Montreal’s grey and wintry weather for some sunshine.
Since these pictures were taken nearly 60 years ago, much has changed but Florida’s allure has clearly remained a constant and for good reason. Florida is simply a great place to relax and unwind. Sunshine is almost guaranteed. It’s safe, affordable and easy to get to. For those of us in Eastern North America, there are no time zone shifts. There are no hassles with language and no problems with drinking the water. There is plenty to see and do if you are so inclined, but it’s a great place to do nothing at all except watch the waves. Oh, and there is Key Lime Pie to be had! When you feel the need to relax in the Florida sunshine, we hope you will make Siesta Key 611 your vacation home. Newly renovated and designed for your relaxation and comfort, Siesta Key 611 offers an unbeatable combination of amenities, location and great value. To learn more, click Siesta Key 611.