Sam Newman & Youth Culture

Sam Newman in 1967

Sam Newman in 1967


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Nowadays, we are living a way of life completely different from the fifties and sixties. I did some interviews of my elders to find out about youth culture back then. By interviewing my grandfather who is seventy years old, and the security officer from school, Mr. Newman, I realize that the way teenagers used to spend their money was different from how we spend it today. After the interviews, I figured out that even though they grew up in different parts of the world, my grandfather in Guatemala and Mr. Newman here in Fairfax, there were some situations and ways of living that were similar in both men when they were young.

Mr. Sam Newman at age 18 in Vietnam.

Mr. Sam Newman at age 18 in Vietnam.

In those times, the way that young people used to dress was totally different than today. Bell bottom jeans and boot-cut were the fashion. In that time, the colors blue, black, and other strong colors were used for men, and women had to wear the lighter colors such as sky blue, pink, and white. In that time the way that they dressed was really important to see if you can date any girl. My grandfather has a quote: “ by feather the bird is known,” which means the way that we dressed could be really important.

The money that my grandfather and Mr. Newman used to earn was valued. It wasn’t spent on drugs or alcohol. They knew how to save their money to support their family. However, marijuana was common. Nowadays, we can find different types of drugs. Furthermore, Mr. Newman and my grandfather, on some occasions spent their money on dinners with their girlfriends. Then, they took care of themselves by looking good and buying new clothes. Lastly, they used to spend their money on their cars. They made their cars fast, sporty, and good looking, but they never wasted their money on drugs.

Back then, people were very patriotic. Many young men used to serve in the military right after high school. Mr. Newman joined the military and he fought in the Vietnam War. My grandfather also joined the military and he fought in the partisan warfare. However, today everything has changed because young people don’t want to go to the military. Back then, people were more dedicated to confront any problem. Today, not so many people do that; they hide themselves. They are scared to not see their families, and also they won’t have the liberty to go out any time. These are the reasons why people don’t want to serve the military. 

Overall, young people back in the 1960’s had a completely different life than we have today. It’s hard to believe that they had to sacrifice many things to support their families. They also are very strict with their grandchildren because that was the way that their fathers raised them. Also they want their grandchildren to be better people and achieve their goals.