Communication Breakdown: The Disappearing American Family

“The family is an endangered species in this country. The idea of how a family aught to work or a reason for it to even exist. I think there is a nostalgia for family as an institution, rapidly fading away.” — Frank Zappa (1991)

North Attleboro, Massachusetts High School Class Of ’59 Yearbook “Best Of” Page Section.
My relatives enjoying an Italian picnic in the park at Salem Pioneer Village, in the year 1940.
Herald News of New Jersey weekly newly wedded section from August 24, 1949.

“Everybody’s goin’ away, said they’re movin’ to LA. They said this town’s a waste of time, I guess they’re right, it’s wastin’ mine.” — James O’Keefe (Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues)

“Membership records of such diverse organizations as the PTA, the Elks club, the League of Women Voters, the Red Cross, labor unions, and even bowling leagues show that participation in many conventional voluntary associations has declined by roughly 25 percent to 50 percent over the last two to three decades. Surveys show sharp declines in many measures of collective political participation, including attending a rally or speech (off 36 percent between 1973 and 1993), attending a meeting on town or school affairs (off 39 percent), or working for a political party (off 56 percent).” — The American Prospect

Neighborhood cookout for the local astronomy club, in Westford, MA August 16th, 1980.
Shopping at a convenient store asking for a map on their way to see Apollo 14 launch in 1971.
Local residents in Massachusetts posing in front of their cars after a picnic in October, 1970.

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. ‘ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” — Fred Rodgers

Crowd shot of Black Lives Matter vigil for George Floyd in Chelmsford, MA on June 5th, 2020.

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