Father’s Day 1965: When Men Were Men. A Very Different Time. Why?
This is my father, Edward “Eddie” Nash Toomer, at the age of 24-years-old. The year was 1965 and I was just over a year old. We were at church in the Bronx and I think it was my mother who captured the moment. I don’t know what my father and I were thinking, but I was clearly distracted and Dad looked serious.
But here is something else that stands out in this image. My father appeared and presented like a man.
I look at this image and compare the look of my father at 24-years-old to men that age today in their appearance, posture and the embrace of adulthood. There is a remarkable difference between men of yesterday and the evolution of boys to men today.
My father, in 1965, at 24 years-old came across in appearance and posture as a man. Today, 24-year-old men come across as older teenagers, still stuck in an adolescent time. They not only dress as adolescents, but seem to be stuck in arrested development. I know fashion and culture have much to do with the difference, but there is that “intangible,” that “it factor” that has created the difference.
I am grateful that I am of a generation that remembers and knows the difference in men of yesterday and today. I treasure my memories of my Father.
My father pasted away on December 1, 2007 after an awful battle with cancer.
I posted this image of my father and I on a social networking site where a few of my friends made these comments:
– That’s just pure class!! We need to teach our sons that “class” isn’t about money but confidence, respect, and responsibility! Dad was sharp!
– BIG difference from a 24 year old in 1965 and a 24 year old in 2012. Men were men then. They had a much better understanding as to what was expected of them by their families and communities. Most 24 year old’s today have no clue due to a number of factors I won’t go into right now. But your father is a handsome man and was sharp and I will add debonair.
– Your dad looks like he takes his role seriously, holding his baby girl tenderly, yet firm, facing the camera with straight shoulders pressed suit and tie, not smirking or cheesin’, more like, “I got this responsible manhood thing”. My father was that same age when I was one, a college grad, in graduate school, bold, responsible and optimistic about our future, though many in our country suggested otherwise. Young men today fail to grasp a similar context.– Thanks to hip-hop’s youth obsession “adult”, “responsible”, and “example” are curse words. Our elders knew and lived, “You cannot remain a child forever.”