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 At Reunion 60 for the United States Naval Academy Class of 1958

     Chester A. Kunz Jr. 


A chain of event connects the past with us.
Just talk of the FIFTIES gives much to discuss.
Living through them I thought them first rate.
Those good times I cannot exaggerate
When truth and beauty was the human lot.
Happiness was guaranteed…we thought.
We dealt with challenges that took some effort.
The skies ever blue when dangers we did court.
Our mothers taught of dangers of a serious sort.
The biggest danger? The likes of Eddie Haskel,
But Father Knew Best. Our doubts he could dispel.
We called the Wind Mariah, our actions she did impel.
Around us Wayward Wind was in the air
As we were Watching all the Girls, so girls beware.
The music upbeat, never causing despair.
Occasional romance would call for formal dance
And formal attire that our appearance might enhance.
Midcentury virtues helped us to prepare.
So, toward the end, we soon became aware  
The USA is exceptional, beyond compare.


Our heart-felt feelings of that time do please,
But now a cloud appears on my memories.
The media questions the worth of the FIFTIES.
Like Ike was insignificant, and
McCarthy was an unrestrained firebrand,
And segregation. Did we understand?
Are those the FIFTIES’ hallmarks? Maybe back then!

Surely there’s good in the FIFTIES for every citizen.


Yes. The facts those discordant views invalidate.
A quick end to war Ike did facilitate.
We kept South Korea free; for all a benefit!      
McCarthy was put in the doghouse by t
he Senate
With a censure that he could not outlast,
But the size of that other problem was vast.
For almost two hundred years we had a sore
Dilemma. The sore was lanced in 1954 
When the Supreme Court addressed that pitfall!
Saying all men are equal under the law.
With armed force Ike made sure that it would hold
And established what our Declaration foretold!
(We were too young to help in those crusades,
But, we did for similar problems in later decades.)


Every decade has problems causing an uproar.
What matters? Whether you address or ignore.

The FIFITES addressed them all with bravery,
True, the dilemma case was not solved completely.
But the FIFTIES did blaze the path toward equality.

So those critics of the Fifties do aggravate…
They simply refuse to appreciate
It’s addressing those problems that made the FIFTIES great.
We all should celebrate
the FIFTIES’ role in history.
It’s consequential. Its achievements show profundity.
Our will to solve our problems is assiduous.
No decade has better shown how the genius
Of America makes other countries envious.
The FIFTIES’ influence on us is measureless.