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Looking back a half-century at the Californians of the mid-1950’s Padre Serra seems to have had a sophomoric grasp of the reality of the world. A belief that they’d done what needed to be done and had earned the right to some introverted regional isolationism. It was time to raise a family based on conservative values and a ‘mañana’ sense of time the region had inherited from the Spanish. This story has that pace.
However, historically these are the very same people who responded to the imposition of unimaginable change by taking charge of the opportunity and shaping the opportunity to fit their social values. Just as the rancheros had done in the 1700’s and the gold rushers had done in the 1850’s; the immigrants of the 1950’s shaped their opportunity. They’re the ones who dominated to the 1960’s. They had been raised listening big bands on the radio. They raised kids who watched rock-‘n-roll dance parties on color TV. By the 1980’s these children of the WWII ‘Baby Boomers’, so dominated the tech revolutions started by the launch of Sputnik that Californians, not Russians, held a disproportionate sway in how the world lived. This story looks at the last, nearly laconic days, of that sophomoric year of 1957.

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