Best selling, or at least often read, author Henry David Thoreau said we live quiet lives of quiet desperation.
He was no surprise to First Wave boomers who, for all of their freedoms in in love and life, were as desperate as anyone to score for their side.
True blue hippies wanted clean water, clean air, and clean food. They wanted it for everyone, not just the commune neighborhood.
They wanted it for Cleveland and Detroit, LA and New York.
They still want it.
Nominations for Boomer Hall Of Fame’s Thoreau Wing requires either long or short term acts of quiet desperation on a smaller scale.
Ideally, they survive the act. Posthumous induction puts a damper on the party, but it could happen.
A Notable Act of Quiet Desperation:
Boomer and family plan a week on Oregon’s Lake Billy Chinook. They wanted a water related vacation.
Before leaving, they hired a reliable house sitter to look after their dogs.
The first few days in the campground the rain didn’t stop. No sun meant no skiing, wake boarding, or skurfing. They were tent-bound with everything getting soggy.
This is where the normal camper packs up the desperation and goes home. If you’ve ever watched the rain through a tent flap and listened to it pounding down, you know the feeling.
During this damp camp Boomer got a call from the house sitter. One of the dogs chewed through a water hose hooked to a main floor toilet and flooded for three hours.
Boomer listened unfazed from a wet tent.
“Water seems like the theme of the week,” he said.
The toilet hose water covered a huge carpeted bedroom, into an elegant closet. It ran out over cherry wood floors and under walls. It rained down on a lower garage filling up light fixtures and sagging the ceiling.
Ordinary quiet desperation would have used the flood to pull up their tent stakes and work the new problem. Not this boomer.
With no change of plans, the weather broke over Billy Chinook for skiing and water sports. Boomer family came home on their original schedule and fixed the water damage like it was just another day. But it was more than ordinary.
As refugees in their own house they didn’t panic, didn’t get hysterical, and made their lives whole again with dogs intact.
For their act of quiet self control during an event that sends less sturdy people over the edge, they earn the first official nomination to Boomerpdx Hall of Fame, Thoreau Wing.
Boomerpdx Lesson: Notice those who don’t panic before you. They are leaders.
Better Boomer says, if you know someone deserving of Hall of Fame induction, nominate them here.