I was born in 1947 so WWII was still a topic of conversation at family get togethers. Having everyone from my Grandfather, Daddy, Uncles and an Aunt in the war, it was just something they could all relate to. I have some newspapers and some of that Army paper or magazine that use the words "Japs" and in really large print too. The VE and VJ editions and the one of Iwo Jima are among them. They belonged to my Aunt, the Army nurse. She was in England during the war and some of her patients were German POW's.
In thinking about it, I'd venture a guess that people just said what they meant then. There was no PC Police Department until the late 1960's. I do know we were never allowed to use the 'N' sound but we could say Japs all day long. It was a matter of either our parents upbringing or respect for the "Colored" people who either worked for them or they knew from some where. We had a maid. Everyone had one. It wasn't considered demeaning work. It was work for an honest wage. The last one my parents had they paid into Social Security for her each month. They were as well loved as family and never would we want to cause them any pain. We also called them Miss Eva, or Miss Odette. Never just by their first name. The ironing ladies were the same. The respect was there and understood. I was able to ride the Welfare Route when I was little with a family friend who was like another Grandmother. She'd take me to some of those old shanties and the people were wonderful. I still haven't had homemade lemonade like Miss Lillie's. They had a code too. They didn't have any "truck" with the "shiftless" people. Now those shiftless people could be more than one race too. Those 'shiftless' people didn't white wash the trunk of their Pecan trees or sweep their yards. It wasn't hard to find who they were talking about.
Things started changing right after I graduated from high school in 1965. We had no problems here. A little known fact but it's still a fact---MLK had a brother who worked at the Navy Yard. When the Civil Rights bus stopped here, it was met by colored people and MLK's brother. They were told to turn the bus around, they had no business here. They did.
We all were talking at the reunion and decided we had the very best of the music, the movies and the fashion. It was a good time to be a teen. We had fun, clean fun. No drugs. Well, maybe a few drag races with the guys but nothing real major. It all started changing after the Civil Rights marches. That's when the PC Police came in and all of a sudden everything we knew was considered racist. Not sure how they came to that conclusion, guess we were all lumped into the 'white' catagory so we were suspect. Guess they didn't give us a point for sneaking into Abes 506 Club to see James Brown. It was a Negro club in the heart of their area downtown but many a white teen went there for the music. That's all. Nothing more. They protected us. They gave us safe passage in and out. The Beatles went to New York, we had James Brown or the Inkspots. That's about the worst we could do anyway. There were no drugs then. At least none we knew of.
I do not know how my GGGrandfather's would have felt about our close association with some of the Colored people. They were long gone before I arrived on the scene. Having fought in that long, miserable war, they may not have been too thrilled with us. Sadly, at that time, their opinion never crossed my mind.
We are all a product of our experiences in life. It wasn't Ozzy and Harriet but it was close. My husband grew up in a big house with 26 of his relatives. His Grandfather was Chief of Police and his children married but didn't leave home. The family next door was Black. One of those boys has been my husbands best friend for more than 68 years. Those who talk badly about the South in the 1950's never set foot in it. If they had, they may have had a better understanding that character and loyalty was more important than skin color. It would have been nice if things could have been changed in a more gentle manner all over the country. Not everyone was as mean spirited as the news led the world to believe.
If you're talking about record albums, yes, I do have a lot of them . I also have a big stack of 45's.