The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Silent Generation (1928-1945)

May 14, 2022

This generation is defined as the “Silent Generation” perhaps due to the fact many individuals were too young to fight in World War II, or perhaps because they refused to speak out during the McCarthy era – experts are perplexed as to the title as well. I interviewed an individual who was born in that time period by the name of Clarence Walker Sr. is a local 1955 high school basketball champion for St. Malachy. Walker raised 9 kids with his lovely late wife, Shirley; they were married for 60 years. Walker worked for the Chicago Public School District for 40 years, and now resides on the West Side of Chicago. He still maintains a strong love for the game of basketball. According to Walker:

  1. Focus. Don’t over-talk yourself. Listen and you will learn more.

    Walker holding the championship trophy for the 1955 high school basketball championship the St. Malachy team on the near west side in Chicago won. (Source unknown)
  2. Shut up and you’ll be surprised how much you will learn. Two things that you will learn are: when there is something that you see happening is bad, you will tell yourself that I’m not going to do that. I’ve used that mindset my whole life, even when I was a kid, to learn from mistakes. Even on the basketball floor, or in any sport, you learn not to repeat your faults and focus on the future of getting [it] right. And it will benefit you in the long run, because you will learn a lot and you will learn the right way, not the wrong way. 
  3. Trusting the Lord and bringing positive joy to others. I’ve been doing it all my life.
  4. I was the baby of my family and wasn’t close to siblings, so I was pretty independent growing up. Transitioning from high school is a big step because there are many possibilities, such as entering the full-time workforce, pursuing higher education, or starting a family.
  5. I found a lot of happiness in sports, especially basketball. I always wanted to do the right thing and never wanted to be self-centered. If you have talent, it will come out. I even had the referees talking to me about playing basketball in college on scholarship, but I was too short: 5”6 is too short, only one guy was able to do it and it was Bob Cousy, but he had a center and all those guys. When you play a game, you focus on what’s going on and do your job. When you go and play around with them, being self-centered, [it] causes the game to be played poorly.
  6. Being a father for 8 kids who grew up well.
  7. It’s not that I don’t want you to remember me, the only thing that I would specify, if you want to learn and grow as an individual, don’t over-talk yourself, you learn things by listening to other people. So, you can realize when close to you are going down the wrong track and you get more educated that way to follow in their footsteps. Stop trying to show off; showing off is not where it’s at, have a sense of humility.
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