TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s and 40s, the 50s, 60s and 70s!
First, we survived being born to mothers who took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes. Some even smoked or might even have had an occasional drink while they were pregnant.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets on our heads.
We didn’t even have clips to keep our pants legs out of the chain – we might even have been wearing knickers.
We wore no fancy, expensive sneakers – a pair of Keds was two bucks, and we were only allowed to wear them in gym.
Ladies, do you remember those ugly bloomer gym uniforms you wore in High School
As infants & children, we rode in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, no air bags, on bald tires and sometimes with brakes that didn’t work too well.
Oh, good Lord – there was no air-conditioning in the car! (Or anywhere else, for that matter.)
Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar, and, we weren’t overweight.
WHY? Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!
We could leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back for meals and when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day, and, we survived.
There were no school buses, in the city, at least, so we walked – through snow and rain or shine,
We could spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve that problem.
Anybody remember taking an orange crate, a piece of two by four and an old Chicago roller skate, and build on of those scooter things? We even rode those in the gutters without getting hit by a car!
We had no PlayStations, Nintendo’s or X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
We had friends, and we went outside and played with them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were assured it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!
Hey, there was no Little League! We just found an empty field in the country or an empty lot in the city, chose up sides and played!
Any of you city-bred remember Ring-O-Levio, Johnny on a Pony, stick ball and the mean old lady who kept your ten cent pink ‘Spaldeen’ if it went into her front yard?
How about stoop ball? Chinese handball?
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These were the generations that produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We’ve had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we’ve learned how to deal with it all.
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?
Submitted by the Duncan Trueman Chapter