Thu 30 Jan, 2003 05:01 am
This was sent to me by a friend, and hit a chord within me. I would like to share!
If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's. Looking
back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when
we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
(Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then
rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into
the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we
were backwhen the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.
Our parents knew that all the neighbors would watch out for all the
No cell phones. Unthinkable. We played dodgeball and sometimes the
ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth,
and there were no law suits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one
was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and
learned to get over it.
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were
neveroverweight... we were always outside playing. We shared one grape
soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at
channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell
phones,Personal Computers,Internet chat rooms .. we had friends. We went outside and found
them.Werode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or
rung the bell or just walked in
and talked to them.
Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out
there in the cold cruel world! Without a guardian. How did we do it?
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and
although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor
did the worms live inside us forever.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who
didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment..... The teams actually
kept score and the winning team was allowed to be excited and the losing team
learned to be good sports about it and learned that, in
life - sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and
were held back to repeat the same grade..... Horrors. Tests were not
adjusted for any reason.
Almost no one went to "pre-school" and when we graduated high
all knew how to read, use proper grammar and do basic math. We all
learned how to count out change without a calculator to tell us the amount.
The worst problems in school were tardiness and chewing gum in
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to
hide behind.The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard
of.Theyactually sided with the law, imagine that!
If you misbehaved - your parents spanked you and no one arrested
them for doing that! We also learned that when a parent said "No" - they actually meant that and our lives would not be ruined forever by being
denied everylittle thing we wanted at any given moment.
New toys were received on birthdays and holidays.....not on every
trip to the store. Parents gave us gifts out of love....not out of guilt.
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and
problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an
explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure,
success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you're one of them.
ain't that the truth.
i miss those days...............
The kids of today have been severely ripped off.....
Put it like that and I miss them too.
What astounds me is to hear people lament about children today being so overweight. What's the big secret??
"We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were
never overweight... we were always outside playing."
It's so brainless. Besides spending all day ripping and running and jumping and skating and bike riding all over town as we did, we had a daily gym class in school and recess twice a day.
I remember dodge-ball, hide'n seek, leap-frog, mother-may-I, simon-says.....
I remember the 'whistle' for being called in for the night.....or the porch light flashing.....
I remember the milk being delivered at the porch-step. (Yeah, even in 1966, they still did that)
I remember neighbors watching out for each other.
i also remember the "whites only" signs, the separate water fountains, the practice hiding under your desk, the bomb shelters, the McCarthy hearings, the communists under the bed.
My parents used to let us kids and several neighbor kids set up a tent in the backyard and camp out there all night. Maybe some parents in rural areas might still do this, but can't imagine many parents allowing it. We were 9 to 13 years old and it was suburban Virginia right outside D.C. Of course, once the `rents light went out, we left the tent and wandered the neighborhood half the night, up to no good.
I grew up in a small town in Southern Germany. My parents owned a textile company and therefore, they hardly ever had time for my sister, my brother and myself. We lived a rather 'free' life. Did whatever we felt like doing. I remember one summer my brother and I took our bikes very early in the morning and just left a note that we were going on a bike tour and would be back in the evening. I must have been around ten, my brother twelve. Just imagine! We had a great day. And we were children. Nowadays, I look at a twelve year old kid and I don't see a child anymore. They are trying so hard to be adults.
Whites only? Where did you live as a kid, Dyslexia? In South Africa?
steissd; i lived right here in american the USA and yes much of american in the 50's into the 60's had overt racial restrictions. water fountains, cafe's, restrooms, hotels, etc.
Were such restrictions legal? Or the cafes and hotels owners breached the law?
Yes it was legal - the 50s and 60s in America are characterized by the fights to overturn those laws and customs. Look up Rosa Parks, or James Meredith, or Selma, Alabama, or George Wallace in an on-line encyclopedia like the one at bartleby.com for a brief lesson. All my relatives lived in Mississippi in the 60s, and we drove down every summer for vacation, so I saw both sides of that fight, although I was too young to appreciate it. We drove over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma every year because the Interstate Highway System wasn't finished yet, and in Jackson, Mississippi I remember the painted-over signs on the water fountains at the Jackson Zoo, and the closed swimming park next to it - closed because it was ordered that blacks be allowed in and whites had rather it be closed instead of open to all. I don't believe it ever re-opened.
It was a much harder, longer and fiercer fight to change things in the Southern United States than elsewhere, but similar attitudes existed across the country.
In the 40s and 50s, black soldiers returned from fighting for their country in Europe or the South Pacific or Korea, only to find they couldn't eat in the same restaurants or sleep in the same hotels, and still had to ride in the back of the bus. A black man wasn't allowed to play in major league baseball until 1947. Prior to that, African-americans had their own separate baseball league.
It was not only legal, steiss, I believe it was legally required. My family moved from the Kansas/Nebraska area to Florida in the early 50s. Even at that time, it seemed odd to suddenly realize that service stations had separate water fountains and restrooms for men, women, and colored. Needless to say, restaurants and schools were completely segregated.
dyslexia- I remember "whites only" too. In 1947 our family went to Florida by train. As soon as we passed Washington D.C.,(Mason/Dixon Line) I remember a curtain being drawn in the dining car. The Negroes (that was what blacks were called in those days) had to sit on one side of the curtain, the whites on the other.
In the department stores, there were 2 water fountains, one for each race, and four bathrooms, divided by sex and race. Blacks could not attend white theatres, and had to sit at the back of the bus.
I remember being on a bus in Florida that was practically empty. A black woman had sat down somewhere in the middle of the bus. A very haughty white woman insisted that the bus driver stop the bus until the black woman sat at the rear. He complied!
Phoenix: i encountered exactly the same thing in 1965 in Texas when i went down there for college ( i didn't stay)
I think such policies were merely stupid and harmful. They radicalized the Blacks and pushed them toward Marxists and Islamists.
steissd- It was much more than stupid and harmful. It relegated an an entire group of people to a position as an underclass, merely on account of skin color. I think that it was evil.