by Tom Morrow
If you were a kid during the ’30s,’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and even the early ’70s, it’s a wonder you survived. A couple of you sent me the below observations. I’ve added a couple of my own:
“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.
“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 treat.”
My Dad used to put me on one fender, my sister on the other of his 1929 Chevrolet and we’d go riding around the town square. Try that one today.
“We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle, and somehow didn’t notice the taste.
“We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing and burning up all that fat.”
How many times have you shared your Nehi strawberry soda pop with three or four friends?
“We would spend hours building racing cars out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. Bushes and an occasional street light post worked just as well.
“We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. There would be breaks for the noon meal, of course.
“We did not have video games, no 300-plus TV channels on cable, DVD movies, surround sound, cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends and we went outside and found more.
“At school, we played dodge ball, and, sometimes, the ball would really hurt. At home, we fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.”
I had my share of fights with other boys, which sometimes wasn’t pretty. We punched each other, got black and blue and got over it, administering our own form of “zero tolerance.”
“We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, rang the bell or just walked in to visit.
“Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t learned to deal with disappointment.
Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.”
Tests were just that, tests and were not adjusted for any reason, especially if we belly-ached.
The idea of Mom and Dad bailing us out if we broke a law or rule was an introduction to “double jeopardy.”
We’ve produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers and inventors ever. The past 75 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
Geez, it’s a wonder that we’ve survived.