Remember when...

People over 35 should be dead.

Here's why.

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's,50's, 60's, or even maybe the early 70's probably
shouldn't have survived.

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 the risks we took hitchhiking.)

As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from
a bottle. Horrors!

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

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 back when the street lights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. NO CELL PHONES!!!!!

U n t h i n k a b l e !

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.

We had friends!

We went outside and found them. We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and
teeth, and there were no lawsuits 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 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.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home 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.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they
failed a grade and were held back to repeat the
same grade.


Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have 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!


Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good!


  • 25 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Thanks for the walk down memory lane! I often think pondly of the days where we got up early on summer mornings or Saturdays and every kid in the neighborhood took off to play ball, explore the woods, (lived in rural area at the time)ride bikes, build tree houses, on and on that kids today just won't do. We came home for dinner and went back out until dark. AHHHHH the good ole days! We once even found a pile of brightly painted bird baths that had been dumped in the woods, (how the got there and how long it took I can't even imagine) but every house in the neighborhood got one after all the kids spent all day making trips back and forth with them. I wonder if we even gave on to the people who trashed them in the first place. What fun we had!
  • One of my mother's favorite things to say was "GO PLAY!" So we did. What adventures finding hidden treasure in a junkyard way down behind our house that was way down a dirt road somewhere in CT. I think I was Kindergarten age at the time. I was the 3rd in birth order so I got suckered into many dangerous situations that my older brothers thought up. Some of the things we did would have made my mom's heart stop. And I lived (Thank God) to tell about it.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 11-17-04 AT 11:46AM (CST)[/font][br][br]I remember having a discussion recently with a young mother (in her mid-20s) talking about playgrounds. I explained the concept of monkey bars to her - she was horrified! Why would they build such a dangerous thing in a child's playground?! x;-)
  • Every summer, there was polio and polio scares.

    We had three sets of clothes - for Church/Synagogue, school and after school.

    We really had to do research at the library for reports.

    Not only did we make up our own rules to stickball, punchball, etc. but our parents would never think of having a say in what the rules were.

    Clothes smelled great because they were hung outside to dry.

    The family ate dinner together. The meals were homecooked by Mom or Grandma (in many cases using traditional recipes).

    An occasional rare treat was bringing in Chinese food (three from column A, two from column B).

    Good humor ice cream tasted better. My favorite was toasted almond.

  • One of my favorites is: We played with MERCURY!! We got hold of several small bottles of it and coated pennies with it, dropped it onto the floor and watched it disintigrate into a million small droplets, and just played with it in our hands, pouring it from hand to hand, etc. it was heavy and NEAT. Nowdays if a kid drops a thermometer at school (probably no mercury thermometers left at school), the whole school closes for a week while people in moon suits come in to clean up the hazardous spill.

    Now, I don't recommend doing this, but it makes me wonder exactly how hazardous it is/was. I'm perfectly normal! No comments, please.
  • Just the other day, my son asked if I had video games when I was a kid. I didn't. I told him I had a bike, a football, a basketball and a baseball and bat. When I got bored with that stuff, which was rare, I'd either chase girls or catch bugs. Both of which took surprisingly similar tactics. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    The reality now is that sometimes things do happen. I often ask myself, what if something terrrible does happen and I should have warned them or been there to protect them. I would feel terrible. Will I let my son wander around the neighborhood like I did when he get's a little older? I doubt it.
  • This sounds exactly like growing up in a small town in Kansas. Talk about nothing to do!! Except we were never bored. Made up our own fun and games with nothing that had to be plugged in. And SMace, if you found the secret to catching girls, you were way ahead of me. Way to mysterious and ethereal and wonderful for me to understand - still are I might add.
  • I would just sneak up on 'em when they weren't looking. It's funny, I had the same result with both catching bugs and girls. If I got the wrong one at the wrong time, it hurt. You know what they say... no pain, no gain.
  • And some times it's just progress itself that makes things inconceivable!

    I like to tell about my son (age 9). He still has one friend whose home phone actually does not have an answering machine and does not have DSL. So, when he calls his friend often he pouts to me that he can't get in touch with Curtis because his phone is not working. I patiently explain to him AGAIN that Curtis's phone works just fine. That it is simply busy. He then asks what it means for a phone line to be busy? I explain it again! I also would like to share with you all that my son was just identified at school as a gifted student and put in a program to ensure he is being taught at an advanced level!!!!

    Not being able to leave a message. Imagine that!
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 11-17-04 AT 02:03PM (CST)[/font][br][br]I am only 37 years old but I remember staying at my grandparents house and my grandfather "slipping" me and my sister a 50 cent piece to walk through the alley to the corner store for candy. Never having to worry about some thug hanging out waiting for unsuspecting kids.

    Now in 2004...part of our recruiting process involves checking the "sexual predator" list to be sure that we aren't hiring a thug.

    I hope you all are having a GREAT day!!

  • I remember collecting frog eggs from the cattle ponds in green and blue mason jars, building "forts" with sticks and rocks, getting whupped for climbing on my grandfather's coal pile, double-dog daring my brother and pack of cousins to swim across the river during flood stage. Mud and cow chip fights, exploring caves without telling anyone where I was going. Climbing up water towers... The nurses at the local ER knew us all by our first names, but we all survived.
  • I remember when by older brother and I could fill his 1965 Galaxy 500 with a tank of gas and get a case of Coors and have change from a 10-dollar bill. We would take that change and buy admission to the drive in theater, those were the days.
  • I know it's a little late, but you are not suppose to go to a drive-in with your brother. :00
  • He was old enough to buy the bear and I forgot to tell you who was stashed in the trunk (neighbor sisters). Those old cars had a back seat that popped right out for an easy exit.
  • Cow chip fights; haven't thought of them for decades. I would guess many of our Forum members don't have a clue what a cow chip is or what consistency constituted the perfect chip?

    Believe it or not, I grew up in Miami, FL (20 miles north of downtown Miami) in the 50's and it was a semi-rural environment that did include fields with many cow chips.
  • Those were the days my friend... How about a 5 cent cherry coke custom made for you by the soda jerk at the soda fountain? Or the first time you had a slice of pizzia? Or saw a lobster (People eat THAT??)

    Hop Scotch? Catching caterpillers? Sleeping out on the fire escape in the hot summer nights?
  • and penny candy was a really a penny.
  • You two are remembering things I read about in history books. x}>
  • I still miss the smell of leaves burning in the fall. Nobody bagged their leaves for garbage collection. We burned them and no one thought about us polluting the environment. That smell meant fall had arrived.
    In the summer my friends and I would pack sandwiches and have a picnic by the river. We'd be gone for hours but our moms knew we were okay--besides, everyone knew everyone else in our little town. Sometimes we'd stop at the general store to get shoestring licorice and jump rope with it before we ate it.
    One of the older kids got the bright idea to hang a huge piece of rope from a tree up the street, and we'd all swing from it and jump off it. Our mothers knew to find us at the rope when it was supper time.
  • Toot, when I get my hands on you, you're gonna get a real whuppin. Then maybe you'll mind your manners.
  • Ritaanz: Cool it. Ray is jealous because he was born too late for the good old days.
  • My humble apologies, ladies. I was raised to respect my elders and I guess my previous post wasn't very respectful toward you two.

    Is that hole getting deeper?
  • I tried explaining to my kids that when we were their age the playground stuff (swings, jungle gym, slide) all had cement or "black top" around them, not this wimpy mulch they've got now. I always had a skinned knee ALL summer long... it was a badge of honor. My kids think thats horrible. (and they had NO idea what "black top" is).... ahh.. the good ol' days...
  • I loved hop scotch and jumping rope. Anyone else play kick-the-can, walked on "barrels" or had a jumping board? We jumped on kudzu (wonderful trampoline!), made mud pies, played in the woods on a ditch bank and climbed trees.
  • I now get to hear stories of my husband summering in a cottage community across the pond from where we now live. His family owned a lumber yard, and when the oldest was about nine, the three boys (9, 7, 5) stayed home - alone. They were responsible for themselves and the neighbor's kept a loose eye on them. All the neighborhood kids did all sorts of stuff together and if anything happened, they were all responsible together. When the boys got older, his Father brought home miscellaneous lumber, tools, etc. (can you image this now) and they built a treehouse and moved in for the rest of the summer. Now two of them are engineers and one runs the lumberyard.
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