Friday, October 17, 2008

Blast From the Past: How Did We Survive our Youth?

Many of you may have seen this before and I do not have the authors name to attribute this to him/her, but if you are out there, thanks. You young-uns listen up! :) This is one of those, when I was your age posts.

 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! 

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

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. 

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
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 would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.  And, we were O.K. 

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride 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 did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and 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 found 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 told 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!! 

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

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers problem solvers and inventors 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.   
If YOU are one of them?  CONGRATULATIONS! 

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 ?

This clip thanks to Dan Wilson in the UK.

Just my 15%


Dan Wilson said...

Keep that up Randy, and this happens. "You were lucky!"

Gary said...


One of my granddaughters' favorite phrases is "there's nothing to do".

I don't ever remember saying that. There was always something to do because we created things to do. But I do remember the story behind each of of scars on my head and body. And I survived.

ms.pat said...

Boy, talk about nostalgia. I grew up in the 50's and I really really miss that time. We had so much more freedom than the children of today. My son seems to have grown up in front a computer and I know he missed a lot of the good old fun I had as a kid. This generation is even more enclosed in electronic marvels and almost never gets out to just plain be a kid - probably why the obesity. I never had a weight problem and ate whatever I wished. Growing up when I did I kinda feel sorry for the kids of today no matter what new electronic gadget they have that I never dreamed of back then. I'm probably one of your few readers who actually remembers having no TV in the house and our party line telephone had 27 parties on it!

tula said...

Ah, the memories! I was a kid in the 70's and I remember spending all day playing at the park and having to be home before the streetlights came on. I fell off my bike more than once and Mom's response was "Well, be more careful next time." LOL! Mom didn't dispense sympathy with the band-aids :-) Our accidents were our own fault and no one was looking to blame everyone else for their own stupidity (and we did lots of stupid things, as kids are wont to do). Too bad people today don't know the meaning of personal responsibility. Thanks for this blast from the past.

Randy Smythe said...

Thanks All!

I wonder where all my younger readers are? Dan Wilson made his comment with the video clip I posted but BMX, Cliff, Nadine, what say you?

Anonymous said...

Randy, I don't know if it's just me, since no one has mentioned it yet, but the picture on top of this post is red-x'd. No Pic.


Randy Smythe said...

Hey Ken,

I think I fixed it.

Sachin Agarwal said...

I'm 28 and these are the things I did growing up:

* drink water from a hose
* ride my bike without a helmet
* rode in the back of a pickup truck, on a hayride, and on a tractor
* ate Twinkies and lots of bacon
* climbed trees and used a rope from a branch to swing across a creek
* ate a lot of dirt

I played outside, but I played inside too. Yes, on our Nintendo and Super Nintendo.

Risk taking didn't die with outside play, but I agree - we need more free range kids:

Oh, and I'm not fat. :)

Randy Smythe said...


We really aren't much different then.

I played Pong and our big family purchases were a calculator the size of a house, a color TV and a Microwave oven.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy, Here's one. How many remember waking up on Saturday morning and watching the Test Pattern on the television for an hour, waiting for Howdy Doody to start. After the Test Pattern, they'd play The National Anthem and I'd stand at attention with my hand over my heart. Then Buffalo Bob would start the show and Clara Bell would start causing trouble.

Or at work, backing up the IBM System 34 with 8" floppy disks. Now my cell phone has more memory that my IBM that ran my whole business in 1981.


ms.pat said...

My first computer had 4K of ram. (think it was called Vic-20) The Xerox word processor at work took up half a wall and had two towers with an 8" floppy in each. Back even farther, the first photocopy machine we got was back around 1968 and it was a small desktop model that took a yellow paper and a pink paper. It was heat transfer I believe. One copy of anything took forever and faded over a year's time. Before that they were really "photo"copies - you took your papers to a place where they actually photographed them LOL

Tony P. said...

Great post, Randy! my childhood...

We had bow and arrow toys and the arrows had POINTS on them, no damn sissy suction cups.

We played Kick The Can, running throughout the whole neighborhood - backyards included - and invented the term "Clothesline"

We had Candy Cigarettes and guns that popped, shot plastic bullets and looked just like the real thing. No kid ever shot-up a school or was shot by the police.

We watched Mighty Mouse on Saturday morning cartoons, went outside and tried to fly off a hillslope with an improvised blankie-cape, while carrying a stick. (chest scar!)

We had "rock fights" - it is, just what it sounds like. Throwing rocks got ya a real good whuppin', so don't get caught!

I still got all my parts I started with. And some valuable experience, to boot.

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