Skip to comments.Coming of age in the years of living dangerously
Posted on 07/06/2009 10:51:37 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Bike helmets? SPF? Veggie meals? No way, if you grew up in '50s, '60s, '70s When Phyllis Murphy's mother was pregnant, back in the 1950s, her doctor advised her to take up smoking for relaxation.
A few years later, that same mom smeared her toddler's skin with a concoction of baby oil and iodine for a deep, rich tan. Now, safely in adulthood in Vancouver, B.C., Murphy fondly recalls childhood as a time of leaping from rooftops and accumulating more scars than Joan Rivers. And Tim Palla, a 46-year-old pastor, spent his childhood just north of Pittsburgh where he got just one vaccination, gobbled wild berries and mushrooms, drank from the ditch, and chewed road tar like gum.
Like Palla and Murphy, many of us who were raised in the 1950s, '60s and '70s are survivors. We were tiny daredevils: sun-blasted, pocket-knife-carrying, bottom-spanked, cow eaters. We ran the streets armed with BB guns, boxing gloves and bottle rockets, wholly unprotected by bike helmets, sunscreen or Amber Alerts. Our houses were filled with the blue cigarette smoke of our cocktail-drinking parents and we believed it wasnt supper without a mountain of red meat.....
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”
Now, mothers run around behind their children with purses full of bandaids, lysol, and anti-bacterial lotion, disinfecting anything and everything that might possibly come in contact with their little angels, and hysterically spraying neosporin on every little cut or scrape that they get. Of course, this prevents the children from ever building up immunities against real infections, and when they do run across one, they get sick big time.
And people wonder why children get sick more often and have more allergies now than they used to...
And we could play all day as long as we were in before dark. And all the moms had implied permission to punish someone else’s kid who misbehaved. And then call the mom who typically ‘doubled down’.
Thos were the days.
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I used to lay in the backseat window well of our Chevy Belair, ate raw cookie dough, and never owned a bike helmet.
I played outside until dark - that’s 10pm in the summer in Kentucky, roamed the woods completely by myself, and was allowed, at age 5, to visit the toy aisle at JC Penney alone.
I won’t let my kids in their own front yard unattended...and that’s one reason why there is a Pit Bull always on guard in my yard.
My brother’s and I are survivors of the 50’s. Our parents let us ride around without seat belts. For a special treat the next door neighbor would pile a bunch of us in the bed of his pick up and speed around country roads. Didn’t he know we could be ejected???!!!! We’d put on roller skates and let another kid pull us by a rope attached to his bike (which had special sound effects from a deck of cards attached to the spokes with clothes pins). I remind my mother she’s very lucky we didn’t all sue her for child neglect and abuse.
There are a lot of very neurotic moms out there. However, I do swear by Neosporin if you have a scrape or cut. It really speeds the healing process. We had iodine and bandaids (40’s and 50’s). We ate meat a couple of times a week (couldn’t afford more), we watched TV in the 50’s as a family and listened to radio as a family in the 40’s. We went out and played without structure or supervision. There was no such concept as scheduled play time. There were no helmets for bikes or motorbikes, just for football. We are in truly different times. Some changes are good. I do believe in seat belts (if I choose to wear them) and airbags and there have been other improvements but there are a lot of parents who are royally screwing up their kids heads with all of their scheduling, protection, rules, etc. I also blame the schools.
Oh well, I rant on. Enough.
As a veteran highway cop told me 10 yrs ago....back then we took the bodies to the morgue and the car to the body shop to get fixed.
Now the cars go to the scrap yard and the people walk away.
My son is 12 and I swear he is of a different time. He absolutely hates, tv, video games and being inside. Give him and his buddies a ball and they will entertain themselves for hours. Plus they could fish from morning til nighttime.
Recently, he and some friends were staying with me at my parents, they have a pond in their community. The boys insisted on making their own fishing poles, they did buy some hooks, like and bobbers, but they went into the woods to find the perfect sticks to use. Before the day was through they caught over 140 Bream. The next morning, kids from all over the neighborhood were showing up to fish, they all wanted the home made poles too!
1970s child here (born ‘63)
We had some much freedom parents today would flip over. I do with my own kids. The world seemed safer back then, but who knows... that “nice guy” who hung out near my elementary school and taught the kids to play soccer turned out to be a pedophile; nobody questioned it at the time.
Then again, most of what we did wasn’t necessarily lethal - although it could be — but it was not always harmless: run around freely, bike rides, car races, rope swings, dope, beer, ... my parents didn’t have a clue.
Here’s the downside of the no-dangers world of today’s parenting: kids are immune to the little dangers, so they expose themselves to larger dangers to compensate. For example, I’m convinced that the promiscuity of today’s youths is related to the sheltering that keeps kids from figuring out things by themselves. Without the gradual exposure to sexuality through free interaction when young (”be home by dinner”), kids go without healthy adult-free mixing and go straight to purely adult-free matching. Just a theory here.
I think that the “X” sports is a result of this phoneomenon. We got out our agression on bicycles and skateboards without having to jump rails. Kids today are either confined to the park or go wildly footloose on their own.
Add to it all youtube, and you have a bizaar mixture of nannyism and inmates-running-the-asylum. It must be enormously confusing for today’s kids.
It was the days before 24/7 news channels, ignorance was bliss.
If something bad happened a thousand miles away, it would only be on the local news. Now, it’s on CNN and people react as if it happened in their own town.
If you grew up in rural Colorado the gravy days went on into the 80’s.
Had to remove a BB from a friend’s cheek after a dust-up with some older kids. Missed his left eye by about an inch and a half. Bottle rocket wars were an annual event. A few of us owned actual firearms before we started junior high and had permission to hunt on our own. Shotgun shells were about $5 a box at the corner hardware store/soda fountain. We could legally purchase and use chewing tobacco. You didn’t want to chew at school though, because if you got caught the principal made you eat your can of snuff. Amber Alerts? Didn’t need ‘em. Everybody knew everyone else in town, and the kids were armed.
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