Skip to comments.The Wild Children of Yesteryear
Posted on 06/01/2014 6:40:44 PM PDT by windcliff
PHILADELPHIA DINNER with your children in 19th-century America often required some self-control. Berry stains in your daughters hair? Good for her. Raccoon bites running up your boys arms? Bet he had an interesting day.
As this years summer vacation begins, many parents contemplate how to rein in their kids. But there was a time when Americans pushed in the opposite direction, preserved in Mark Twains cat-swinging scamps. Parents back then encouraged kids to get some wildness out of their system, to express the republics revolutionary values.
American children of the 19th century had a reputation. Returning British visitors reported on American kids who showed no respect, who swore and fought, who appeared at age 10 calling for liquor at the bar, or puffing a cigar in the streets, as one wrote. There were really no children in 19th-century America, travelers often claimed, only small stuck-up caricatures of men and women.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The day we started emulating the British cultural values, was the day our country started to deteriorate.
Kids will be kids.
Thats a pretty absurd statement.
No $10,000.00 broken arms or legs, either.
this describes me!!
Had to grow up fast in those days.
It is! I visited Exeter in England in the 1970's and saw enough of the university culture ( at the summer break ) to have an epiphany that the American character and outlook is just that close to the British. Witness Monty Python. Say no more, say no more.
In the 60’s we rode our bikes everywhere. Helmets? those were for firemen. Many summer nights used to sleep outside in tents over friends backyards. Walkie talkies were the closest thing to a cell phone we had and with limited range.
My 5 were born in the 60s——the 70s were chaos for me.
A rite of passage was jumping off of the high diving board.
It’s now gone.
“Thats a pretty absurd statement.”
It’s 100% accurate and a life we should return to!!!
I’m 77 and enjoyed every second of the 40s and 50s.
I used to walk home from school with my friends. Then we’d play outside—biking, or exploring the woods, or building tree houses from spare lumber that was lying around. I pulled the nails used to build the tree house out of old crates or anywhere I found them, then pounded them straight and used them over again.
One huge maple tree behind our apartment building went up more than four stories high, and I used to climb up to the top of it and walk across between the split trunks on a pretty thin branch. I have a natural fear of heights, but I managed to work around it and get it under control.
One of my friends had a divorced mother who used to spend most of her evenings in a bar across the street, and I remember I sometimes went over with him to the bar to persuade her to come home when it was his bed time. No one seemed to mind a couple of kids walking into the bar like that. My friend usually got himself dressed and made his own breakfast in the morning, since more often than not his mother was sleeping off a hangover. We always seemed to get to the bus stop in time to catch the school bus.
We played with knives at school. I always carried a pocket knife. I also had a pineapple hand grenade that my uncle gave me when he came back from the front—with the explosives removed from it. I took it to school a couple of times to show my teachers and classmates. No fuss.
Pick up baseball games with no helmets or pads for anybody.
Not so many cars on the road circa 1958 so it was safer to ride your bike in the street, even without wearing a helmet.
We used to have neighborhood football games—tackle style. No helmets nor pads. Super fun to play when it was snowing.
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