In the winter, we'd be outdoors constantly. They warned us to stay away from the frozen lakes down at the marsh but we went anyway, yes, we'd occasionally crash through the thin ice and we'd run home with our wet clothes freezing on the way home. But we'd change our clothes and be right back down there again.
I remember summer days where we'd be out of doors from morning to dark with mothers (didn't matter what house) handing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cups of "bug juice" to us out the window so we didn't have to go inside even for lunch. Somehow, nobody was allergic to peanut butter in those days. If any of us did dare to venture inside the house on a nice day, we'd be immediately put to work. So we learned to stay away! Forget about sitting around the house watching TV. During the week, Mom was watching her soap operas and on the weekends, Dad was watching his ballgames. The only time we got to watch TV was for Saturday morning cartoons and wrestling and maybe an hour or two before bedtime where we'd watch the Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, Dragnet, Adam-12, or maybe a John Wayne movie.
On the really hot days, we'd sit on a picnic table in somebody's yard in the shade, playing endless games of Monopoly, Risk or checkers/chess. Board games were big in those days. Otherwise, we were on our bikes all over town.
There was always a portable radio around tuned to the local Top 40 AM station. They would play the same hit songs endlessly so that even 35 years later, I can call up songs in my head like "Billy, Don't Be A Hero," "Seasons In The Sun," "Love Will Keep Us Together", "The Night Chicago Died" and "Fox On The Run" even though I haven't actually heard those songs in decades!
During the summer of 1975, I remember riding in the back of my uncle's open pickup all the way from Boston to Alabama with five other kids and a dog. While we were in Tennessee, we drove through a thunderstorm and my uncle pulled off to the side under an overpass somewhere on I-81 so those of us in the back could get some shelter and dry off. If we tried something like that today, my uncle would be arrested before he made the Mass/Conn border!
"Somehow, nobody was allergic to peanut butter in those days."...now that's funny.
That was an enjoyable read. I grew up at the same time and we were all over the map. The game of “Risk” outside kept us all entertained one whole summer. Anything within 10 miles was game and everbody knew everybody. We all grew up together and went through all kinds of experiences that we keep to this day. As far a supervision goes, if you wronged an individual you got your ass beat.
I was in basic training US Army the spring of 1975. Since all our MOS was combat arms, we had some top notch drill Sargents.
>>During the summer of 1975, I remember riding in the back of my uncle’s open pickup all the way from Boston to Alabama with five other kids and a dog...If we tried something like that today, my uncle would be arrested before he made the Mass/Conn border!
No kidding! I grew up in rural CT and we used to ride on the back of the flatbed truck with a load of hay from the field to the barn (a mile or so away from the field). I’m sure if someone did that today, there would be nosy neighbors calling child protective services.