Remember the good ol’ days playing outside without sunscreen, running around the neighborhood?  Back then we didn’t think about wearing seatbelts or face masks, and we wouldn’t beg for Xboxes and iPods for Christmas.  When we grew up, we never imagined that our jobs would be on computers, mostly.  In fact, I wanted to be a dentist since I was very young, but I got my start in the workforce as a paper delivery boy.

This is blurry me at 10 years old, working on my paper route.  I would start at 5 a.m. because a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno wanted his paper extra early.  How many parents today would send their kid out alone at 5 in the morning?

I used to ride all over town on the banana yellow seat of my 5-speed bike, which had a gear shift in the middle like a car.  Boy, was that cool!  I even rode without a helmet and wore gigantic headphones covering my ears so I could listen to the radio.  Can you imagine?  If a car came up behind me, I would have never heard it.  To be sure, my new grandson, Arlo, won’t have the same bike-riding experience as me, but that’s probably a good thing.

I’m sure you have some of the same memories, and I hope that this email which was forwarded to me by another one of us “old timers” will help you reminisce. Enjoy!

–Greg

 

To all the kids who survived the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s…

First, we survived pregnancy from mothers who:

• Smoked and/or drank.
• Took aspirin and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
• Ate blue cheese dressing and tuna from a can.

Then, after that trauma, as infants and small children we:

• Slept on our tummies in baby cribs that were covered with brightly colored, lead-based paints.
• Had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets.
• Rode in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags, often standing up in the back seat to see better. (Oh—and remember hand-crank windows?)

Did you know: soft drinks in glass bottles usually taste better because 1) they retain carbonation longer and 2) glass, unlike plastic, is more inert, meaning it won’t affect the taste.

During our childhood, we:

• Drank water straight from the garden hose, NOT from the tap.
• Shared one soft drink bottle with four friends, and NO ONE actually died from this (or had to go into quarantine).
• Ate cupcakes, white bread, and real butter, but we weren’t overweight, because…

We were always outside playing!  We:

• Left home in the morning and played ‘til sundown, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
• Couldn’t be reached all day because we certainly didn’t have cell phones, but we were O.K.!
• Spent hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then riding down hills, only to find out we forgot the brakes (this wasn’t just me, was it?).  After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
• Didn’t have PlayStations, Nintendos, or Xboxes, no 150 channels on cable or unlimited streaming services, no videotapes or DVDs, no surround sound, CDs, iPods, cell phones, personal computers, Internet, or chat rooms.  Spending a whole day inside to “play” sounded like pure torture.

And we didn’t just play—we played ROUGH:

• We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
• We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
• For our 10th birthdays, we were given BB guns and usually (as expected) later got in trouble with them.  (Remember A Christmas Story?  “You’ll shoot your eye out!”)
• We rode bikes or walked to friends’ houses.  Then, we knocked on their door, rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!  Not a security system in sight (if we’re not counting “guard” dogs).
• Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment, but parents didn’t go up in arms insisting it wasn’t fair.  Imagine that!
• The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the rules was unheard of.  There was always accountability for our actions.

We not only survived, we THRIVED:

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever!  The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.  We’ve survived countless failures, world catastrophes, wars, market crashes, and a pandemic.  Each hardship taught us something, and we endured!  If YOU are one of the survivors, CONGRATULATIONS!

“We’ve survived countless failures, world catastrophes, wars, market crashes, and a pandemic.”

You can share this with your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were—and (let’s be honest) how fortunate they were to have grown up in a world advanced by all we learned and suffered to make.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!