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

Here’s a little bit of fun this Saturday: a look back for those of us who can remember the good ol’ days when we didn’t wear seatbelts or have Xboxes and spent all day outside, running around the neighborhood.

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!  To make matters even more dangerous, I rode without a helmet and wore gigantic headphones covering my ears so I could listen to the radio.  I would have never heard a car coming up behind me.

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




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

  • 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 brightly-colored lead-based paints.
  • We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
  • As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags.  Many times standing up in the back seat so we could see better.
  • We drank water from the garden hose, 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, and real butter, and drank Kool-Aid made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight, because:


  • 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, Nintendos, or Xboxes, no 150 channels on cable, no videotapes or DVDs, no surround sound, CDs, iPods, cell phones, personal computers, Internet, or 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 and usually later got in trouble with them but wasn’t that what you were supposed to do?  We were kids.
  • 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.
  • We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or we 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 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 before lawyers and the government regulated our lives so much.  And while you are at it, share it with 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?!