Friday, January 21, 2011

The Kids Who Survived The 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s

New York, circa 1940, © Helen Levitt. Courtesy Laurence Miller Gallery
and/or powerHouse Books.

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 bright colored lead-base paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and questionable brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was a special treat.

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 got the cooties.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. Why? Because we were always outside playing...that's why! 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 them 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 Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms didn’t live in us forever.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we never put an eye out. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house 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.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law back then!

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 as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to 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 ?


This was sent to me in a different form. I edited it - it needed a little work, but it rang true at least to me, so I thought, perhaps, it would be interesting to some of the mid 30s and older. :O)


Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

Awww,those were the good ole days.Trick or treating for blocks and blocks with no adult present - making sure to fill the ginormous Halloween bag with candy. Playing hide and go seek in the dark. Selling Girl Scout cookies door to door - also without a parent in tow - yep life was good.

Tam Hess said...

It's all so true! I just read it to my boys. We are sitting in the kitchen eating bacon, eggs and real butter on our toast. We are not fat but I was thinking of switching to fake butter....maybe not now. :) I miss those days. Thanks for sharing...xoxo

Teresa said...

When it is all said and done, I am exceptionally lucky to have been born in the 50s and lived through through the exciting decades which followed.
Miss those days!
Miss my terrific parents.
Thanks for this post.

Sylvie said...

And do you remember on hot summer nights, our parents left the doors open so we would get more cool air. If our moms weren't there when we got home from school, it didn't matter because the door was unlocked.

Anonymous said...

Late 50s early 60 for me:

Roller skates with skate keys? Skating in the street, with no protective gear AND eating a Popsicle. No worries about falling and ramming the stick down our throats...
And riding in the backseat, swinging on the hand-rope that went across the back of the front seat?
Penny candy bought with money found at the corner bus stop, where sometimes someone dropped a penny? If we were lucky, it would be a nickel. Not often 'cause people would actually pick up their dropped change.
Mom always wore a dress, a hat with a little net veil, white gloves and lipstick when she went out. And she smoked like a chimney.

Oh, and those little tiny vaporizers that had to be refilled every hour or so? And being rubbed down on the chest with Vicks Vapo-rub? Being given antibiotics for every little thing because Mom trusted the doctor? lol

Thanks for the memories!

Cocobong Soaps said...

oh wow...i'm feel all warm and fuzzy now..yes, we survived, didn't was all good, too

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

Ahhh...yes! Those indeed were the good ole days...

Riding our big wheels with the big, fat, plastic tires.

Playing hide and seek.

Eating St. Joseph's baby aspirin and Luden's cherry throat drops-like candy!

Buying grandma's cigarettes from the corner store.

Getting scolded by your next door neighbor because your neighbors were like extended family.

Smelling ditto papers after the teacher passed them out to the class-you couldn't read a word of it, but that smell was oh, so, intoxicating...

Joanna said...

oh yes!
-Smelling ditto papers after the teacher passed them out to the class. I loved that smell.
- skate keys. those skates. Wish I had kept mine.
-Big wheels. I had a big old tree in front of my stoop in brooklyn and the roots lifted the concrete up, which made a perfect ramp for me, so I'd come barreling down the sidewalk cranking my little feet as fast as I could go hit that ramp, and it was always slow motion when I was catching air, and slam, all wheels touching the ground. Trick was: there was a street pole I had to avoid at the landing.
-penny candy. When Bazooka was 2 for a penny
-stoop ball
-drive in movies
- when the only thing to "passively entertain" you was the tv and that was restricted. We were creative.

Ambra said...

"always outside playing" Oh absolutely. And in summertime we stayed out till midnight because it was light outside and all the other kids were out playing too. No one was worried. And we had no tv when I was a kid. Good old days :) Very good old days:D

LongLeafSoaps said...

How fabulous & oh so very true! Thanks for sharing it!

Teresa said...

And, yes, playing outside and not wanting to be inside.
Now - electronics, computers, television and instant gratification.

Anonymous said...

I certainly do think this sums it up!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Yeah I don't expect you to let this go through but I'm glad
you're reading it.

Why? Well let me just put it this way --

YAY wow congratulations to the people who were born from 1930 -
1960... They ate badly and took no care of their body, but they're
not overweight? First off, that's a load of shit. There are plenty
of overweight people between the ages of 52 and 82. Perhaps most
of them aren't, even after the abuse they've given their bodies,
but is 'skinny' and 'healthy' supposed to be the same thing all of
a sudden? Because they're skinny, does it mean they're healthy?
Huh.. Gimme a break.

Look at all the degenerative diseases taking their toll on the
generation of people you're referring to.

Paying the price now aren't you?

You want to sit around and act like you guys were so "brave" and
all that. You're bragging about abusing your body (cause you're so
tough) then giving birth to a new generation of people who've done
nothing wrong to you. Tell me - how is that brave?

Go on - I'll wait.

That's right. You got shit all. Sit there and bag other generations
all you want but you fuckwits are the ones that are all dying from
cancer and heart disease and diabetes -all that shit -- and so you
should be if you agree with this condescending crap.

I sincerely hope this circulates back to the wankster that wrote
this shit in the first place because honestly, they ought to be shot.

Joanna Schmidt said...

This last comment is so angry.... doesn't surprise me it was left anonymously. Brave....? Not so much