If you are old enough...take a stroll with
me...close your eyes...and go
back...before the Internet...before semiautomatics and crack...before SEGA
or Super Nintendo...way back... I'm talkin' bout hide-and-go-seek at dusk.
Sittin' on the porch, Simon Says, Kick the Can, Red light-Green light.
Lunch boxes with a thermos...chocolate milk, going home for lunch, penny
candy from the store, hopscotch, butterscotch, skates with keys, Jacks,
Mother May I? Hula Hoops and sunflower seeds, Whist and Old Maid and Crazy
Eights, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Janes, saddle shoes and Coke bottles
with the names of cities on the bottom, running through the sprinkler, circle
pins, bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Kula, Fran &
Ollie, Spin & Marty...all in black & white.
When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like
going somewhere. Bedtime, climbing trees, making forts...backyard shows,
lemonade stands, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sittin' on the curb,
staring at clouds, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, pillow
fights, getting "company," ribbon candy, angel hair on the Christmas tree, Jackie
Gleason, white gloves, walking to church, walking to the movie theater,
being tickled to death, running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard that
your stomach hurt, being tired from playin' ... Remember that?
Not steppin' on a crack or you'll break your mother's back...paper
chains at Christmas, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington...the smell of paste in
school and Evening in Paris cologne. What about the girl that had the big
bubbly handwriting, who dotted her "i's" with hearts?? The Stroll, popcorn
balls, & sock hops.
Remember when...there were two types of sneakers for girls or boys
(Keds & PF Flyer) and the only time you wore them at school was for "gym."
And the girls had those ugly uniforms. When it took five minutes for the TV
to warm up. When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got home
from school. When nobody owned a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent
allowance, and another quarter, a huge bonus.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither
dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your Mom wore nylons
that came in two pieces. When all of your male teachers wore neckties and
female teachers had their hair done everyday and wore high heels.
Remember when you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas
pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. And, you didn't pay for
air. And, you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free
glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box. When any parent could
discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody,
not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When it was considered a great
privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.
When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed...and did!
When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms,
flunk a test or chew gum. And the prom was in the auditorium and we danced
to an orchestra, and all the girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits
for the first time and we stayed out all night.
When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car...to cruise, peel out, lay
rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady and girls wore a
class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss or yarn coated with pastel
frost nail polish so it would fit her finger. And no one ever asked where
the car keys were 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and
the doors were never locked. And you got in big trouble if you accidentally
locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.
Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying
things like "That cloud looks like a..." And playing baseball with no
adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Back then, baseball was not a psychological group learning experience --- it was a game. Remember when stuff from the store
came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. And...with all our progress...don't you wish...just once...you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace...and share it with the children of the 80's and 90's ...
So send this on to someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy
Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Dowdy and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger,
The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk...as
well as the sound of a real mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled
with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, baseball games, bowling and visits
to the pool...and eating Kool-aid powder made into a delicious drink with
sugar and water. When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student when he got home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and
grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their
love was greater than the threat.
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that.