Growing Up and We Made it OK

by John A.
(Tyler, TX)

... I think you'll enjoy this.

You could hardly see for all the snow, Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

'Good Night, David.
Good Night, Chet.'

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting E.coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Flunking gym was not an option... Even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... And where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $99 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a jerk. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.

How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?



Comments for Growing Up and We Made it OK

Click here to add your own comments

Yes, I do remember
by: plp

I do remember but not all was good. I ran around with a needle in my foot because mom and dad didn't listen. I wouldn't change how I grew up but not all was right either.

Most kids today, just ask grandparents, are really good kids. They are in a different world than is huge. And that is ok. What will be next for their grandkids, who knows.

We made it OK
by: Louisewt

Yes, how did we survive without segregating the peanut butter allergy people? I went to public school for 12 years and never saw one kid have a reaction to peanuts or peanut butter.

We didn't have or didn't use seatbelts and used to ride in the way back area of the station wagon. We also rode in the back of pick up trucks down the highway. We also didn't have health insurance and my parents paid for some minor surgery out of their pockets.

Also, like another person mentioned, we carried our tuna, ham and cheese sandwiches, with no ice packs and ate them hours later and no one ever got sick. Never saw one kid keel over.

We played jump rope at recess, do kids jump rope anymore? Oh, and let us not forget the metal slides and metal jungle gym. I am sure a few kids broke a few bones on those!

Just think what torture it would be for kids today to have to deal with a phone with a cord on it! I saw a video of someone showing a kid a phone with a dial on it. They had no idea how to operate the phone! LOL!

Oh, and how many times did we lick the cake batter out of a bowl with raw egg! Oh, my! Never got sick from that either!

And then there was the times...
by: Susan/ TN

I did it all, plus there was wading in the puddle by the drain at the corner of our house to collect polywogs and playing on the tower of old truck tires piled high at the orange juice plant just down the road.

Infections from the dirty road water and rat bites from the roaming rodents at the juice plant were never an issue. Being caught by mom was the true issue. Bee and Wasp bites were doused by house hold ammonia and the mid day nap between noon and 3pm are what really kept us healthy. No outside playing during the hottest part of the day.

If we didn't sleep then we could read. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew solved them all.

So True!
by: Linda/FL

I remember it all. What fun with ice skating on a frozen pond. I remember picking cherries off the tree eating them as I go. I helped hang clothes on the clothes line and the fresh air was the fabric softener. I read books. I learned to knit as a young girl.

I worked in the family garden and we had all those fresh vegetables. Everyone pitched in to do yard work and house chores. Families helped each other.

Do any of you remember families and friends getting together and "throwing" a May basket on May 1 to that year's lucky one?

My grandmother made fresh butter, fresh bread and pies. She could sew, cook and grew the most beautiful African Violets.

There's More To Say
by: John A / Tyler, TX

Ah, those were the days where political correctness was the very last thing on our minds as young kids and adults. Back then kids could play "cops and robbers" in the school yard and not be expelled for using hands to simulate a gun. Or often times we played "cowboys and Indians". But nowadays that is politically incorrect. I guess the name really needs to be "cowboys and Native Americans".

It seems all the innocence and decency has gone away in American society nowadays and we must be on guard on everything we say or do.

This takes me back to a song done by the Statler Brothers call "Do You Remember These" below are the lyrics to the song about much more pleasant times in our least for most of us. Credits for the song are found at the end.

NOTE: The video for this song is now at the top of this page! I found it on YouTube... Wendy


Saturday morning serials
Chapters one through fifteen
Fly paper, penny loafers, and lucky strike green
Flat tops, sock hops, Studebaker, "Pepsi, please"

Ah, do you remember these?

Cigar bands on your hands
Your daddy's socks rolled down
Sticks, no plugs and aviator caps, with flaps that button down
Movie stars on Dixie cup tops and knickers to your knees

Ah, do you remember these?

The hit parade, grape truaide, the Sadie Hawkins dance
Peddle pushers, duck tail hair, and peggin' your pants
Howdy doody
Tootie fruitie
The seam up the back of her hose

Ah, do you remember those?

James dean, he was "keen", Sunday movies were taboo
The senior prom, Judy's mom, rock 'n roll was new
Cracker jack prize
Stars in your eyes
"ask daddy for the keys"

Ah, do you remember these?

The boogie man, lemonade stand and taking your tonsils out
Indian burn and wait your turn and four foul balls
You're out!
Cigarette loads and secret codes and saving lucky stars

Can you remember back that far?

To boat neck shirts and fender skirts and crinoline petticoats
Mums the word and dirty bird and double root beer float
Moon hubcaps and loud heel taps and "he's a real gone cat"

Ah, do you remember that?

Dancing close, little moron jokes and "cooties" in her hair
Captain midnight, ovaltine, and the whip at the county fair
Charles atlas course, Roy Rogers horse, and "only the shadow

Ah, do you remember those?

Gables charms, "froggin" your arm, loud mufflers, pitching woo
Going steady, veronica and betty, white bucks and blue suede shoes
Knock, knock jokes
Who's there?
Dewey who?
Remember these
Yes we do!

Oh do we?
Do we remember these!

-- Songwriters

-- Published by

by: Ricardo/USA

John from could not have been more succinct with your observations as you discussed "the way it was" back when.

I identified with EVERYTHING that you touched in Texas, me in the Midwest....we could could have been brothers!

I am certain that many others growing up in the "I like Ike" 50's and early 60's can identify with the simple, laid back times of our youth....not a care in the world living, playing under the stars at night, chasing fireflies, hide and seek....just lovin being a kid in a not so hectic violent world as it is today. We were all so innocent and not yet tainted by the world around us.

Today some kids know nothing BUT violence in the world around them and sometimes within their own families. Yes, as I reflect on my childhood and the memories that go with it, your comments made them all come flooding back to me.

As we all age, sometimes as life becomes a struggle just to live from day to day, it might be a positive to think back about our youth and the pleasant times we shared growing up way back then!

How did we make it?
by: Kaylee/FL

Enjoyed your post greatly.

We toughed it out, really weren't given any outs. When we were "picked on" or "teased" for being too tall or too skinny or too short or too fat or because we had an odd name, our parents just told us it meant the kids liked us.

Yeah right forward 21st Century: Bullying can cause psychiatric damage and contribute to suicide. We didn't know that, I just thought I was the only tall, skinny, shy one with the funny name.

We ate what the school and our parents gave us, if we didn't like it we went hungry. And never lost any kids from eating peanut butter sandwiches or kissing somebody who did. And heaven help me if the principal had to call my parents, in those days momma didn't run to the school and get a lawyer because her little darling was paddled for spitting on the others or taking a smoke behind the band room. You got another paddling at home.

Am just glad to say I did all my mischief before cell phones and the the Internet! Times were simple, you played by the rules or suffered the consequences.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to John A's Posts.