Subject: Remembering our childhood in the 40's and 50's: Our Childhood, in
Black and White before color tv.
Got these memories from a friend and replied back with the added comments:
You got that right.
We always played ball in a vacant lot or field. No one ever thought to sue
the owner if we got hurt or broke a leg stepping in a hole. We played
football across the front lawn of 4 houses. Nobody thought their lawns were
more important than the children in the neighborhood.
Remember when dogs ran free and followed you to the store or to school.
Most people didn't care if they crapped on their lawns (okay a few did---and
he was the neighborhood grump). I know kids who got bit by dogs (it
happened every now and then especially if you were foolish enough to try to
break up a dogfight). Parents took them to the doctor but not to an
attorney. Typically the dog's owner would offer to pay the doctor bill.
The only real concern was that the dog had a rabies shot.
And bike helmets?! How many kids do you know that were killed riding one
speed bikes by hitting their head falling off a bike. Okay, if you are a
10 speed road racer maybe so, but really riding with training wheels and a
helmet. More important would be for boys to wear cups when riding a bike.
I remember hitting walls and sliding off seat onto the crossbar---now that
----- Original Message -----
FromSent: Subject: Fw: Our Childhood, in Black and White
I remember those days. He forgot to mention that the whole family
would sit around and listen to the "Grand Ole Opry" on the radio before the
TV came along. db
Our Childhood, in Black and White.
Whoever wrote this, described our childhood to a "T." If you're
under the age of 40, you won't understand.
Some of the first TV reception was so bad, you could hardly see
the shows for all the snow and static. We'd spread the 'rabbit ears' as far
as they go, even add 'tin foil' to the ends. Pull a chair up to the front
of the TV set to hear: '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
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, put
in a brown paper bag, not in ice-pack coolers. I can't remember anyone or
myself getting e-coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake,
instead of a pristine pool, talk about boring. There were no beach closures
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, that we only wore in gym class, 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, sang the National Anthem,
Pledged allegiance to our flag and had after school detention, if we were
caught causing trouble.
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health
system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a starched white hat
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, Wii, or 270 digital TV cable stations. We didn't
know what bored meant then.
Oh yeah? Where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got
that bee sting? I could have died!
We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant
construction sites. When we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of
Mercurochrome. We liked it better, because it didn't sting like iodine did.
And, then we got our butt spanked.
Now - it's a 4-hour trip to the emergency room, followed by a
10-day dose of antibiotics. After we get home, Mom calls the family
attorney, to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly dangerous pile of
gravel where kids can have access to it.
We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either, because if we
did, we got spanked there. THEN - we got spanked again when we got home.
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his
dumb tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom
know, she could have owned our house, if she would have sued my parents.
Instead, she picked him up and swatted him on the butt, for being such a
goof. 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
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, we didn't even notice
that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! Tell me - how did we ever
This is for all of us who remember this era and think of it
fondly, and to all who didn't. I'm sorry for what you missed out on. I
wouldn't trade it for anything.
Pass this to along someone who remembers these 'good old days,'
and will get a smile from this. And, to anyone else who didn't experience
this time, to show them that life's most simple pleasures are very often the