In the spirit of part one I pass this one on.... Puddle:big_smile: Life was good,,,, Somehow We Survived If you lived as a child in the 50s, 60s, or even 70s, looking back, its hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, sometimes standing up in the seat so we could take in the same scenery that the adults and older kids did. We were known to take naps in the confines of the back window shelf on those long rides too; going to yes, (believe it or not,) visit friends and relatives. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat; Ive had many a good sunburn that was caused by this. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the times we hitchhiked to the local store for candy or to pick up a loaf of bread for mom as a youngster!) We drank water from the garden hose and not some crystal springs plastic bottle. We would spend hours building our billy-carts out of scraps and then try them out down the nearest steep hill; only to figure out near the bottom that we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to resolve the problem. We even figured out ways to take our street skates and turn them into skate boards and scooters, (the foot powered kind.) All it took was a little imagination and a certain amount of elbow grease. We would leave home in the morning while the dew still soaked the grass, and mom and dad never thought anything of it, as long as we were back when the sun went down. No one was able to reach us all day, unless they were able to whistle loud enough to get our attention, or at least get a chain message going through the network of neighbors to finally be able to get our attention. There was no such thing as a cell phone or pager, and the necessity was rarely required. This seems unthinkable in this day and age, doesnt it? We played dodge ball with a soccer ball or a partially deflated basketball, had green pinecone battles that left scratches and big blue and yellow bruises, and didnt go home crying to mom; but rather toughed it out- shook it off, and went back to playing with our buddies. We even reenacted WWII, using sticks as bayonettes and our BB guns as weapons. I can distinctly remember digging more than one BB from my skin, digging numerous splinters from my bare feet, and scraping what seemed like gallons of hot sticky tar from my toes that I had played in on our newly paved asphalt, (two-lane,) neighborhood playground. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and yet there were no law suits from these accidents, after all they were merely accidents! No one was to blame for our misfortunes but us. Remember accidents? Wow, what a concept! We had fights where we punched each other and got black and blue, but then the bruising turned yellow and we got over it, and most times we made friends with our opponents. We got all dressed up on the rare occasions when we went to town with our folks, and always when we went to church; which was every Sunday and Wednesday night, come rain or shine. Singing in the church choir wasnt considered sissy, but fun. Everybody dreamed of the day they would get out of school for summer, not just for a few weeks, but months. Summer camp and Vacation Bible School were the highlights, along with baseball and swimming, watermelon eating, apple bobbing, and visiting grandpa on the farm. Boredom was never much of a real problem, our imaginations were left to roam, and the time off made all that learning and school days worth it. Going back to school wasnt that bad either, seeing old friends and earning new ones was a definite good time. The only gangs were the ones that everybody belonged to, and they called that type of outrageous activity school spirit. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, home-made fudge and churned ice cream, and drank cool-aid and sugary sweet flavored soda, but were never overweight because of it. We burned off all that bad fatty food and starches because we were always outside playing. We shared one Fanta Grape Soda with four friends, and all from the same bottle, and amazingly no one died from this. We did not have Playstations, Ninetendo64, X Boxes, any video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video movies, DVDs, CDs, surround sound, personal bat phones (accept for the ones made out of string and tin cans, or the ones we imagined,) Personal Computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends to spend out time with, real people with names like Rusty, Skip, Todd, Sandy, and Dick and Jane. We went out into the street and yelled out for them to come out and play, and found new ones all the time. We rode bikes or walked to a friends home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing! Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! Without a guardian! How on earth did we do it? We made up games using sticks and tennis balls, wiffle balls, and hand-wound balls of grandmas sewing yarn. We ate worms and dirt and tree bark, (just to see how they tasted,) May-Pops, Blackberries, Honeysuckle, and chewed on sour grass. We smoked rabbit tobacco, if we couldnt scarf a cigarette when mom and dad werent looking; or rolled some Sir Walter Raleigh using dads spare cigarette roller and licking papers. We even tried to dip some of Great Grandmas TOPPS, knowing we would turn green and puke in front of our pals, and betting we wouldnt all the while. Although we were told that it would most definitely happen, we didnt put out very many eyes, nor did the worms or watermelon seeds live inside us forever. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didnt had to learn to deal with disappointment Some students werent as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Test scores were not adjusted for any reason whatsoever. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one was there to hide behind. If we misbehaved in school, we got paddled or swatted on the hand with a wooden ruler, and we got it worse when the teacher called our parents and we got home. There was no such thing in my house as spare the rod. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that! Parents were real moms and dads, with real jobs and values that they honestly held sacred, and the people they worked for (for the most part) would go out of their way for them and their families when they were in need. Our next door neighbors parents even filled in the gaps when our own parents werent around, making sure that we were safe and not causing mischief, and expected by our own moms and dads to bust our tails if we stepped too far out of line in their presence. Christmas time was the very best time of every year. We didnt expect thousands or even hundreds of dollars worth of gifts wed probably never really use anyway. We were more than contented with a candy cane, a new glove, doll, or bat and ball, and a stocking overflowing with nuts, apples, and oranges. It wasnt considered a big sales and buying event, and even old Uncle Bo put down his beer for a day and went to church to celebrate the birth of the son of God. Remember CHRISTmas, and not X-mas. Now thats a definitive thought! Our parents smoked Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, Home Run, and Marlboro cigarettes anywhere they wanted, and all without the threat of being arrested or ticketed. It was their choice to do so if they wanted. It was at that time still what was known as a free country. When there was a controversy about a political matter, all citizens over eighteen voted on the issue, and no court had to decide if they could do so either, it was an American right. Remember the true Constitution, By the People, and For the People? We expected to grow old and wrinkled, knowing that there was true knowledge and wisdom in every deep crease and crows-foot. Our dreams were to grow up just like mom or dad. Honor was required by those with years and experience. The occupation of Plastic Surgeon wasnt even heard of! Our nations Soldiers were considered by all to be heros, respected and honored for life, not looked upon as hired killers and vagabonds or ignorant relics and old fools. And speaking of heros, ours were avengers and fighters of evil and wrong-doing, not criminals, thieves, homosexuals, and harlots. The generation Im speaking of has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem-solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. Amazing isnt it! Are you one of us? Congratulations!:wink: Please pass this on to others that have had the good fortune as to grow up as real kids should, before lawyers and government regulated our lives; in what is now considered to be for our own good?