Tuesday, November 27, 2012


(Thanks and a hat tip to American Perspective, who hat-tipped Nobody Asked Me.)

I lived through all of that.

I rode my bike with my friends all over the neighborhood, including up and down the sides of a basement that had been dug for a house before its owner died. The sides were steep and the bike went really fast. I wore no helmet. My parents knew what I was doing and when I would be home (or else), but they did not supervise me all day every day.

I played baseball with friends on a vacant lot about three blocks from home. We had no helmets, we won or lost, used cardboard box parts for bases, and occasionally argued over whether we were "safe" or "out."

I jumped out of swing sets after "pumping" as high as I could go.

I broke a finger climbing through a window into the house. I landed on a couch with all of my fingers flat except my pinkie, which, by the time it was over, was flat back against the side of my palm. I lived through it with no residual side effects.

I raced my friends up and down the street, because we didn't have a track to run on. The winner was the winner and the rest of us were losers. I almost always came in last, but I didn't care. We were having fun.

I walked or rode my bike to school because there were no buses. I didn't ride a school bus until 9th grade, and then it was to attend Paris American High School, about 40 miles from home.

I played backyard football, sometimes tackle, with no uniforms.

I played basketball, at which I was dismal. But it was fun, even when my team lost (often because of me). The kids sometimes made fun of my basketball skills, and guess what? I didn't slug them; I laughed.

I climbed trees and jumped from the roofs of houses into a pile of leaves.

I never was, nor did I know, anybody seriously injured by our play. I'm not saying it never happened, I'm just saying I never knew anybody who was seriously injured.

We rode in cars without seat belts, and although there were some who were hurt or killed in accidents, we never hurt anybody by not having seat belts.

I learned to backpack and eventually taught others.

We hiked places that would be "off-limits" today.

I was big, but never fat and had strong muscles.

As my "unintense" work demanded more and more of my time, I became more and more sedentary, much to my detriment.

But I made it through those years with minimal supervision and almost no organized sports (until high school).

Then came the government and all kinds of regulation and the lawyers with all kinds of litigation.

And the country got fat.

Can you see any correlation there?


Leticia said...

I loved this video because it is so true. I remember never being inside my house. Me and my best-friend, who happened to be a boy, were constantly chasing each other, playing ball, running around with capes and rolled in the mud, drank out of the hose, etc.

Those were the good ole days. How I wish my boys could have grown up during that time. There was so much freedom and best of all, in my neighborhood everyone knew each other visited each other, we were all friends and it was safe.

What sad time for our kids. I have to argue with my boys to get them outside to play at all. :(

Joe said...

Leticia: What with TV, video games and general laziness, kids don't have nearly the live social interaction they used to.

It shows in our society.

Xavier Onassis said...

We used to have vehicles that would go up and down our streets emitting a DDT fog to kill mosquitoes.

We would run behind the vehicles because we thought being in the fog was kinda cool.

Anonymous said...

The true legacy of liberalism, or one of its many true legacies - first time a conservative blogger has got it right, i think. A rare feat. ;)

sue hanes said...

Joe - The video - and what you say - makes a lot of sense. There
is way too much electronics - tv and video games - and yes - govermental rules today. Not enough exercise - and just having fun - like we used to.

The video brought back a lot of memories - from the good old days.

Fredd said...

Yup, just like I remember it: today parents of those kids would be sitting in front of a government family protection organization inquiry panel trying to explain themselves.

Back then it was what kids did.

Ducky's here said...

Hard to say where it all went.

Used to be that in the summer you just slid your glove on your handle bars and rode down to the park. There was always a pick up game.

Something to do with electronics, law suits and kids with too much money.

That middle class life we remember is not coming back.
I figure I ended up with about 40 stitches for my little escapades but it was an even deal.

Anonymous said...

Good post Joe, as always.