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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From the Class of 1958 to the Class of 2011


A high school pal sent me the following e-mail amusement that's probably been circulating around these United States. I thank her for the trip back to "the olden days."

Though some of you may have read it, I thought I'd share the smile and the truth of the ever increasing regulations that are altering lives for better or worse? The following was true of my generation and my children's generation, but not my grandchildren's. The photograph is from my high school days,the Class of 1958, when no one was obese, no one had a cell phone, we visited each other daily, danced with Dick Clark's American Bandstand, got home by supper, wore skirts that covered our thighs and blouses that covered our cleavage. We expected to be taken seriously and respected. From the class of 1958 to the graduating classes of 2011, think about it.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers
Who smoked and/or drank while they were

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing,
Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode
Our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children,
We would ride in cars with no car seats,
No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day
Was always a special treat.

We drank water
From the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,
From one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And, we weren't overweight.

Because we were
Always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
As long as we were back when the
Streetlights came on.

No one was able
To reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill, only to find out
We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes
a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,
No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's,
No cell phones,
No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
And there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
And the worms did not live in us

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and,
Although we were told it would happen,
We did not put out very many eyes..

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal
With disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law
Was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best
Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years
Have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them?
You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house
with scissors, doesn't it? [They weren't plastic either].
The quote of the
month is by Jay Leno:
"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control,
mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms
tearing up the country from one end to another,
and with the threat of swine flu
and terrorist attacks.
Are we sure this is a good time
to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'


  1. Dear Linda,
    What a wonderful post, full of humor, nostalgia, a bit spicy irony but very poetic!!
    I do not belong to your generation, but probalbly, the last generation that enjoyed childhood like you did.
    I'd like to dedicate "Ray's Dad's Cadillac"(Joni Mitchel) for you and your friends.
    NOTE:I want to send you the "mood" of the song. It was me that so poor at math! Ahahaha!!
    Cheers, Sadami

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it Sadami. I did too. I'll give the song a listen. Thanks

  3. So So Sop enjoyed this! I was outside a lot as a child. I'm trying to make that happen with my kids (just leased two ponies next door - the best thing is we can WALK over - no car transportation. :)

  4. Margaret, so nice to hear from you. The ponies sound like great fun. We didn't have any of those in the city before expressways and suburbs. We had each other.

    I was one of twenty one kids on the block who gathered outside after dinner every night to play hide and seek,(Taffy in the icebox OMG), or running bases, or baseball against the stairs up to someone's front porch, or touch football, or just riding bikes or roller skating till the street lights went on. There was also hop scotch and the option of walking/biking back to school to see who was playing on the playground. In the winter, we built forts and snowmen, made snow angels and shoveled people's front walks for fifty or seventy five cents a piece. If it was too cold or too hot, we were at somebody's house in the basement or on the screened-in back porch playing Sorry or Monopoly. No ponies, just us. --We also did the lemonade stand thing and rang people's doorbells and ran away to hide in the buses and giggle. Fun memories with no adults in sight on any of those escapades.

  5. This brings back memories and even a few good ones.
    It's important to look back and remember. My HS graduating class was 1980 and by that time, kids were smoking on school grounds and wearing questionable clothes. But still no cell phones or personal computers. Not too much obesity, nothing like today.
    I would not go back though. Despite changing values, over abundance of scare tactics and reality shows-- people have a better chance today of breaking out of a bad situation.
    Having said that, if I had kids, I'd want to raise them in a small town.

  6. Me too. I went to a HS with three hundred plus kids in the graduating class. I had too much fun there to get into college, so my parents put me into private school where there were 26 girls in the graduating class. I went from a large fish pond into a smaller one, thrived and loved it. A small town would be much like a private school. I think I would like living there and raising my kids there. Have we stumbled upon the idea that humans do better in smaller herds than larger ones? How interesting for the cultural anthropologists.