I grew up in Louisiana and southwest Arkansas during the 50s and 60s, a time when everyone treated each other like family. Our neighbors parents disciplined us like their own. We didn’t eat fast food….We drank Kool-aid or Tang, ate bologna & cheese sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, and had fish on Friday and chicken on Sundays. Stores were not open on Sunday, so we went to church, had dinner at home, and visited family and grandparents or went for a ride in the afternoon. We went outside to play games like red rover, baseball in a field with the neighbors kids of all ethnicities, hide and seek, marbles in the dirt, jump rope, hopscotch, kickball , had water fights, played football or basketball for hours and raced against each other down the street on our bikes. There was no bottled water. We drank out of the green garden hose. No cable tv, we had three channels if we were lucky. No cell phones!
We watched cartoons on Saturday morning went outside and played until dark. We would ride our bikes without helmets for hours, all without a cell phone or electronic games. We went to library for books and were in the reading club during the summer.
We weren’t afraid of ANYTHING except our parents. You LEARNED from your parents and grandparents instead of disrespecting them and treating them as if they knew nothing. What they said might as well have been the gospel. If someone had a fight, that’s what it was…a fist fight and you were back to being friends. we all had BB guns and .22s but would never thought of taking a person’s life, much less their own. Squirrels and birds, and later deer were fair game though. And you’d better be close enough to home to hear your mom or dad yell for you to get home at night, or be at a neighbor’s house!
School was MANDATORY. We had God, The Pledge of Allegiance, and we placed our hand over our heart!!! We watched what we said around our elders because we knew If we DISRESPECTED any grown up we would get our behinds busted, it wasn’t called abuse, it was discipline! You didn’t hear curse words on the radio or TV, and IF you cursed you did it away from the public or you got your mouth washed out with soap. Please and Thank you were part of our daily dialogue!
And the other thing I remember is that very few kids or adults had allergies… Because we played outside, got dirty, and our parents didn’t care!
Truly a world of difference from the children of today. Sigh…