Do you remember???

Playing pickup baseball games in the summer without adults anywhere around?

Record players… and the little inserts you had to put in the 33 and 45 records?

And how many of us had one of these play sets? I did…

And last but not least… Medicine bottles without all the anti-tamper crap and caps that you need a college degree to get open?

And yet we survived… in spite of ourselves… LOL



TBT… — 25 Comments

  1. The fact that I recall all of that – and the different era that we lived in before things like pagers and cell phones, bothers me a little. The world then was so different. Kids could be young. They could play outside without somebody to watch them to make sure they weren’t abducted and murdered… A lot more vigilance is called for in our ‘progressive’ world.

    • Which is pernicious nonsense. Violent crime is at the lowest levels seen since the 1960’s. Yes, children do, very rarely, get abducted and/or murdered by random strangers. They get struck by lightning, too, but PLANNING for that contingency is absurd.

  2. There was at least one mom watching or listening, until you went completely out of sight.

    Also remember The Summons – if you were lucky, mom did not call out your full name in that calm, carrying tone.

    • No lie! When a mother used first, middle, and last name all the kids stood frozen for a second. It was horrifying, mixed in equal part with sympathy for the kid and terror that you might be next. After all, a kid doesn’t get in trouble by himself, there are co-conspirators to be found out.

      ‘Johnny, I’ll pound you if you rat me out. Stay out of it, Karen.’

  3. I recall playing baseball in the evening until it was too dark to play anymore. With a well worn and dark baseball it was no longer batting, but rather self defense.

  4. “They could play outside without somebody to watch them to make sure they weren’t abducted and murdered… A lot more vigilance is called for in our ‘progressive’ world.”

    They still can. It’s the media and the parents who are the problem, not the abductors. If you look at the stats, children are about as safe as they ever were, except from the intrusion of nosy neighbors and busybody police. Cruise on over to https://letgrow.org/ and you can see the actual stats and activism to return us to some sense of normalcy.

    • Yep. Back in the days kids disappeared or ran away or got lost or or or at about or a slightly higher rate that today.

      Joining the Circus.


      Ran away.

      All unknown phrases covering everything from kiddie diddlers to animal attacks to Timmy falling in the well without Lassie around to, well, running away to join the Circus or run with gypsies.

      Like ‘poisoned candy and razorblades in apples. Do the research and you’ll find most of the incidents, and all the earlier 60’s and 70’s incidents, to be linked to leftist parents doing Munchousen by Proxy with their own children in order to stop Halloween and other traditional US holidays. Seriously, most incidents are fake and done by leftists. How… unusual.

  5. remember all that, and more – riding bikes several miles away to just play in a stream bed, or to just roam around. “Playing Cowboys and Indians” was a favorite pastime, as was “Playing Army”. We got our inspiration and cues from movies and TV, where the bad guys always got justice served to them by the guys in white hats. And no one called the cops when they saw us carrying our BB guns as we played. We knew that if we messed up, there would be hell to pay, delivered by both neighbors and parents.

    Regarding Heresolong’s comment, I often wonder if the frequency of crimes is any greater, or if they happen in greater numbers since the population is so much greater now.

  6. The inserts were only used on 45rpm records. 33 and 78 rpm types both had a small spindle/hole.

    And yeah, I remember riding my bike all over. Max range was about 5 miles (as the crow flew). Every street in the neighborhood was indexed for degree of difficulty (hill).

  7. LL- Sadly true, if for nothing more than the busybodies that HATE free roaming children.

    PK- Ah yes, the summons… sigh…

    Jim- LOL, that it was! And that damn ball HURT!

    Hereso- Interesting, thanks for the link!

    Tom- We used to ride with our .22s strapped to our handlebars… LOL

    Home- You’re correct. Re the streets, yep! But we didn’t really have hills that were that big. We spent more time in the woods. 400-1000 yards wide and about four miles long, with a stream running down the middle of it.

  8. Playing in the streets and calling out ‘Car, Car’ in order to tell all the kids to move off the street, then once passed, back to play.

    My parents had a shepherd’s bell they rang. Had to be within range of the bell, had to make it back home in 10 minutes after bell rang.

    Flashlight tag at night.

    BB gun wars. No shooting above the chest. No overpowering shots, like with Powerline pump guns, or using pellets.

    Raiding construction sites for waste boards and dropped nails.

    Good days. Hope kids can get back to doing this.

  9. Had a 45 rpm record player, later cannabalized it to make an audio amplifier for a code practice oscillator (old, wore out 45 records made great targets for the basement BB gun range I built). Rode my bike all over town when the weather permitted. We played on the undeveloped hillside in back of the house, too steep to sled down in winter, so we had to go a couple of blocks over to the local “sled hill,” no adult supervision. Yeah I don’t know how we survived.

  10. In my mid 70’s and surprised my buddies and I reached out teens with the stuff we did. Early on, about eight years old I learned how to make gun powder and some of my own fire works and model rockets. I would also scavenge mercury our of old cooking thermometors put it in little medicine bottles to take to school and rub on copper pennies until they turned bright silver for an hour or two, it’s a wonder I have any brains at all.

    At 11 years old I had a neat little .22 single shot bolt action, on a Saturday morning I would have a handful of cartridges, an Army surplus canteen on my belt along with a small backpack with sandwiches and crackers, leave my house a few blocks from the edge of town in our county seat town of 5,000 and take off walking for miles and miles where no one minded kids shooting rabbits or fishing in their stock tanks and some had decent fishing.

    Some times my friends and I would gather up some of our plastic army men, small tanks and cars and go out behind our high school football field, set up little Armies and shoot the crap out of them with our .22s, this was on the edge of town and no one cared, it was just stuff kids did.

  11. A herd of us would go up and down through a set of interconnected valleys and gullies in the neighborhood in the Midwest. A parental phone-chain served to keep track of us, if such were needed. We’d be gone for hours, all seasons. Sledded without adult supervision, rode bikes all over the place, foraged mulberries and other stuff (older kids passed knowledge down to the younger set). Yes, we had some scares, and got lots of nettle stings and skeeter bites, but we learned a lot and didn’t get into real mischief.

    • I still think the Signal Corps was patterned after the Mom Network. Eyes everywhere. We could be 13 miles away through a forest and across a stream and playing near a swamp or at an old quarry or at a secret beach and still someone’s mother would know our whereabouts.

  12. So much of this sounds achingly familiar. I tried to give my kids as much of this as possible, and despite living in town on a busy street for the first years of their lives, was able to do so. By high/school/middle school, we have moved out of town and they had some more leeway to be teenagers. Both seem to have worked out OK. In their mid-20s, one married and owns her own house, the other making nearly as much money now as I did as I did when I retired.

  13. When we were growing up, the neighborhood kids used a neighbor’s empty lot to play baseball. We had an agreement with him that we could play on it as long as we kept the lot clear of debris and litter. He even mowed the grass for us. He didn’t sell that lot until all of the neighborhood kids went into high school and stopped playing baseball there. Although we thanked him for letting us play there, it just occurred to me that we never thanked him for not selling the lot.

  14. I remember all those things. Loved my Fort Apache set, built on to the fort by using empty Log Cabin syrup tins…
    Rode horses far and wide in the back of beyond, often by myself.

  15. My first ‘stereo’ had tubes, and could play ’78’s. Admittedly it was one my Mother’s elder brother had built…

    I walked to school (except for a year my Father spent at the Institute For Advanced Study, when I biked) until high school, when the school was entirely too far away (private school, the local high school was a disaster).

    I remember when ‘child proof’ caps came in, and my parents had to ask me to open them.

  16. 1970s, living in Base Housing. LARGE corner back yard, so when I cut the grass I did it in base lines and bases, including accurate home plate (try that sometime with a lawn mower). 2 heights, one for paths and bases, one for all else. Neighborhood kids loved it. Increased our garden/drinking hose use a bunch.

    For one month.

    Housing inspectors issued a ticket for non-compliance with standard grass cutting rules. Got an appointment and personally went to the base commander to appeal it. I got one sentence out before I was told I was wasting his time. Not sure if that arseholle had kids, but I hope not. It REALLY pained me to salute on exit – and don’t give me that “you’re saluting the uniform, not the person” crap — doesn’t work.


    Yep, 50s and 60s: slingshot chinaberries; BB gun too early to remember when; no hair to blow in the back of the P/U truck, but fun anyway; fake stereo labeled “HiFi” (just same ported to 2 channels); despite buying I never came out looking like Charles Atlas and I was never able to see with X-ray vision.

    But the good news is that the old B&W “Watch Mr. Wizard” shows are available on DVD!

    • Forgot: Made my own rocket propellant in the garage workshop. BIG to-do when my mother found a box of saltpeter in my closet. Dad had gone to a military academy many years prior where it was rumored to have been added to the food, so when she brought it to him things kind of spiraled out of control. Yeah, I was “of that age.”

  17. All- LOL, thanks for the comments, and we ALL had similar childhoods. According to the Nanny state today, NONE of us should be alive!

    Posted from my iPhone.