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Lois Sgrosso-Was, Editor
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Remember the good old days?

If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's. 

Looking back, it's 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.  Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

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 hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)

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

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode 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 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.  No cell phones. Unthinkable. We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we  were never overweight... we were always outside playing. We shared one  grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside and found them.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's 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 did we do it?

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment..... Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.....Horrors. Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.  No one to hide behind.  The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.  The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success  and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And you're one of them. Congratulations!


The Class Reunion 

Every ten years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.

I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.

It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.

The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.

The homecoming queen, who once had been lean,
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.

No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
She married a shipping tycoon.

The boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed"
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted "least" now was a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.

They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least.
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.

They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.

At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.

It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.

By the fortieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed,
And be home in time for their pill.

And now I can't wait; they've set the date;
Our fiftieth is coming, I'm told.
It should be a ball, they've rented a hall
At the Shady Rest Home for the old.

Repairs have been made on my hearing aid;
My pacemaker's been turned up on high.
My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled;
And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.

I'm feeling quite hearty, and I'm ready to party
I'm gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.
It'll be lots of fun; But I just hope that there's one
Other person who can make it that night.

Author Unknown

 
Jersey Shore

February 17, 2008

On my walk on the Seaside Heights boardwalk, I headed north through the deserted amusement park with grafitti on the sliding metal doors, bolted securely to protect the merchants' shops in the winter. The rides creaked in the cold wind as I thought about how lonely and desolate the beach seemed without the crowds. 

A touch of nature distracted my thoughts when an osprey swooped down with its sharp talons and pinned a pigeon to the littered boardwalk. I paused in my walk and stared at the seahawk as it beheaded its cooing prey and chirped its disapproval of my watchful eye. When I stood my ground, the osprey flew off with its catch dangling from its clutch.

As I continued north to the end of the boardwalk I saw a flashing video screen ahead, when I got close enough to see its message, I saw a video of the same stretch of boardwalk where I was walking. The video was a reminder of the summer past with visions of bathers in the surf,  kids on the rides, and crowds lining up for sausage and peppers heros, pizza, steaming seafood, and chilled clams and oysters on the half-shell. 

The images warmed my heart for the walk back to my car, knowing that in a few months the sounds, aromas, warmth of the sun, and the swirl of cool surf would soon return, to the Jersey shore, which for this Jersey boy, always remains just one step from heaven.

GA Winter

When Life was Easier...

  • Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"
  • "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
  • Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."
  • Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
  • It wasn't odd to have two or three "best friends."
  • Being old referred to anyone over 20.
  • The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn't matter.
  • The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
  • It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
  • It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.
  • Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
  • Nobody was prettier than Mom.
  • Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
  • It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
  • Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
  • Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."
  • Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.
  • No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home.
  • "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
  • Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
  • The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
  • War was a card game.
  • Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
  • Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
  • Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
  • Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
  • Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
  • If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!! You're IT!
  • Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their  "Grown Up" Life!!!!!!!!
Remember?
If you are old enough ...take the stroll...
Close your eyes ... And go back ... 
Before the Internet or the MAC...
Before semi-automatics and crack...
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo.....
Way back............Remember?


Surely, I cannot look this old!

Everyone has been guilty of looking at others our own age and  thinking... "surely I cannot look that old ........." 

While waiting for my first appointment in the reception room of a new dentist, I noticed his certificate, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered that a tall, handsome boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 40 years ago. Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray- haired man with the deeply lined face was too old to have been my classmate. 

After he had examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended the local high school. 

"Yes," he replied. 

"When did you graduate?" I asked. 

He answered, "In 1957." 

"Why, you were in my class!" I exclaimed. 

He looked at me closely and then asked, "! What did you teach?"