Lois Sgrosso-Was, Editor
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!
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.
The men all conversed
about who had been first
The homecoming queen,
who once had been lean,
No one had heard about
the class nerd
The boy we'd decreed
"most apt to succeed"
They awarded a prize
to one of the guys
They took a class picture,
a curious mixture
At our next get-together,
no one cared whether
It was held out-of-doors,
at the lake shores;
By the fortieth year,
it was abundantly clear,
And now I can't wait;
they've set the date;
Repairs have been made
on my hearing aid;
I'm feeling quite hearty,
and I'm ready to party
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.
When Life was Easier...
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.....
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?"