My Child Has Never Been Stung By A Bee

My child has never been stung by a bee...

...& as warped as this sounds, I kind of think that’s sad. Not because I want to inflict that kind of unpleasantness on him, but because he has never run barefoot through grass with the sprinkler running, on a hot summers day! Perhaps these days they do their fair share of outside play...however it seems vastly tamer than what we did as kids!

The 70's...No knee pads, helmets, or breaks. It's just how we rolled!!!

The 70's...No knee pads, helmets, or breaks.  It's just how we rolled!!!
The 70's...No knee pads, helmets, or breaks. It's just how we rolled!!!

TV in the 70's

Carl Kolshak in The Night Stalker
Carl Kolshak in The Night Stalker
Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
and a full hour of Alfred Hitchcock Presents
and a full hour of Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Those were the good old days.

We played in the streets till late when the street lights came on. We walked to school, barefoot through the lemon orchards, with only a lunchbox in our hands. We played in the creek and walnut orchards behind our house for hours on end. Nothing mattered. It was the beauty of innocence! We knew when to come home when we heard our mother's banshee holler, then we'd race home in time for steak, potatoes, and corn on the cob, take a bath, then plop down in front of the TV just in time for the Night Gallery with Carl Kolchak, an investigative reporter whose wife was murdered, and the Twilight Zone back to back episodes. That would be followed by a full hour of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And that's the original black and white version with Alfred Hitchcock doing the introduction to every show.

I was a 60's baby, born in the heart of the rise of the hippy era. I grew up in a quaint neighborhood where every house on the block was filled with children. After school the street was busy.....but not with cars. We had dozens of bicycles, ramps, roller skates and big wheels covering the asphalt till sundown. The girls would line dance in the street to Tom Jones 70's hit "What's New Pussycat", and also do the Soul Train.

Pong by Atari Corporation.

Pong by Atari Corporation. The two paddles return the ball back and forth. The score is kept by the numbers (06 and 08) at the top of the screen.
Pong by Atari Corporation. The two paddles return the ball back and forth. The score is kept by the numbers (06 and 08) at the top of the screen.

When we got thirsty...

...we drank from a neighbor's garden hose, even if we didn't know who lived there, and there were no repercussions. When we got hungry we went into Old Man Virgil's backyard to pick fresh veggies and ripe strawberries from his garden. We didn't wash any of them first, just wiped off the dirt and popped them into our mouths. Virgil and his wife Bertha just smiled and waved.

On rainy days we would head over to the neighbor's house to play Pong, the video game of our time. Our family didn't have one because they were too expensive and our parents didn't want us sitting in front of the idiot box for too long, in fear of us getting TV sick. It really is amusing to compare that to today's games! For those of you not clued into Pong, it consisted of a black background with two one-inch vertical white lines on either side of the screen that went only up and down. Between the lines moved a white blip from one side of the screen to the other. If you failed to touch the blip with your line, you lost. It simulated tennis; with the lines being paddles or rackets, and the blip being the ball. The upgraded version offered a plastic colorful sheet with graphics of a tennis court, that stuck on the screen from the TV's static electricity.

That's just how we rolled!

68 Dodge Charger!
68 Dodge Charger! | Source
Riding in the back seat!  Good times!
Riding in the back seat! Good times! | Source

We played hide n seek;

; kick the can; street baseball and football. We had huge forts, one for the boys and one for the girls and they both had keep out signs posted for the opposite gender. My knees were always skinned and my hair always tangled. I climbed trees, rolled down grassy hills, and played outside until I fell into bed at night exhausted.

I was always the youngest of the neighborhood, and by the time I was ten, my oldest brother had his drivers license. I always thought I was too cool for words, sitting in the back seat of his '68 Chevelle with the older kids, while jamming The BeeGees 'Staying Alive' on the eight track player as loud as it could go.

At home we played 45rpm and 33rpm records on the house stereo console with the built in record player and speakers. That fine piece of equipment was encased in wood and spanned four feet across. The radio was AM and played Kasey Kasem's top 100 countdown on Saturdays. On Sunday morning we watched Wonderama with Bozo the Clown, before the religious shows conglomerated the airwaves for the rest of the day.

It puts a smile on my face to remember those times, but I am sad that my children will never know the beauty those innocent times.

Sam Cooke - Wonderful World

© 2013 Helen Kramer

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Comments 2 comments

Vickiw 3 years ago

Those are wonderful memories, MissCue. It is so great that you have shared them. The difference between then and now is so startling, it takes something like this to realize that. One thing that is apparent is how much more physical activity children had. So, even though you are aware of the joyfulness of that time, you feel it is not possible to duplicate some of those experiences? Do you think your children would embrace it as you did?

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MissCue 3 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA. Author

Hi Vickyw, Thought provoking question, and my answer is a resounding YES. I absolutely think my boys would embrace it. We have a family ranch and went there often when they were small. These are some of their fondest memories, and we reminisce about those memories often.

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