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When I was Growing Up

Updated on June 30, 2013

My Mom used to cut raw chicken, or cut up a piece of beef on the same cutting board with the same knife then rinse it off then use it to spread mayonnaise and I never remember getting food poisoning.

When I was in Fifth grade I fell on a piece of glass from a fish tank lid I had left laying on my bed. I got a dagger sized piece of glass in my chest next to my heart. My dad carried me into the Doctors office in the town that we lived in. Where the Doctor stitched me up and gave me a shot of penicillin in the butt then sent me home to see him in 2 weeks. I was there all of 30 minutes.

Today it would be an Ambulance ride to the nearest Hospital, X-rays then a Specialist to stitch you up, a Tetanus shot and Antibiotic and hours waiting in the emergency room.

I use to belong to a baseball team. Back then if you got a cut or a scrape on your ankle, from sliding into second base that was bleeding. You would brush yourself off and throw a little dirt on it to keep it from bleeding anymore and keep playing. When you got home you would wash it off, throw some Iodine on it and a band aid. Now they pull you from the game and take you to the emergency room give you an antibiotic because it might get infected and x-ray to see if it is broke.

I remember when my mom would pack me a school lunch it was in a brown paper bag with a sandwich, in a piece of Saran Wrap or Wax Paper, a couple cookie’s and a piece of fruit. We didn’t have to have an Ice pack to keep it cold. No one got sick from that.

We all took Gym class, not Physical Education and risked permanent injury I guess. By climbing up the peg board on the wall or the knotted or unknotted rope with only one little mat on the floor underneath. . I never heard of anybody getting hurt by doing this, but there might have been someone. We played Volley ball and Kickball. There was winners and losers. Now they don't keep score because some poor child might lose. Gee it’s terrible to lose. Might lose my self-esteem. Then they wonder why Children have so many problems about losing a game. We all had a pair of Keds we wore with a pair of white socks and Gym Cloths. We could not wear them to class. Now kids have got to have Athletic Shoes with air cushioned soles and Fancy name on the side that the parents pay Hundreds of dollar for cause it’s what everybody else has. Flunking Gym was never an option. I guess Physical Education is a much harder Course now a day’s.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. When we got into a dispute with a class mate, we took it outside to the playground or afterschool and settled it. A bloody nose, fat lip or a black and blue eye was a result. Then a few days’ later chances are you were friends or at least got along. Now they call it bullying and it never gets squared away till someone comes back into school with a Gun and shoots up the School. It gets picked up and all over the news so everyone else can see how to get your 3 weeks of talk about it on CNN.

In School we all sang the National Anthem said Prayers, and said the Pledge of Allegiance. If you broke the rules then you had to see the principle and probably get your butt spanked. Then when you got home and Dad found out, you probably got it again. Detention after school or suspended, was not a good thing, there would be all kinds of negative reaction from that, including some in Home detention. Some of the people who you used to hang with not be allowed to hang with you anymore.

Remember school nurses? Ours wore a White Nurses uniform including a White hat. She would take your temperature call your mom and if you only had one car, that dad took to work then you could lay down on the bed and wait till school was let out to go home on the bus. Now the nurse expects to call you on a cell phone and to be there within 30 minutes to take your child home.

I don’t know how we got by without Computers, Cell Phones, X-Box 360, Cable T.V. and I pods. We used to go play football, baseball, the local Swim pool or swimming hole, play catch in the yard or build tree houses in the woods. We were never bored, if I told my mom I was bored she would tell me to go outside or she would find some job for me to do, that I didn’t want to do.

A Bee Sting, a Mosquito Bite, or Poison Ivy? A little Soap and Water, Rubbing Alcohol or a soak in the tub with Epsom salts did wonders. Benadryl and first Aid Kit? Never. Heck I might of died from it. We would sneak down the street where there was a house being built. We thought it was neat. I stepped on a nail from a board and stuck it in my foot. I went home and mom pulled out the old 50 cent bottle of Iodine or Mercurochrome. Now it’s a bottle of Antibiotics and a trip to the hospital to get a shot. Then they are calling their attorney to file a Law suit. For having a board with a Nail in it lying on the floor. Even thou we had to tear of a piece of plywood off a window to get in.

My dad used to take us Fishing up in the Mountains in Northern Pennsylvania for a weekend. We would sleep on the ground and swim in a lake or a stream and cook our fish we caught by a Campfire. Now you can’t do that cause of used needles and E-coli. No one was labeled that they came from a dysfunctional Family. Who needed group Therapy, Prozac, and anger management classes? Now the children are considered as having attention disorders. So give them a pill, it will straighten them out. Got a cough, sniffle or sore throat, give them an Antibiotics. Then we wonder why when we really need antibiotics, they don’t work.

Used to be when you got a phone call you had to answer it to find out who it was and then take a message. Now everybody believe that with one phone call, I am sorry one text message you should be able to get a reply right away. Everybody now has a phone stuck in there ear. Or you see them busy typing some text message back. Whatever it is can’t wait till later. That phone is more important than anything else. You can’t even look at the caller I.D. and know for sure who is calling you. You get called and texted or a photograph of what just happened. Now you don’t have to wait till dinner to discuss it. Then if you have teen age children all that happens the whole time you are eating is the sound of another text message. I personally hate text. They take 30 min to discuss something that could take a minuet or less and at least you get to hear a voice of the person you are talking to and the mood they might be in. Texting is un-personable.

Back when I was young if the lawn mower did not start we took it and got it fixed or fixed it ourselves. Everybody pushed mowed there yard. Now even small yards everybody is sitting on a lawn mower. Then we wonder why no one gets enough exercise. If the car did not start we would get out our handy tools and fix it. Now you are lucky enough if you can fix the brakes. You look under the hood and all that is there is tubes and wires. Now it’s a major operation to change the spark Plugs. You have to tear half the engine out just to see them. If the refrigerator quit working we called the repairman. If something broke we fixed it. Appliances were good for 15 to 20 years. Now throw it away we'll get a new one. This is the throw away and push button generation.


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    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks Bob. I truly hate Texting. I can have a full conversation with someone and know by the tone of their voice how they feel about something in the time it takes to text.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 

      4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Fun hub, Bill! I'm a few years ahead of you and grew up in the 50's and early 60's, but a lot of what you write about is the way it was when I was a kid. In fact, I wrote a similar hub last year that has a lot in common with this one. You have to admit, though, some of today's technology is a wonder. I agree about texting, though. I don't do it either. It de-humanizes society, in my opinion.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Yes things just are not the same. I am not sure if that is good or bad. Thanks for the comments Country-Sunshine, Pstraubie48 and Mary615.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      It was a different time, for sure And sadly products are made to last only a short while and technology is outdated before we get it home if we are in need of the 'newest' which I am not.

      Like Bill says, if each of us does our part we can reverse this trend. '

      You certainly nailed it with your hub.

      Angels are on the way ps

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Amen! I so agree with your article. So what if we got bruised or cut? Just put a bit of "monkey blood" on it, and we were ready to go! We ate dirt, road bicycles without helmets, threw rocks, and swam in the creeks. I believe all these things are good for both the body & the soul.

      Heaven forbid that we drank water from the tap or the well. And like you, my lunch came in a brown bag with no ice pack. We played outside, walked to school, and didn't get bored. I think we were all healthier before the days of fast food!

      I sometimes wish the power would go out for awhile, just so everyone would be reminded of the "way back when". I know that I could survive with a fishing pole and matches!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      You and I grew up in the same time! I can relate to so much of your memories. We, the people of the US have made our lives so much harder by all the "improvements" we have caused.

      As you know, I grew up in a frugal society, and I remain frugal, too!

      We are such a wasteful society. Voted this UP, etc. and shared.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks. Yes they seemed much easier in many ways thanks for the visit MsDora

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Life was simpler and better. Those good ole days! We were so happy germs could not hold on to us. Thanks for bringing back memories of the good life.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from western pennsylvania

      The way things are done has changed a lot and I can't say that it is better thanks for the comments.

    • JPB0756 profile image

      Robert A. Joseph 

      5 years ago

      I relate, Bill; I am happy no one has sent ME out on an ice, and WOOT! for age is a...,hmm, a,a what!..AHH, age is only a number. Really have enjoyed your hubs,too, Bill.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks CrisSp for the comments. It certainly has changed and not all for the better.

    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      These are all so true and they all ring a bell to me...I was there in that era where my friends/neighbors could just drop by the house with out a notice and we could simply step outside the house and ride our bikes. We'd fall, come home dirty (muddy maybe) and with few scratches...mercurochrome --that's all. Now, if it happens, it's either emergency call or court order for negligence or poor bicycle company could even be sued.

      I like your ending: "This is the throw away and push button generation." Just like in marriage, when something is broken, we fix it. Now a days, it's called divorce. *sad* If I may add, in those days, we have to eat whatever is on the dinner table. So, take it or leave it. Now, parents have to ask the kids, what do they want for dinner and then they are stress. *smile*

      Great hub. Thank you for taking me down memory lane. It was bliss in the olden days.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      6 years ago

      So true - so true. Something happened in this world to cause all these changes with the handling of medical accidents. Do you remember when kids didn't need a car seat and sat on the backseat and nothing ever happened while driving ? I found this in a book I am reading, What Size is God's Shoes? by Tim Schenck A great amount of changes - the whys is something to research. Useful, Awesome and Interesting - Excellent Hub.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Nell Rose Thanks for stopping bye. Yes it is really a shame. Every body is afraid of the terrible germs and infections. Where I worry more about getting to the point that if you really need them they will no longer work. Oh well what can any one do. You go to the Doctors and they hand you a pill.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      This is so true! how would the kids today cope if they were transported back in time? there was even a bit in the paper a few years ago over here saying that kids had to wear goggles to play conkers! What?! we got up, dusted ourselves off and started all over again! lol!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Glenn Stok I probably forgot a few more to. But yes we played in playgrounds that had nothing but dirt and I don't remember anyone getting hurt. Thanks for the comments

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Yes, I remember those days. Seems we both grew up during the same era.

      Another one I remember that you didn't mention was those monkey bars we used to climb and have fun on. They were made of steel bars and erected on a hard dirt surface. We never got hurt!

      Today the monkey bars have to be padded and the ground has a rubber mat.

      Really enjoyed going down memory lane with your Hub. It's sad that things are so silly today. Voted up.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      cokehead Sorry to hear that you were involved in violence at the age of 12. If you had good parents then things maybe could of been better for you. I don't know the reason that you would think that you could solve a problem by shooting somebody. That sort of violence always causes more trouble.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      tmbridgeland I always thought that bicycle helmets were a joke.

      I don't know how many times I feel off my bicycle when I was learning. Never had a head Injury. But idf they would keep I serious injury from happening to a child the I guess they are worth it. Thanks for you comments

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Yep. I think I am about the same generation as you. Things were still pretty much as you said, but were beginning to change even then. You know though, I wonder if things are not going back a bit. The last two years all the kids around here stopped wearing bicycle helmets.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Civil War Bob Ah well i hope to not be a thrown away person for a few more years thanks for the input

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      7 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      In a throw away society, The Throw Away List would be old people that young people want out of the way. We're all disposable and those who speak out will be moreso sooner...Conspiracy Theory Class 101! ;)

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      aviannovice I agree with what you said. I just hate to see things made the way they are now a days. My wife would be a good example. Our fridge started making funny noises and was not cooling on one side. She says to me we have to buy a new one. It was 4 years old. I said let me look at it. I did it was just a fan on the coil that was not working. I ordered a new one on line it came the next day and I put it in 38.00. She wanted to spend 1000. on a new fridge. It still runs to this day.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      you are SO right, Bill! Yes, I grew up the same way and am no worse for wear. The thing is, though, we have integrity, a conscience, and know how to think for ourselves. What happened?

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Civil War Bob thanks for the nice comment and the visit. O.k. I am going to bite what is the Throw away List?

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      7 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Good hub, Bill, up, beautiful, and interesting. Think I'll hit the "Share" button on this too. Oh, just to let you know, guys like you, billybuc, and I are on the throw away list, in case it didn't dawn on you!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks adriewalls for your comment I don't understand wy everything is a throw away.

    • adriewalls profile image


      7 years ago from starke/gainesville, fl

      i am still young and i know what you mean i look at people today and say what the heck happen to the olden days where we could do that.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks Billybuc That is the way I truly feel about today's society. It is a shame

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We grew up during the same time and you are oh so right with your assessment. This is a throw-away generation and I, for one, do not like it. I'm doing everything I can to reverse the trend, one person at a time. Great hub!


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