ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Heroes and Villains From a Kid's Perspective in the 1960's

Updated on August 3, 2015


As a kid growing up in the 1960's, there were standard heroes and villains in the neighborhood that all the kids agreed upon. Oddly, some of these characters no longer exist today, but were oh so important then. I look back on the era and now realize how tumultuous the times really were, but to a kid the only world was your family, your home, and your neighborhood friends.

A typical gang of neighborhood kids in the 1960's
A typical gang of neighborhood kids in the 1960's

The Top Five Heroes

The TV Repair Man: Amazingly, TV repair men actually existed and they made house calls! Televisions were an amalgamation of resistors, capacitors, vacuum tubes, and wires. You actually had to wait nearly a full minute for the set to warm up before watching and you watched the screen dim down to a small dot when you turned it off. Of course all this equipment operated tenuously. The set broke down annually. Life was horribly thrown off as you were deprived of your three channels. The TV repair man showed up in standard uniform with the embroidered name tag. These guys worked magic behind the set applying all kinds of tests and occasionally taking a tube out and holding it to the window to inspect the filament. You watched intently, but from a distance. You certainly did not want to impede his work. Usually, within a half hour, he had the set repaired and life returned to normal. Once again you could watch the violent cartoons on Saturday mornings (about the only time they played), westerns on weeknights (oh the shock I went into when I got older and learned what Ms Kitty's real profession was on Gunsmoke), and Walt Disney World on Sunday nights.

The Ice Cream Man: These guys cruised your neighborhood playing music and selling ice cream out of a van. They had incredible patience with you, especially if you were not yet literate. Their large signs showed each treat, of which you could point and gesture for which you wanted. For many of us, this was our first financial transaction without our parents present. The ice cream man's honesty was above reproach. You also quickly learned the value of nickels, dimes, and quarters. Unwittingly, they also were the catalyst for social planning. If enough neighborhood kids showed up, you determined to play some type of game - sandlot baseball most often.

Policemen and Firemen: These guys were automatically heroes, but not so much for who they were, but what they drove - vehicles with sirens and lights. When playing outside in the neighborhood, all friends drew silent as they heard the sirens far off in the distance. If the sirens got louder, we ran to the edge of the street. If we were really lucky they drove by at high rates of speed and we watched in awe. These guys also were the first in parades; their sirens announcing good things to come.

Military Personnel: Older siblings, cousins, and uncles in the military were all heroes. We had no idea where Vietnam was or that Vietnam even existed. All we knew was we were at war and our relatives were fighting the bad guys.

The Postal Carrier: Actually, this person started out as a minor villain and was later elevated to a hero. He was a villain because you trusted your dog's instincts on judging a person's character and a postman had no chance to prove himself. Later, however, you made your first mail order purchase - probably from a comic book for plastic soldiers or Sea Monkeys. Dang, that advertizement was right, allow four to six weeks for delivery. Alas, he came through as a hero with your parcel.

The neighborhood mascot disappointingly watching his comrades leave for school.  Source: 1972 calendar from the Wisconsin State Historical Society.
The neighborhood mascot disappointingly watching his comrades leave for school. Source: 1972 calendar from the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

The Top Four Villians

The Dog Catcher: Most people kept their dog under control, but there was usually some neighborhood mutt that was allowed to run around. Usually he joined your neighborhood gang of kids from time to time and injected comedy relief - like tackling someone during sandlot football. He also had a knack for showing up when the ice cream truck came around. He would go missing for a couple of days and word got out that the dog catcher got him. Fortunately his owners would bail him out and your ad hoc mascot would return.

Old People: Old people tended to be crabby and saw themselves as self deputized law enforcement. They informed you of legal matters - like not cutting through the vacant lot, not being able to play catch with a hardball in the park, or yelling at the neighborhood mutt to get out of their yard. Old people were suspected of colluding with the dog catcher. Grandparents were exempt from being old people.

The Eye Doctor: It wasn't the eye doctor who was the villain directly; it was his assistant who put drops in your eyes to get them to dialate. In the 1960's it took an endless series of eye drops applied over a half hour period to get your eyes to dialate properly. Most of the drops burned and seemed to take forever to leave the bottle and hit your eye. You were certain this treatment was employed by the Japanese during WWII.

The Snow Plow Driver: Every kid loved a snow day that cancelled school. If the weather was too cold you stayed inside and played games. If not, it was a huge neighborhood rally of making snowmen and building snow forts. The snow plow driver just hastened the inevitable of going back to school. He was openly booed when driving by. When you got old enough to shovel the driveway, the snow plow driver became even more of a villain because he made a berm of snow at the end of your driveway from plowing the street.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)