‘To the young people of today, your generation and era is here, become part of it’
To the Editor:
Close your eyes and go back — before the internet or PC or the Mac, before semi-automatics and crack, before Playstation, SEGA, Super Nintendo and Atari, and before cell phones, CDs, DVDs, voicemail and email.
I’m talking about hide and seek at dusk, “Red Light, Green Light,” “Red Rover, Red Rover,” and playing kickball and dodgeball until the first — no second, no third — street light came on, and games like “Ring around the Rosie,” “London Bridge,” “Hot Potato,” hopscotch, jump rope and “Tag.”
Back in the day, parents stood on the front porch and yelled, or whistled, for you to come home. There were no pagers or cell phones.
We’d enjoy seeing shapes in the clouds, endless summer days and hot summer nights (no AC) with windows open, the sound of crickets, running through the sprinkler, cereal boxes and Cracker Jacks with great prizes at the bottom, and ice pops with two sticks you could break and share with a friend.
We enjoyed watching Saturday morning cartoons and other great TV shows, catching lightning bugs in a jar, climbing trees while swinging as high as we could, getting a million mosquito bites and sticky fingers, jumping down the steps and on a bed, having pillow fights, running home from the movies and laughing so hard from having fun, and being tired from playing.
Work meant taking out the garbage, cutting the grass, washing the car or doing dishes.
Kool-Aid was the drink of summer and so was a swig from the hose.
Memories of school come to mind, such as rainy days and the smell of damp concrete and chalk erasers, wearing new shoes on the first day and class field trips with soggy sandwiches.
Back in the day, we gave our friends a ride on the handlebars of our bikes and attached pieces of cardboard or baseball cards to our bike frames to rub against the spokes was fun.
There was a time when nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got home from school, when a quarter seemed like a fair allowance and another one was a miracle, when any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
There was a time when your parents took you to the cafeteria and it was a real treat, when being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that waited you at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.
We simply did not want our parents to get mad at us. Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, “Yeah, I remember that.”
Well, let’s keep that going. Let’s go back to the time when decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo,” mistakes were corrected by simply explaining, “Do it over,” and race issues meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Back in the day, catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening, it wasn't odd to have two or three best friends, and the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
Nobody was prettier than Mom, scrapes and bruises were kissed away by Mom and made better, and getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a “double dog dare.” Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
Water balloons were the ultimate, ultimate weapon.
If you can remember most or all of these, you have lived during a more pleasant, simpler time.
Those of us who have lived in an era that no one else will ever experience is our legacy. The era has passed and slowly those of us who lived it are passing also.
If you do not remember, ask your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.
We went from AM radio to stars. To the young people of today, your generation and era is here, become part of it. Make it worthwhile for future generations to build on. Keep God in your lives.