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When I was a kid, I........
Old 01-18-2019, 03:01 PM   #1
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When I was a kid, I........

Now that we know where you lived, how about things you did as a kid... before the days of play dates and organized kid sports?

When I was a kid, used to pick tar from the street, and chew it like gum.
...a little older, and smoked grape vine stems.
...and had to be home when the street lights came on.
... got swatted on the rear by neighbor Mrs. Allen for saying the swear word "dam". Straight arrow, she never told my mom.
...dipped Isabelle Miller's pigtail in the inkwell on my desk.
...read books under the blanket with a flashlight, when I was supposed to be sleeping.

... and you?
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:12 PM   #2
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Being home when the street lights came on was a rule in our household too. Except in the summer time, on every-other-night Mr. Softee came by at night, and it was great fun to wait for Mr. Softee, (10cents for a cone, 15 cents if you got sprinkles), and play night games, like "Bloody Wolf" "Ghost in the Graveyard" "Kick the Can"... I remember how great that air smelled when Mr. Softee would slide open the serving window and you could smell the ice cream. This was in Cincinnati before they went with Daylight Savings Time. Once they did that we were too old anyway, but the sun wouldn't set on a summer night until late late..
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:14 PM   #3
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Another great memory of Cincinnati, for a buck we could get a special bus that picked us up at the shopping plaza and delivered us to Crosley Field, Home of the Cincinnati Reds, and for another buck we could get into the game. What a great way for kids to spend 2 bucks, and an entire Saturday or Sunday.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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I used to play stickball until the street lights came on. Gym class and lunch recess at my Catholic school was a sweaty intense workout where we as kids would always play without a fear in the world. Nowadays kids are more lazy and do not know what organized sports and playtime is about based on the obesity rates of these young ones.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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I used to walk along the railroad tracks to kindergarten by myself. The trains didn't bother me.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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I used to walk along the railroad tracks to kindergarten by myself. The trains didn't bother me.
Similar here. I used to walk home from the bus stop or walk to the bus stop from my home where I grew up at 7 years old. Now soccer moms or dads line up in their minivans watching their kids get picked up by the school bus driver and or dropped off at the bus stop in the housing area where they live at. Sign of the times.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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We would play in the forest in our neighborhood all day and go ice skating without adult supervision at the creek. Suburbs of Phillly, PA.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:36 PM   #8
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In the 60's and 70's, the Puyallup valley in WA state was a big truck farming area. Berries, beans, cucumbers mostly. Most of it was harvested by hand. The local farmers ran buses all summer to ferry kids from the suburbs to work the fields. Child labor laws in WA state allowed kids to work starting at age 12 back then. The crews that harvested those crops were almost entirely local, middle class kids and almost entirely white.

A lot has changed. Those berry and vegetable fields are mostly suburbs and strip malls now. No one in their right mind would assume the liability for busing middle class suburban kids out to work the fields, even if the fields still existed.

At 12 years old, if I hit it pretty hard, I could make $6-$7 for a summer day jumping on a berry bus when I wanted to work. Which I did, most weekdays. I bought a mini-bike and a single barreled shotgun with money I made the summer I was 12

I broke my leg on that mini-bike later that fall.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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I think that even when we were kids, we had an idea that we were living a pretty idyllic life, now looking back it's even more clear that we were living the dream. My only regret is that they didn't get the fluoride into the water sooner!
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:50 PM   #10
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I saved up enough money when I was 14 to go to Mexico for 2 weeks -- without my family. I made it all the way to Acapulco before heading home to the Midwest.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:53 PM   #11
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Played with darts, threw balls, climbed on stuff over hard surfaces, and none of us died or even lost an eye.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:08 PM   #12
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Lived on a bayou and had an outboard boat. I ran around with friends in their boats fishing, skiing, cutting up when I was 12 or so. We would cut grass to buy enough gas to ski all day.
Had an abandoned cypress sawmill next door and practically lived there when a kid. Got chased many times by the old guy whose family owned it.
Grandparents lived on a farm nearby and spent summers there with my cousins. Chased the cows and occasionally got to wring a chicken's neck when I was fast enough. My cousins were all older and usually beat me to the chicken.
We also had to be home or at least nearby when it got dark.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:22 PM   #13
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Electric busses... rubber wheels... A very fond memory. The trolley wires ran all around Pawtucket. I could ride from my house (at the end of our street) all the way to my grandparents house on the other side of town... Ten cents, and two cents for the transfer that I had to make in the middle of town to go on a different bus.

Busses ran every half hour. circa 1936-1955. The Trolleys are the two connecting poles that went from the bus to the overhead wires. The more daring "bad" kids would run up behind the bus, and pull the trolleys off the wires, disabling the bus. Most of the people in our neighborhood didn't have cars. My dad and four more people on the street of perhaps 50-60 homes.

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Old 01-18-2019, 04:44 PM   #14
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We lived across the street from a small private college. We played over there every day. We flew kites in their field. We'd go to their orchard and pick apples and feed them to their horses. We picked cherries and took them home to Mom to make cherry pie. We would spend hours in their museum which had a mastodon skeleton and a mummy. In the basement of the museum was their science department and one time they gave me one of their lab rats for a pet. I named him Mickey. In the winter they would flood their tennis courts and we would ice skate for hours at night.

We had a small woods behind our house where we built forts. There was a bus depot behind the woods and whenever they would throw out their old bus seats we would drag them to our forts for furniture.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:12 PM   #15
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So many memories. We lived out in a rural area, but our neighbors had 6 kids. I remember picking wild strawberries with one of the girls, bringing home enough to make jelly.

Horses and cows in the area made for road apple fights during the summer. A school buddy would come out and we'd play in the creek during the winter. He had access to cherry bombs and we'd blow up large sections of the iced over creek. Camping out during the summer months.

There was an old fashioned bathtub in top of a nearby hill. One winter day my buddies and I rode it down the hill, it wasn't as much fun as you might imagine. However the owner saw us and made us return it. We tried to move it back with pullies and rope that wasn't working. Eventually there was an entire neighborhood moving a bathtub up a hill.

It was a pretty ideal environment.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:33 PM   #16
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We lived in a tenement slum in a three story house (rented the top floor). After my second sister was born, we are able to qualify for a rent in a housing project. In the projects, there were hundreds of young kids and we played a lot of stick ball and then some real baseball when I got to be a teen.

There were undeveloped woods around the project and a couple of friends and I would make a tent out of old bedsheets and camp out. That usually turned out to be a learning experience and maybe it's why I am not fond of camping to this day.

I also learned how to fight and protect myself as a youth living in the projects. There were many "not so nice" young boys around who liked to bully the smaller guys, of which I was one until I entered high school.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:37 PM   #17
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Threw a pillow at my little sister to get her to move the rabbit ears so we could get a better picture or change to one of the other two tv stations we got. That is up until midnight when they went off the air.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:55 PM   #18
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I walked to school and home from school. Uphill both ways.
Played a ton of baseball.
Rode my bike a lot.
Picked night crawlers for a penny each.
Cut grass at our house and for a few neighbors.
Spent a lot of time at my grandparents out in the country.
Went swimming in strip mine lakes almost daily in the summer.
Did some fishing and hunting.
Played outside all day long - till the streetlights came on.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:06 PM   #19
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I remember my parents had an old console TV when I was little, and the remote had two buttons, Channel and Power. They were huge buttons, about an inch tall, and they emitted this really high-pitched tone and th TV could only rotate the channel dial one stop. So if you overshot, you had to go all the way around again.

Now that I've Googled it, I think it was a Magnavox Phantom two-button remote.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Now that we know where you lived, how about things you did as a kid... before the days of play dates and organized kid sports?

When I was a kid, used to pick tar from the street, and chew it like gum.
...a little older, and smoked grape vine stems.
...and had to be home when the street lights came on.
... got swatted on the rear by neighbor Mrs. Allen for saying the swear word "dam". Straight arrow, she never told my mom.
...dipped Isabelle Miller's pigtail in the inkwell on my desk.
...read books under the blanket with a flashlight, when I was supposed to be sleeping.

... and you?
You sound pretty much like Penrod Schofield, a lad Booth Tarkington wrote about whose exploits figured large in my mind. My smoke was corn silk and I'd hang out with Sam and Waldo, the donkeys, and Spotted Horse, who affected a limp. None of them were into going anywhere with me on their back. Peeled chittum bark, picked strawberries and beans for money. Milked a few cows, fed and cared for our beef cattle, some pigs, chickens and a bee hive. Got into some dynamite blasting caps and fuse and primers and powder but still have a full complement of fingers and eyes. Shot arrows straight up into the air - game was to stay calm and watch for the arrow to turn at it's apex so I'd know which way to run. Lobbed an arrow at my sister and thought I'd killed her when she dropped - it just drew a little blood above her eye - and she calmed me down and was loyal to her older brother and didn't tell the folks how she got scuffed.
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