If you are old enough…take this stroll…close your eyes. Go back…before the Internet…before semi-automatics and drugs…before SEGA or Super Nintendo…
We’re talking ’bout hide and go seek at dusk. Sitting on the porch, Simon Says, Kick the Can, Red Light, Green Light. Lunch Boxes with a Thermos…that broke, Chocolate milk, going home for lunch, Penny Candy from the store, Hopscotch, butterscotch, skates with keys, Jacks, Mother May I?
Hula Hoops, and Sunflower seeds, Whist and Old Maid and Crazy Eights, Wax lips and mustaches, Mary Jane’s, saddle shoes and Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom, Running through the sprinkler, circle pins, bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Fran & Ollie, Spin & Marty…all in black & white.
When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere. Bedtime, climbing trees, making forts in the backyard… A coaster made from orange crates and an old skate, Backyard Shows, Lemonade stands, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Sitting on the curb, Staring at clouds, Jumping down the steps, Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights, “company,” Ribbon candy, angel hair on the Christmas tree,
Jackie Gleason as “the Poor Soul,” white gloves, walking to church, walking to the Community Center, Being tickled “to death”, Running till you were out of breath, Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt, Being tired from playin’…Remember that?
Not stepping on a crack…or you’ll break your mother’s back… Paper chains at Christmas, bobbing for apples and popcorn balls on Halloween, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington…the smell of paste, book bags and Evening in Paris…
What about the girl that had the big bubbly handwriting…who dotted her “I’s” with hearts?? The Stroll, “fruit loops” on the backs of shirts & sock hops.
When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds and PF Flyers) and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym.” And the girls had those ugly uniforms. When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up. When nearly everyone’s Mom was at home when the kids got home from school. When nobody owned a purebred dog.
When a quarter was a decent allowance and another quarter a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces. When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels.
When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time. And, you didn’t pay for air. And, you got trading stamps to boot.
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes, or towels hidden inside the box.
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. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed… and did. When the worst thing you could do at school was flunking a test or chew gum. And the prom was in the auditorium and we danced to an orchestra, and all the girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time and we stayed out all night.
When a ‘57 Chevy was everyone’s dream car… to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger. And no one ever asked where the car keys were, ’cause they were always in the car, in the ignition and the doors were never locked. And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home. No one ever had a key.
And lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like, “That cloud looks like a……..”. And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Then…baseball was not a psychological group learning experience, ….it was a game.
Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals, ’cause no one had yet to poison a perfect stranger. And…with all our progress… don’t you just wish…just once…you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace … and share it with the children of the 80’s and 90’s…??????
So send this on to someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and the Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow knows…Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk…as well as the sound of a reel mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides, playing in Cowboy land, baseball games, bowling and visits to the pool…and eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar.
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat, but we all survived because their love was greater than the threat.
Didn’t that feel good, just to go back and say, “Yeah, I remember that”?
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