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 all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done and wore high heels; when you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped without asking, all for free, every time, and, you didn't pay for air, and you got trading stamps to boot.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents; when the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum; 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 yarn, so it would fit her finger.

And no one ever asked where the car keys were because 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, since no one ever had a key.

Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a ... " Remember jumping waves at the ocean (Gulf) for hours in that cold water; and playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game, because 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, because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?  And with all our progress, don't you wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace and share it with the children of today.

Remember 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.

Go back with me for a minute....
Before the Internet or the MAC...
before semi automatics and crack ...
before SEGA or Super Nintendo...
Way back ....
I'm talking about hide and go seek at dusk, red light, green light, kick the can, playing kickball & dodge ball until your porch light came on ... and mother may I?  red rover, hula hoops, roller skating to music, running through the sprinkler...

And. . . Catching lightning bugs in a jar; Christmas morning; your first day of school; bedtime prayers and goodnight kisses; climbing trees;  getting an ice cream off the ice cream truck; a million mosquito bites and sticky fingers; jumping on the bed; pillow fights; running till you were out of breath; laughing so hard your stomach hurt; being tired from playing; your first crush...remember that?
Remember when thought we’d be convicted and sent to prison if we removed those warning tags from pillows, lawn cushions, sleeping bags, etc., only to find out many years later that it is illegal to remove them BEFORE they are sold?

What about all the safety warnings, such as “Climbing or Pulling on this TV Cart will cause Television to tip over, often resulting in serious injury or death.”  Our warnings were: “Yeah, let that damn thing fall on you a time or two, and you won’t do it any more.”

I'm not finished yet. . .

Kool-Aid was the drink of summer, with the Funny Face drinks coming in a close second; toting your friends on your handle bars; wearing your new shoes on the first day of school and class field trips; Soaping windows on Halloween.  Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that! There's nothing like the good old days. They were good then, and they're good now when we think about them.
Share some of these thoughts with a friend who can relate, then share it with someone that missed out on them. I want to go back to the time when...
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" and mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do it over!" "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest; money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly;" catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening; making milk come out of your nose was funny, and it wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.

Being old referred to anyone over 20 and the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better; it was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park; getting a foot of snow was a dream come true; girls were gross (until we turned 12, at least).

Women wore hats in church every Sunday, and curlers in public at other times; on Sundays, you were preached Hellfire and Damnation by screaming preachers, and being rebellious meant going with your shirt tail out.


Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare" (Ed. Note: Or worse, a “triple-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 weapon; and older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors. And, despite of what anyone said, we knew that if we made funny or ugly faces, that our mouth wouldn’t grow that way for the rest of our lives. 

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!


Ed. Note:  The above memories are not (all) my work.  They were sent to me via e-mail.  Remember when there was no e-mail and we had to wait two or three days to get a letter?  Remember when stamps were 3¢ and Coca-Cola was 6¢ (and still called “Coca-Cola,” not “Coke.”) and a half-pint of milk (regular or chocolate) or an ice-cream sandwich or Push-Up was only 5¢; Gas was 29¢ a gallon; a Grit newspaper was 5¢ and a comic book was 10¢ ?  Remember when we still said “Hello” when we saw someone, and said “Yes Ma’am/No Ma’am or Yes Sir or No Sir to our elders?  Remember when the threat of a spanking was as bad as the spanking itself; when your parents made you cut a switch for your own spanking (and you’d cut a log instead, in hopes that your attempt at humor would get you “off the hook”); or when 9:00 p.m. was staying up late?  Remember Amos ‘n Andy, the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Ed Sullivan, Captain Kangaroo, Beanie & Cecil, Mighty Mouse, Sky King, Roy Rogers, and Romper Room?  Those were the days.


. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Hey, We Made It!!!


If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's............. 

Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. 

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.  (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.  Horrors.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.  After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.  No one was able to reach us all day. We also learned that, if you kick the pole hard enough, it would temporarily put out the street light.

No cell phones. Unthinkable. We played dodgeball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.  We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no law suits from these accidents.  They were accidents.  No one was to blame, but us.  Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugary soda but we were never overweight...we were always outside playing.  We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle, and no one died from this.

We did not have Playstations,  Nintendo 64, GameCubes, X-Boxes, video games at all,  99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround  sound, DVD players, personal cell  phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends.  We went outside and found them.  We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Imagine such a thing.  Without asking a parent!  By ourselves!  Out there in the cold cruel world!  Without a guardian!  How did we do it?

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment..... Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade..... Horrors!  Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

We didn’t have warning signs on TV carts that warned us not to climb on them, because they might tip over and cause injury.  Our warning was, “Yeah…Let that damn thing fall on you a couple of times, and you’ll learn !

We took knives to school to show our friends, not to take their life.  We used REAL firecrackers, and learned that the old M-80s and Cherry Bombs were good for making a lot of noise and blowing up tin cans (and the occasional frog), instead of blowing up each other.  We didn’t kill other people for their shoes.

We learned that there is no better honor than to receive a standing ovation, and to ALWAYS stand when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, or when the Star Spangled Banner was played.

Our actions were our own.  Consequences were expected.  No one to hide behind.  The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of.  They actually sided with the law, imagine that! 

We learned to respect the law, rather than to try to kill policemen.  We knew we’d get in trouble for stealing watermelons (but they sure tasted good), and, if caught, we’d have to do some chore, such as mow the grass of the person that owned the watermelons.

We learned that, when we sat down to the table, if we didn’t like what was on the plate, we ate it anyway, or went hungry.

Our youth taught us to build treehouses and forts, to dig caves, build our own soapbox racers, and that we could have just as much fun with our imagination, than with all the toys in the world.  We wanted to go camping every night, and to read comic books all day.  When we were kids, we knew what a womanless wedding or a donkey ballgame was, and also knew that, when we saw someone wearing earrings, they were either women, or a man in a womanless wedding (or, in my case, a pirate).  Bowties were cool.  Baths were optional.  Our generation didn’t have 97% fewer cavities because we had 97% fewer teeth.

We actually worried because the rabbit never got the Trix, and that nothing – I repeat – NOTHING was ever better than mama’s fried chicken.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.  The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

We learned that, although we tried to get away with it as an excuse, the dog rarely ate our homework.

And, if you’ve experienced any of these things, you're one of the lucky ones.


. . . . . . . . . . . . .



If I knew it would be the last time
      That I'd see you fall asleep,
            I would tuck you in more tightly
                and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

                If I knew it would be the last time
                that I see you walk out the door,
             I would give you a hug and kiss
               and call you back for one more.

                If I knew it would be the last time
                I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
                I would video tape each action and word,
                so I could play them back day after day.

               If I knew it would be the last time,
              I could spare an extra minute
              to stop and say "I LOVE YOU,"
                instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

                If I knew it would be the last time
                I would be there to share your day,
                Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
                so I can let just this one slip away.

                For surely there's always tomorrow
               to make up for an oversight,
                and we always get a second chance
                to make everything just right.

                There will always be another day
                to say "I LOVE YOU,"
                And certainly there's another chance
                to say our "Anything I can do?"

                But just in case I might be wrong,
                and today is all I get,
                I'd like to say how much I love you
                and I hope we never forget.

                Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
                young or old alike,
                And today may be the last chance
                you get to hold your loved one tight.

                So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
                why not do it today?
                For if tomorrow never comes,
                you'll surely regret the day,

                That you didn't take that extra time
                for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
                and you were too busy to grant someone,
                what turned out to be their one last wish.

                So hold your loved ones close today,
                and whisper in their ear,
                Tell them how much you love them
                and that you'll always hold them dear

                Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
                "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
                And if tomorrow never comes,
                you'll have no regrets about today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse.  For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the
middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be
seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what Ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize
he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.



The Land That Made Me "Me"




Long ago and far away,


In a land that time forgot,


Before the days of Dylan,


Or the dawn of Camelot.




There lived a race of innocents,


And they were you and me,


Long ago and far away


In the Land That Made Me Me.




Oh, there was truth and goodness


In that land where we were born,


Where navels were for oranges,


And  Peyton Place was porn.




For Ike was in the White House,


And Hoss was on TV,


And God was in His heaven


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We learned to gut a muffler,


We washed our hair at dawn,


We spread our crinolines to dry


In circles on the lawn.




And they could hear us coming


All the way to Tennessee ,


All starched and sprayed and rumbling


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We longed  for love and romance,


And waited for the prince,


And Eddie Fisher married Liz,


And no one's seen him since.




We danced  to "Little Darlin'",


And Sang to "Stagger Lee"


And cried for Buddy Holly


In the Land That Made Me Me.




Only girls wore earrings then,


And three was one too many,


And only boys wore flat-top cuts,


Except  for Jean McKinney




And only in our wildest dreams


Did we expect to see


A boy named George, with Lipstick


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We fell  for Frankie Avalon,


Annette was oh, so nice,


And when they made a movie,


They never made it twice.




We didn't have a Star Trek Five,


Or Psycho Two and Three,


Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty


In the Land That Made Me Me.




Miss  Kitty had a heart of gold,


And Chester had a limp,


And Reagan  was a Democrat


Whose co-star was a chimp.




We had a Mr Wizard,


But not a Mr T,


And Oprah couldn't talk yet


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We had our share of heroes,


We never thought they'd go,


At least not Bobby Darin,


Or Marilyn Monroe.




For youth was still eternal,


And life was yet to be,


And Elvis was forever,


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We'd  never seen the rock band


That was Grateful to be Dead,


And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson ,


And Zeppelins weren't Led.




And Beatles lived in gardens then,


And Monkees in a tree,


Madonna was a virgin


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We'd  never heard of Microwaves,


Or telephones in cars,


And babies might be bottle-fed,


But they weren't grown in jars.




And pumping iron got wrinkles out,


And "gay" meant  fancy-free,


And dorms were never coed


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We hadn't seen enough of jets


To talk about the lag,


And microchips were what was left


at  the bottom of the bag.




And Hardware was a box of nails,


And bytes came from a flea,


And rocket ships were fiction


In the Land That Made Me Me.




Buicks came with portholes,


And side show came with freaks,


And bathing suits came big enough


To cover both your cheeks.




And Coke came just in bottles,


And skirts came to the knee,


And Castro came to power


In the Land That Made Me Me.




We had no Crest with Fluoride,


We had no Hill Street Blues,


We all wore superstructure bras


Designed by Howard Hughes.




We had no patterned pantyhose


Or Lipton herbal tea


Or prime-time ads for condoms


In the Land That Made Me  Me.




There  were no golden arches,


No Perrier to chill,


And fish were not called Wanda,


And cats were not called Bill.




And middle-aged was thirty-five


And old was forty-three,


And ancient was our parents


In the Land That Made Me Me.




But all things have a season,


Or so we've heard them say,


And now instead of Maybelline


We swear by Retin-A.




And they send us invitations


To join A A R P,


We've come a long way, baby,


From the Land That Made Me Me.




So now we face a brave new world


In slightly larger jeans,


And wonder why they're using


Smaller print in magazines.




And we tell our children's children


Of the way it used to be,


Long ago, and far away


In the Land That Made Me Me.