(I found this over at http://www.barefootsworld.net/. I have seen it in various versions over the years and just felt like putting it up here.) The decision being contemplated out at Berkley High School in California had me reminiscing.
Before the Internet or the PC or MAC.Before the drug war and crack.
Before chronic and Ritalin and dysfunctional.
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo.
Way back . . .
I’m talkin’ bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Red light, Green light. Chocolate milk, Lunch tickets. Penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch, jacks, kickball, dodgeball, y’all!??
Mother May I?
Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds, Jolly Ranchers, blow pops, Mary Janes, Grape and Watermelon Now-Laters? Alexander the Grape, and Lemonheads.
When the ice cream man came jingling down the street, kids coming running from blocks around, and eating a ‘super dooper sandwich’ for a nickel.
Running through the sprinkler . . . The smell of the sun and licking salty lips . . .?
Watching Saturday Morning cartoons at the Rialto, all day for 10¢. And if your allowance was a quarter, you had enough left over for 2 bags of popcorn and a soda!!
The National Anthem was played and we all stood, hands on our heart, as the curtains opened before the NewsReel and the first movie, Our Gang, the Bowery Boys, The Three Stooges.
Intermission — for all the kids to go running for whatever they needed to do most… The best part was the cartoons, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, Porky Pig, —— and Bugs.
Then THE REAL DEAL — Tarzan, Jungle Jim, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Wild Bill Hickok, Errol Flynn, The Lone Ranger, Sky King, The Invisible Man, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff —
Do You Remember That???
And a pocket full of dried peas and a peashooter??
Catching lightening bugs in a jar, playing sling shot and crack the whip?
When around the corner seemed far away,
And going downtown seemed like really going somewhere?
Climbing trees and getting sticky fingers, and a million mosquito bites?
Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians. Running till you were out of breath, then sitting on the curb and watching the stars? (You could see them then, ’cause the nearest street light was two blocks away at the trolley stop.)
Sitting in an old apple tree and eating as many green apples as you could without worrying about the green apple trots.
Going shoe skating (without real ice skates) with friends on the old slough that froze over in winter.
Bedtime . . . Jumping on the bed, pillow fights, being tickled to death, laughing so hard that your stomach hurt?
Being tired from playing…. Remember that?
Crowding in a circle around the ‘after school fight’, then running when the teacher came?
What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing??
Do you remember each of the many loves you have had through life?
Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar
When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for "gym?"
When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up?
When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there?
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 up, everyday?
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 nobody was prettier than mom. And scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box? When flour came in 50lb. and 100lb. printed cotton sacks for Mom to make pretty new dresses and blouses for your sisters?
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 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!!
When we were taught the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for United States in school and knew what they meant, and we said the Pledge of Allegiance every day in the first class of the morning.
When a hobo came to your door, you’d open the door and help them, never fearing for your life….you were just helping another who was experiencing rough times.
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 issues" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.
Catching lightning bugs could happily occupy an entire evening.
It wasn’t odd to have two or three "best" friends.
Being old referred to anyone over 20.
The net on a tennis court or the neighbor’s fence was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
It was magic when Dad would "remove" his thumb.
It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
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.
Grandpa said "Pull my finger."
Grandma would hide cookies for you.
Abilities you didn’t know you had were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare".
Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute ads for action figures.
Do you remember when . . . "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense?
Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?
War was a card game?
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?
Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin?
Home-made fresh peach or strawberry ice cream from real thick cream skimmed off the top of the bottles was considered a basic food group? (You mean it isn’t???!!!?)
Your older siblings were your worst tormentors, but also your fiercest protectors?
Feeling the unrelenting love and warmth that comes from hugging a fuzzy puppy while it happily licks your face away…and all you can do is just giggle.
Being really thankful for all the good things in life that you’ve experienced, and having the knowledge to know that bad things were secondary and temporary, and they only came along to make you appreciate the good things more.
The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?