Take a break from grown up life! Go Ahead - Close your eyes ... and go back ... way back ... I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk. Sittin' on the porch, Hot bread and butter. The ice cream man, Eatin' a 'super dooper sandwich', 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, blowpops, Mary Janes, and Alexander the grape. Running through the sprinkler (I can't get wet! All right, well don't wet my hair ...) The smell of the sun and lickin' salty lips ... to the time when ...
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo." Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!" "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly." Catching the fireflies 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 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 dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. Nobody was prettier than Mom. 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. Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare." Saturday morning TV had real live actors not cartoons that are 30-minute ads for action figures. No shopping trip was complete, unless a new toy was brought home. "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 or ballons in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. (and STILL is as far as I am concerned). Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors. When around the corner seemed far away, And going downtown seemed like going somewhere.
Bedtime, Climbing trees, A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Sitting on the curb, Jumping down the steps, Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights, Being tickled to death, Running till you were out of breath, Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt, Being tired from playin'. Crowding around 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?? Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar ... Remember that?
Remember 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." It took five minutes for the TV to warm up. Nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there. Nobody owned a purebred dog. A quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus. You'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
Girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. Your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces. All of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done, everyday. 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! The laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.
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. It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents. They threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed ... and did! 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! And some of us are still afraid of em!!!
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED too!!!! And 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 may need a break from their "grown up" life or someone that missed out on them ... trust me, they'll appreciate it. One can't be serious ALL the time, eh? I Double Dog Dare Ya!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knows maybe something good will happen. If not ... tough shit.
Wait ... I Ain't Finished Just Yet ... I grew up in St. Clair and moved to Rolla, Missouri my Junior year of high school. Although both qualified for small, St. Clair was a lot smaller with less than 600 folks when I was seven. I was behind one whole year in high school when I moved (freshmen took geometry) to Rolla in 1965. Small towns ... were places where ...
You said the 'F' word and your parents knew within the hour. You could name everyone you graduated with and you knew what 4-H was. You used to drag main and it was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower. The town's social events were their children's. You didn't give directions by street names or directions but by references (turn by Nelson's house, go two blocks past Anderson's, and it's four houses left of the track field). Directions were given using "the" stop light as a reference and getting paid minimum wage was considered a raise. You refered to anyone with a house newer than 1980 as the "rich people" and the CC golf course had only 9 holes.
You went to parties in a pasture, a barn, or in the middle of a dirt road. Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this reason. You went cow-tipping or snipe hunting. You get a whiff of manure and think of home. You ever went to "headlight parties" and you had parties at the same guy's house. You partied with a guy who was 25, had no job, but was the 'buyer' for all of the best parties. You scheduled parties around the schedule of different police officers, since you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn't - same goes with the game warden.
School got canceled for state events. You were in the Homecoming parade and you go home for Homecoming. You had senior skip day. You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends drove a grain truck to school occasionally. Football coaches suggested that you haul hay for the summer to get stronger and your letter jacket was worn after your 19th birthday. You took a trailer or dog to school on a daily basis. The whole school went to the same party after graduation. Your teachers call you by your older siblings names and your teachers remember when they taught your parents.
You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you weren't old enough, they'd tell your parents anyhow). When you did find someone old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out to the country and drive on back roads to smoke them. Social acceptance in town depended on the approval of the five old (but rich) hags that met each morning at the donut shop for the latest smut and the only 'clique' that nobody would be nice to was the skurves across the street.
On Friday nights, fun consisted of standing in line for the one screen theater and since it was sold out, watching truckers and drinking coffee at the truck stop (the only place open after 10). Weekend excitement involved a trip to a Wal-Mart. It was cool to date someone from the neighboring town. You went for a walk in the cemetery, on a date and you couldn't help but date a friend's ex-girlfriend.
The city council met at the coffee shop. You bragged to your friends because you got pipes on your truck for your birthday and you thought kids that rode skateboards were weird. The town next to you was considered "trashy" or "snooty", but was actually just like your town. The people in the "big" city dressed funny, then you picked-up on the trend two years later. Anyone you wanted could be found at either the Dairy Queen or the feed store. Even the ugly people entered beauty contests. You decided to walk somewhere for exercise and 5 people pulled over and asked if you needed a ride. You could charge at all the local stores. The closest McDonald's was 45 miles away and the closest mall was over an hour away. You fixed up to go buy milk lest anyone started the rumor that you have gained weight or quit taking care of youself. No place sold gas on Sunday. You had to drive an hour to buy a pair of socks, so you ordered your waredrobe out of a catalog.
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