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How did we ever survive?


Registered Member
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes too, our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag not in icepack coolers, but I can't remember getting e coli?

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson [and provided comic relief] by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. I can't understand it. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion or condoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway) but they did give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting the sniffles.

What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant lot, built forts out of branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot? He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm. Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat. We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too and then we got butt spanked again when we got home.

Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks (Remember why Tonka trucks were made tough .. it wasn't so that they could take the rough Berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car with leaded gas.

Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent

Summers were spent behind the push lawn mower and I didn't even know that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive. How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren't the only psychos. I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?



Registered Member
Just to add a little more to that... someone emailed me this one:


1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they
carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored
lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we
rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took

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

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE
actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but
we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

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. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride 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 did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no
99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell
phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat
rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

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 in us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang
the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't
had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law!


Registered Member
Here's a few things I remember...

I remember being dared by my friend's mom to drink a raw egg. It was the grossest thing I ever did, but I lived to tell the tale.

I grew up in a small town. During hunting season, many high schoolers would have their shotguns in the trunks of their cars and that was allowed. I'm sure that isn't allowed anymore.

Things have really changed, haven't they.


Registered Member
Ya know.....as cool as right now is with all the great stuff......I'd go back there in a second. Life was so much more simple then (and not in a bad way) for a kid. I wouldn't want to be a kid/teen now for anything! Same for adults......man the worries we have now compared to then? Amazing if you really think about it.


Registered Member
I agree Nanner. My son is 3 right now and to think what he will face as a teenager is depressing. It seems like there is a huge rush to get kids to grow up sooner. In my son's pre-school class last year, they were teaching the kids the alphabet. I didn't learn that until kindergarten from the letter people. I have a friend who has a 3rd grader. He brings home 2 hours of homework a night and sometimes has 3+ tests a day. That just seems like too much for a child so young.


Registered Member
A friend & I were having this discussion the other day...about how much times have changed. I remembered that I didn't get introduced to a computer until either middle or high school. Now they're putting them in pre-schools. Just amazes me how much has changed over the past 30 years when you really take a good look at it all. And I would go back to those simpler days in a heartbeat!


Registered Member
Well, I am one who did survive this era !! But you forgot a few things,, like taking whiskey over sugar for a cough, or Grandads snuff made into a paste (sometimes straight from his mouth) for a bee sting, and our parents being dumb enough to actually let us play with knives or guns without worrying that we would take out the entire school system !! And the police in our town actually having the nerve to take you home and tell your parents when you got caught doing something wrong(for which you got an amazing Butt licking with a belt or with a switch from a tree) or worse, a paddle !! And do you remember the electric paddle we all got threatened with in school? It really is amazing how we all grew up so "normal" isn`t it ????


Registered Member
I agree I would go back to that time in an instant! And I remember grandma making us stay outside and play in the middle of summer even though it was hot! Didnt' kill us! We walked a good mile to each others houses to hang out and there were no worries of some phycho picking us up.......Video's didn't come on tv until midnight, and then you NEVER saw some half naked woman bouncing her butt all over the screen! (do ya'll remember Friday night videos?)


Registered Member
When I was small (and was living with my family)..................

We would have lemonade stands and people would really stop and buy some! We would play "follow the leader" down the sidewalk on main street. (lived in a small town) We could play in the woods all day in the middle of summer when the snakes were out. Could go over to the towns land where they kept equipment and play inside of the big cement drain pipes like go under the road. We could climb the water tower and not go to jail or get shot down. lol Could walk to the store all by our selves. Run all over the neighborhood all day till dark. Could climb the neighbors trees without them running us out. We didnt have our parents telling us if you see a car slow down by you, or someone walking by that you dont know "run and scream help"......