this is how it was... From Diane B TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO SURVIVED THE 50's,60's and 70's Some interesting thoughts on life today compared to our growing up years. Thanks to my friend Joe V. for much of this content. First, we all survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, drank wine, and ate all kinds of sweets and unhealthy foods(by today's standards), and didn't ever need to get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with lead-based paints and bars wide enough to fit our heads through. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, no childproofing of doors or cabinets. There weren't any safety plugs in the electric outlets and some of us learned the hard way, not to stick scissors, knives, or forks into them. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no crumple zones to absorb accident damage, no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Only metal dashboards to stop our heads in an accident. My mother's right arm was our only safety constraint. I lived over a mile from elementary school, and even in the harshest cold and snow in Winter, we actually walked to and from school. No buses, or being chauffeured by a parent. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets to protect our heads, and no reflectors or any other safety equipment. Many of us rode on the handlebars, downhill! And, we didn't need any fancy 5, 10, or 15 speed bikes, one speed was all we had! Slow, unless you were going downhill! We drank water from the kitchen faucet and garden hose and NOT from a bottle or refrigerated cooler. This was particularly risky in a town if you drank from the well water! We fished and swam in most likely semi polluted rivers and lakes, and we survived. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and none of us actually got sick or died from this. We ate loads of Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies, white bread and real butter, drank Hood's Farms' whole milk chock full of fat, ate Brigham's ice cream full of fat, ate too many rare hamburgers and too much pizza, and drank Kool-Aid made with real sugar, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, with no supervision, and as long as we were back home by the time the streetlights came on, there was never any panic or concern. Some parents would yell or whistle loudly when it was time to come home. Other than that, no one was able to reach us all day long. And we were just fine. We would spend hours building our go-carts and mini-bikes out of scraps only to find out we had no brakes and an engine from an old lawnmower. But, we adapted. After running into the bushes a few times, or wear out the soles of our shoes, we learned to solve that problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 250 channels on cable or satellite TV, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet, Twitter or chat rooms! Most of us didn't have air-conditioning in our homes, if we were lucky we had a fan that only blew hot air on us, somehow we survived. Not even color TV, if you had a TV. And, there was no remote control either. I was the remote, my parents would tell me to get up and change the channel, of which there were only three! Late night and early morning TV consisted of a test pattern! I still remember for those Saturday morning cartoons to come on. But, somehow we survived. We had real life 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. Some of us ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and now they say that actually was good for us, ingesting some of the minerals and other organic matter. It probably kept us from getting otherwise sick, that today's kids would be very prone to. Leading us to the next situation. We never heard of ADD, ADHD, Bi-Polar, PTSD, and never needed any Prozac, Adderall, Ritalin or any other of the alphabet of drugs they give kids today. Boys were given BB guns for our 10th or 11th Birthdays which we proudly brought to school for "Show & Tell". Today, we'd be going to jail and expelled from school. We were left to our own devices, and made up games, or just threw sticks and rocks at each other, and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes. Although I came close, I remember my brother and I throwing metal sharp pointed darts at each other in our basement, and I got one stuck in his forehead. He just pulled it out and we kept on throwing. Today, a parent would call 911. We rode bikes or walked to friends' homes and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! And their parents! Imagine that! And we knew all our neighbors, and they knew us. If we got out of line, our parents would always find out about it. Little League and Pee Wee Football had actual tryouts, often having to walk or ride our dangerous bikes to parks miles away. And back then, not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! Today they get a trophy just for showing up! The idea of a parent bailing our asses out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law and the police officers! And knew their names, as they were usually friends! Now, they get sued if they arrest little Johnny who just happens to be high on drugs and robbing a convenience store. And teachers could actually discipline us without getting sued or fired. Despite everything we endured, Our generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. But we had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all! ....Congratulations to all my friends that survived that what in today's terms would be considered a dangerous and unhealthy time. But, what did we know, we were too busy having fun, spending quality time with our parents and friends. And, I wouldn't trade it for anything. The real litinus test would be that although we(people around my age) are surviving pretty well with all the technology and new rules of the new world, but could today's generation have survived in ours the way we grew up?