For those born between 1930 and 1979

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930s, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

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

    They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

    Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored le ad-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 hitchhiking.

    As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, 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, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, 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 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or 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 ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

    We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

    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!

    These 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. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

    If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

    You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
    for our own good</ I> .

    While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

    Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    The last sentence sent me over the edge! OMG! When we closed on the house, my husband and I walked in and I swear to all that is holy, I pulled a pair of scissors out of my purse and ran through the whole house!

    He just stood there looking at me like I was insane (I was) and said "What the hell are you doing?"

    I yelled from the upstairs "My house, my rules - Moooohahaha! I'm running with scissors!"

    I love that write up! Fantastic!

    (born in 64 dirtrat!)
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Oh, by the way, I saw to it my kids were raised basically the same way. :D
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And people wonder what is wrong with society these days???
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    This is all SO true! I almost feel sorry for kids today that they will never know the pure freedom to just be a kid that we had! I was born in 1946 and honestly, if today's parents raised their kids the way our parents raised us, they'd probably all be arrested for child neglect! We ran all over the neighborhood when we were very small, as soon as we had sense enough to stay out of the streets. When we got older we had bikes and covered even more territory. If you fell off your bike, you figured out what you did wrong and tried not to do that again! It makes me giggle now but when we were kids, if we had to wear helmets and be slathered with sun screen and our bikes covered in reflectors, we would have been so humiliated we'd have stayed home! And it's true - as long as you showed up at home for dinner, nobody worried. If you got in trouble at school, you'd be in trouble at home too and nobody sued anybody. If you climbed a tree in the neighbors yard and then fell out, your parents assumed that you had learned to be more careful next time - and they didn't sue the neighbor! We drank soft drinks out of glass bottles (and took them back to get the deposit) and I don't remember anyone ever getting injured with them! Now even the plastic bottles have a warning label on them that the cap could blow off and put your eye out! Oh, please!

    We got brown from playing outside all day in the summer and nobody worried that it would kill us! We played in the dirt and dug worms in the yard and washed our hands only when forced to. And most of us had great immune systems and didn't get sick all that often, and if we did we only went to the doctor if we didn't seem to be getting over it on our own. And it's true - there were very, very few overweight kids back then because we were so much more physically active than they are now. We had no video games, no computers, and only three channels on the TV - go figure!
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Don't forget, if the neighbor spanked you for misbehaving, your parents responded by telling the neighbor "Thanks, feel free to spank her any time she tries something like that."
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    It's so funny when I get talking with old friends my age about how different things were back then! I honestly think kids today are much "softer" than we were and that's not necessarily good! I've recently reconnected with a girl who was my best friend back when we were kids and we were marveling at the differences! She said her grandkids are being raised to think that caffeine is practically poison and that they'll be ruined for life if they eat anything with sugar in it! They lecture her every time she drinks a cup of coffee! And we ate cupcakes full of real sugar and lived to tell the tale! And we weren't even afraid to eat what the neighbors put in our bags for Halloween! We actually managed to survive our childhood without hand sanitizer if you can believe that! And somehow we managed to survive sweltering St. Louis summers without air conditioning! Nobody's house was air conditioned! Nobody's car was air conditioned either! Yeah, you were hot but you learned to live with it. There were four kids in my cousins family and they lived in a tiny 2-bedroom house. When it got hot at night, they'd open the front door and they'd all sleep on the floor in front of the screen door! Even the schools weren't air conditioned back then - not even fans. Now, if the A/C goes out in the schools they declare it a "health hazard" and close the schools down! We must have been really tough kids back then and didn't even know it!
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    61 was for me.

    I grew up playing the 'dictionary game' for sake. It's cold out, we're bored, so we'd challenge each other to who could find it first. Ok...that's nerd entertainment, but we loved it.

    Times certainly have changed.

  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    So true.

    But then I look at my current physical condition and remember all the thermometers we would 'accidentally' break just so we could play with the mercury. :tongue:
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Spent many a day dancing in the back of the carpeted van! While my Adopted Dad smoked pot with the windows up!!! OK maybe I am not that OK! LOL
    But I survivied... 1969!!!
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    OMG Heather! We did that so many times. Too funny
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, there's a lot on this list that I still do. And difficult child "tattles" them all to tdocs who want to change me. And- some natural consequences that I'd like to enforce with my son would be considered negelct. For instance- "you don't go to the store with me, then we don't have food and I don't cook dinner".
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    It IS very sad that our kids will never know the freedom that we knew.

    Lots of things have changed. It is hardly safe to let your kids stay outside all day. First, there are way more cars on the road. Also a lot more predators. Oh, and drive-bys.

    These kids may be softer, but the world is a whole lot scarier.

    After we run with scissors, can we eat some paste?
  14. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    OMG. We used to play with Mercury in cooking class. We'd shoot the beads back and forth to each other. Wait...maybe there is a common thread here.

    If you're interested, this is a section in my book on this topic:

    We are a privileged generation for the most part and haven’t had to deal with many of the struggles our ancestors have had in the past. Many of us have forgotten things we should remember, appreciate, and pass down to our children. We generally have our health, our homes, food, and family members who love us. Most of us have not had to go to war, sewn our own clothes, or ration the weekly bath between multiple family members. They didn’t live in a five bedroom, four-bathroom house with a maid and gardener. They didn’t have their own cars, and if they did, it was an old beater that you had to fix yourself with parts from the junkyard. There were no cell phones, so if you needed to contact someone in an emergency, you had to find the dime and the phone booth to call home and hope they had a working phone. If not, you hoofed it on foot to your house and got a good lecture by mom and maybe a whooping by dad when you got there because you were late. I know I had to pick more than one willow switch from the tree for a ‘lecture.’

    Graduating from High School was a luxury. Many kids were taken out of schools to work the farm, or go to war. Even though, many people made remarkable lives without having this degree.

    My mother married at 14, had two children by 16, then me at 21. When I asked my Grandmother Gilbert how she could let her daughter marry at 14 and move to Germany with my military father…well, that’s another long story. She always said, “That’s just the way it was in those days.” My Grandmother was probably the wisest person I’ve ever met.

    My Grandmother, born in 1888, bless her heart, had 18 children. Her given name was Arvid, but she always went by Jane. She always laughed and said, “Every time Grandpa hung his pants on the bedpost I’d have another baby.” Only five of her children lived to adulthood, my mother being the youngest of them.

    She was an early settler in South Dakota so there wasn’t a lot of heath care. In fact, there was none. On her deathbed at 95, she was reduced to a small box of her belongings. When I knew she was failing, I flew back home to see her. I sat by her side for a week and went through each of the items with her talking about all the history and what each item meant to her. I was saddened to see that her 95 years of incredible life was reduced to a box, but she seemed to enjoy the memories and reminiscing about them. She would never let me record her stories. I asked over and over again. It’s amazing what you don’t know about someone.

    Grandma Gilbert had hand written notes of her children’s births where the midwife service, if there was one…most times it was a neighbor who lived miles down the road, was traded for a chicken or two. Sometimes, she gave birth alone. My Grandfather, Joseph Gilbert, was out tending whatever fields and livestock they had at basically what is the base of Mount Rushmore. Imagine that. Now, we pay thousands of dollars for a doctor who ‘might’ show up.

    The hardest note to read was her son’s suicide note that he wrote after coming back from WWII. He saw things no person should ever have to see. In the end, it was his memories that killed him. He couldn’t make his mind forget the hundreds of tragedies he experienced in the past few years. His note was about sleeping in a muddy, cold, snow ridden trench for days on end, then seeing his friend of a week who slept right next to him being killed by a grenade. This was not the first time for him. He had seen many friends die. If you were lucky enough to have a friend for more than a few weeks during that war, you were extremely fortunate. He ended up committing suicide in a lonely car down the road from his mother’s house with an exhaust pipe through the window. I wish I could have met him.

    My Grandmother said it was the most painful thing she’d ever gone through in 95 years. She’d lost other children, but it was because of illness and lack of healthcare. This death was because of a man-made war. She never understood how people could be so intolerant of each other. “Wars are for fools,” she’d always say. If she were alive today, I’d have her run for President.

    My last visit was the week before she passed away. She was alert as an eagle, but her body was failing her. Although her mind was completely intact, her bones were literally crushing by the day. She passed away a week later after I had gone home. It was probably one of the most heartbreaking, yet most memorable times of my life.

    When she passed, I had no money at the time so flying back for the funeral was not an option, but I’ll never forget the time I had sharing her stories and memories. All I have from my Grandmother is a little brown leather coin case that was my Grandfather’s and lots of great memories that I treasure to this day. I never had the pleasure of meeting my Grandfather Gilbert as he passed on before I was born, but would have liked to have met this spicy, hard-working fellow.

    In the pouch was a lucky coin. The coin had an inscription on it that says, ‘Linnie Jo Todd Lex.’ On the flip side, it simply said, “Good Luck.” I’m not sure what that means, and have spent hours and hours trying to find out, but it obviously was important enough to my grandparents to pass it on to me. The coin is very weathered, but this is yet another journey for me to find out it’s significance.

    The only other thing in the pouch was a ring. It appears to be a class ring, but is so old the writing and emblems have worn off. My Grandfather never made it past the sixth grade, so I doubt it was his. My Grandmother left New York as an immigrant at the age of 14 riding horse back to South Dakota, stowing away on trains, so it was most likely not hers either.

    I carry the pouch with me every single minute as a reminder of my heritage. It’s a reminder of the people who came before me and have shaped the life I now live. They are due credit.

    Grandma was a peach and probably one of the most important people in my life. She grew with the decades. When she became virtually blind at about 90, she learned Braille on her own. She could cook, clean, and take her medicines without any help.

    The one thing she never conquered was driving. Eons ago she lost her brakes literally on Strawberry Hill and got into a big accident. That car sat in her garage for the next 50 years. That car sat there like an icon. She never drove again. I don’t remember her ever asking for a ride some place, but was always grateful when I came around.

    I so miss the Saturday mornings where I’d show up and take her grocery shopping, then go back and style her hair for the week. She’d get a good shampoo, lots of rollers, then TONS of Aqua Net to keep it nicely for the next week. Actually, I don’t think she really cared a squat about the hairdo. She just wanted companionship.

    I miss you Grandma.


    Times were definetely different. We'd play ball, kick the can, hide and seek until we heard the hollar - TIME TO COME IN!!!
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    BBK I don't know about there actuallly being less predators back then. I didn't grow up in a big city, yet can recall many, many instances of strangers stalking kids. Was the target a few times. But Mom drilled into us the Don't Talk To Strangers thing and we had what they called Block Mothers who had a huge blue star posted in their front window. If you were in trouble, you knew to head to a house with a big blue star and they'd help you. I had to do that a handful of times as a kid.

    I do think kids are coddled more these days, and I don't give a hoot that if I'm not politically correct in saying so. I've had to introduce Darrin to dirt, for Pete's sake! Who has to introduce a boy to dirt?? Of course, much to easy child's horror, the kid fell in love with getting dirty. lol Last week Darrin "built" a dog house from sticks and rocks gathered in the yard. Kept him busy for hours with his Tonka dump truck. easy child couldn't believe it. Told her I didn't know why, it's how she played as a kid. I bought him a cap gun for xmas and I thought she'd stroke. :tongue: Now he has toy guns coming out his ears.

    Hey, anyone remember the 10 second rule? :rofl: My grands know it. ;)

    My kids never wore bike helmets. They learned to be careful instead. They never wore knee and elbow pads to skate. They learned how not to fall down. My kids never wore sunscreen. (I'm allergic to it and so is Nichole) My kids spent any day over 45 degrees outside. Cable was shut off in the summer.

    Playing in the rain. Mom never let us. My kids played in the rain as long as it wasn't storming and was warm enough. They LOVED it. Playing in the mud. I just hosed them off on the patio before leading them to the tub. lol

    Kids are getting cheated out of so much these days. I caution my kids from buying too many electronic toys for the grands. And I won't buy them at all. (didn't for mine either) I only buy the good ol' toys that require no batteries and little kid imagination. So far they seem to be the favs.

    No wonder kids whine they're bored. sigh
  16. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Wow, Abbey! Your grandmother sounds so much like mine (my dad's mother), even from the same era. My grandmother was born in 1885 but always, even in her 90's, she told people it was 1886 to make herself one year younger! She even had 1886 put on her tombstone as her date of birth.

    I think most of us, even people my age who grew up in the 50's and 60's, have no idea just how good we really had it! I never knew much about my grandmothers background, other than that her parents had come from Germany. She never talked about it, at least not with us grandkids. Then, a few years ago, long after she died, I got a Christmas gift from one of my cousins. It was a inch-thick spiral-bound book giving the history of my grandmothers family, complete with family trees and lots of pictures, going back to two generations before they came to the US from Germany! It was put together by a very distant cousin (we have the same great-great-grandparents) who spent years doing the research. The strangest part - this guy who is a distant relative that we had never heard of - is a ringer for my dad and some of my uncles! The resemblance is amazing! This little book has filled in so many gaps, things I had always wondered about and thought I'd never find out.

    My grandmothers father traveled to the US from Germany with his parents and brothers and sisters right after the end of the Civil War - he was eight years old. The book even has copies of the handwritten ships passenger list with their names, ages and occupations on it and a picture of the ship itself! They docked in Baltimore (no Ellis Island yet) and traveled to Iowa by covered wagon. There is even a map of the covered wagon route! I can only imagine the things they must have seen, what was going through the mind of that little eight year old boy on such an adventure! They bought land, began farming, learned English, and actually became quite prosperous.

    My great-grandfather grew up and married another German immigrant and together they started their own successful farming operation. I always knew that my grandmother had grown up with two brothers (both of them gone before any of us came along), but actually she had three brothers and a sister! According to the family tree, the year my grandmother was five, they lost her sister who was seven and her year-old baby brother! I never knew they existed ... but can you even imagine being that little five year old girl and seeing two of your siblings die! It just gives the year of their death, not the exact date, so I don't know if they died at the same time from some disease or just in the same year. My father was my grandmothers oldest child and she named him "Edwin". He always hated that name! But now I know, "Edwin" was the name of the baby brother that died and she named my dad after him. I don't know if my dad even knew where his name came from. That's something most of us today don't even think about. But in looking at the family trees, it was a very rare family that didn't lose at least one child, sometimes more. And many of the women died very young, presumably in childbirth. Divorce was unheard of, but many of the men were married more than once after their wives died in childbirth.

    In 1904 when my grandmother was 19, the whole family traveled from Iowa to Missouri to attend the St. Louis Worlds Fair, and there she met my grandfather-to-be. Four years later in 1908 they were married. Check this out - hope it works!

    Same picture a bit bigger - I'm still learning here ...

    A year later my dad was born and over the next seventeen years they had five more children. They raised six kids with a lot of hard work and very little money and probably considered themselves very lucky that all six survived. They made it through the Depression and saw all four of their sons go off to fight in WWII, and thankfully all came home again. And even when they were quite elderly and didn't need to, they still had a big garden, raised chickens for meat and eggs, and canned most of their own food because that's what they had always done. So yeah, I think that most of us have absolutely no idea how fortunate we really have been! And how I wish that I had known all this when my grandmother was still alive so I could have talked to her about it! Imagine getting a first-hand account of the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair from someone who had been there!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  17. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen NEED to write this down and pass it on to your kids with the photos. That is an amazing story. They not appreciate it now, but they will in time.

    Can you imagine dressing like that? Shoot...I throw on sweats and a ratty T-shirt.

  18. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Abbey, I LOVE those old fashioned clothes! This wedding picture amazed me when I first saw it because I had never seen a picture of either of my grandparents when they were very young. It was hard for me to even imagine them ever being a young married couple - we knew them as old people! My aunt (their youngest daughter) has the original of this picture and they scanned it and emailed it to me. I only knew my grandfather as a very old man who walked with two canes and could barely speak because of several strokes he had. We kids were surprised to find out that his name wasn't really "Pop", it was Henry! It just blows me away to see him so young and handsome! He was quite the dude, wasn't he!
  19. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    That is SO true. What happened?

    Heck we go pickup friends and difficult child calls them from the driveway. I told him to go knock on the door and he thought I was crazy!!!

    AND if we (I) did something wrong, or cursed, I would get it from the parents of the house I was at...then I would get it AGAIN when I got home. My parents had no problem with someone else putting their foot down and putting me in my place.

    I don't think my parents EVER told us to do homework, OR ever went to school. Then they never got a phone call either cause we'Learning Disability (LD) get our butt's whacked.

    My dad refused to have a credit card. Said if you cannot afford it you don't deserve to have it.

    And I believe I grew up with so much LESS stress than the kids today.