To my age contemporaries and a few younger friends - Come stroll with me once again.
Stroll with me.... close your eyes.... and go back....
before the Internet.... before semiautomatics and
crack.... before SEGA or Super Nintendo.... way back!
I'm talking about sitting on the curb, sitting on the
stoop.... about hide-and-go-seek; Simon says and
red-light-green-light. Lunch boxes with thermos'
Chocolate milk, going home for lunch, penny candy from
the store, hopscotch, butterscotch, skates with
keys, jacks and Cracker Jacks, hula hoops and
sunflower seeds, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Janes,
saddle shoes and Coke bottles with the names of
cities on the bottom.
Remember when it took five minutes for the TV to
warm up. When nearly everyone's mom was at home
when kids got home from school.
When nobody owned
a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
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 everyday and
wore high heels.
Remember running through the sprinkler, circle pins,
bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky and Bullwinkle,
Kookla, Fran and Ollie, Spin and Marty.... all in black
When around the corner seemed far away and going
downtown seemed like going somewhere. Climbing
trees, making forts, backyard shows, lemonade stands,
cops and robbers, cowboys and indians?
clouds, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, ribbon candy,
angel hair on the Christmas tree, Jackie Gleason, white
gloves, walking to the movie theater, running till you
were out of breath, laughing so hard that your stomach
hurt... remember that?
Not stepping on a crack or you'd break your mother's
back.... paper-chains at Christmas, silhouettes of
Lincoln and Washington.... the smells of school, of
paste and Evening in Paris.
What about the girl who dotted her "i's" with hearts?
The Stroll, popcorn balls and sock hops?
Remember when there were two types of sneakers for
girls and boys (Keds and PF Flyers) and the only time
you wore them at school was for "gym." And the girls
had those ugly gym uniforms.
When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked,
and gas pumped, without asking - all for free -- every
time! And, you didn't pay for air either and, you got
trading stamps to boot!
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or
towels hidden inside the box.
When it was considered a great privilege to be
taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your
When the worst thing you could do at school was
flunk a test or chew gum.
And the prom was in the auditorium and you danced
to a real orchestra.
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 the 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! But we survived because their love was so
much greater than the threat.
Remember when a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream
car -- used to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch
When people went "steady" and
girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped
Band-Aids, dental floss or yarn coated with pastel-frost
nail polish so it would fit their finger.
When no one ever asked where the car keys were
because they were always in the car, in the ignition,
and the car and house doors were never locked!
Remember lying on your back on the grass with your
friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like
And playing baseball with no adults needed
to enforce the rules of the game.
Remember when stuff from the store came without
safety caps and hermetic seals, because no one had
yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
And, with all our progress; don't you just wish, just
once, you could slip back in time and savor the
slower pace..... and share it with the children of today?
Share this with someone who can still remember
Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel and Hardy,
Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger,
The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger
As well as the sound of a reel mower
on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides,
baseball games, bowling, visits to the pool.... and eating
Kool-Aid powder with sugar from the palm of your hand.
There, didn't that feel good? Just to lean back and say:
"Yeah, ..................... I remember.....
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