me... close your eyes... and go back before the internet... before bombings,
AIDS, herpes, before semiautomatics and crack... before SEGA or Super
Nintendo. Way back!
I'm talking about sitting on the curb, sitting on the
steps... about malt shops, hide-and-go-seek, Simon says, and red-light-green-light. Lunch boxes with a 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 Jane's, saddle shoes and Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom.
Remember when it took five minutes for the TV to warm
When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids arrived 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 teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels. Remember running through the sprinkler, circle pins, bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Kookla, Fran and Ollie, Dick Clark's American
Bandstand... all in black and white and your Mom made you turn it off when a storm came.
When around the corner seemed far away and going downtown seemed like going somewhere. Climbing trees, making forts, lemonade stands, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, staring at clouds, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, ribbon candy, angel hair on the Christmas tree, white gloves, walking to the movie theater, running till you were out of breath, your first haircut, 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 past and “Evening in Paris” perfume.
When you got your windshield cleaned, oiled checked and gas pumped without asking - all for free- every time. You didn't pay for air 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 to a real restaurant with your parents. When the worst thing you could do at school was flunk a test or chew gum. The prom was in the gym or the lunch room and you danced to a real orchestra. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed - and they did it.
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 people went steady; and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped adhesive tape 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 playing baseball with no adults needing to enforce the rules of the game. And, with all our progress, don't you wish, that just once you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace...and share it with the children of today?
I am sending this on to someone who can still remember The Lone Ranger and Tonto, The Shadow Knows, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Trigger and
Buttermilk... As well as the sound of a real 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 you hand!
There, didn't that feel good? Just to lean back, and say: “Yeah, I remember.”