I need to acknowledge Dana for putting this idea into my head with her post about 1987.
I remember the early 70's. We got 2 tv channels. Black and white at our house. I remember playing outside with the neighbourhood kids until after dark with no adult supervision. I remember spending hours playing on the tire swing Dad put in the big maple tree for us. I remember trusting all my neighbours. I remember never being afraid.
I remember my great aunt didn't get electricity or a phone until 1973 because there weren't any lines outside the village limits. She didn't have indoor plumbing either, so I remember outhouses. I remember party lines. How do you think people got their gossip?
I remember walking 2 miles to school every day with my brother, regardless of the weather. I remember having the time to play outside after school, and still get all my homework done. I remember that almost everybody who lived in our village had a job there - at the mill, at the gypsum mines or on the oil hills.
I remember having one AM radio station that played every kind of music, from rock to country to jazz to classical, and the one that was all talk shows and news. I remember get-togethers in the kitchen on Saturday night to play music or cards or board games.
I remember summers without sunscreen or bug spray, without responsibilities or worries, without ever turning the tv on, without video games, without ever being bored. I remember riding to the beach in the back of Dad's pickup truck. I remember cars that only went 50 mph and had no seatbelts or airbags or baby car seats.
I remember winters of sliding, skating on the marsh and snowball fights. I remember the wood stove which warmed us, welcomed us, fed us and protected us during frequent power outages. I remember nights under homemade quilts with no heat on, seeing my breath sparkle like diamonds in the dark.
I remember having to keep my room clean, help with dinner, wash dishes, rake leaves, shovel snow, weed the garden, feed the dog and and a hundred other chores without expecting to get anything for it. I remember caring what my parents and other adults thought of me, and behaving accordingly, because I knew I would be held responsible for my actions.
Damn it, I remember being a kid. And I feel sorry for kids today. They may have all sorts of stuff, but look at everything else they missed!