Can't believe we made it! by Jeffery Telford

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Can't believe we made it!

Can't believe you made it? If you lived as a child in the 50's, 60's or  70's.....

Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have...As  children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the  back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. Our baby  cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof  lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we  had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)

We drank  water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode 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 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.  No cell phones. Unthinkable. We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.  We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no law suits from  these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember  accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and  learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar  soda but we were never overweight......... we were always outside playing. We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.  We did not have Play stations, Nintendo 64, X Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones,  Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside  and found them. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the  door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel  world!

Without a guardian. How did we do it? We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did  not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.   Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't,  had to learn to deal with disappointment.... Some students weren't as smart  as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same  grade.....Horrors. Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were  our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a  parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided  with the law, imagine that! 

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers  and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation  and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we  learned how to deal with it all.  
And you're one of them.

Jeffery M. Telford 
"Bricks and Banjos" 


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