The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, November 3, 2014

The End of Freedom

        A post by Lisa Ricard Claro brought back a flood of childhood memories. She wrote of the crazy things that kids used to do (and surprisingly more of them weren't maimed or permanently scarred) compared to the overprotected kids of today.

      When I was a kid, the world was a different place. In the summer I ran the neighborhood all day. I crossed railroad tracks and explored creeks and rode on buses to a local outdoor mall where I waded in the fountains and imagined what furniture I would buy when I was grown up. I spent all day there when my friend and I went, and we spent no money except at lunch: a soupcon of French onion soup and a fountain coke. I played in my friends' backyard until the fireflies came, making clover necklaces and playing Red Rover.

     I also went to the pool--by myself. I got there when they opened and left in time so I could get home for dinner.


This is a picture of the Carrollton Pool before it was completely destroyed.
In fact, the whole community was destroyed for the airport expansion...which really never happened.






We went to the neighborhood IGA and when my brother and I were old enough, we were allowed to walk by ourselves (probably a 30-minute trip) to get a loaf of bread or something else that two kids couldn't mangle too badly.
This was our IGA store. There was a little "movie theater" --a tiny booth that sat two or four kids--at the front of the store. In the same strip mall was a Ben Franklin--a magnet for kids with a few nickels to spend on penny candy...



On Halloween this year we had exactly one family come to our door. Sad. I remember running to houses, my pillowcase in hand and when it got so full it slowed me down, I ran home, emptied it, and continued my quest for chocolate. (What were those things wrapped in the orange and the black paper? I always threw them away.)


My childhood home is gone. The whole neighborhood is now a deer park. With the houses gone, the driveways have disappeared and the large expanses of grass have attracted deer.

The craziest thing I did as a kid was wish for a broken arm or leg. The next summer, I ended up falling off the high diving board--I went under the guard rail somehow--and when most of me landed in the pool but part of me landed on the concrete, I ended up with a broken arm. It was not fun.
(I ended up with a dozen plastic iced-tea spoons broken off in that cast as I tried to scratch the unreachable itch.)

What is the craziest thing you ever did as a kid?



23 comments:

  1. What a fun trip down memory Lane. I remember those little movie booths! And running the neighborhood and shopping all day.

    Be careful what you wish for. I always wanted glasses and begged my mom for an eye exam. I had 20-20 vision. Now I can't see without my glasses.

    Thanks for this fun little jaunt.

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    1. Being careful for what I wish for was a lesson I DID learn. I found out having a cast was NOT fun.

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  2. Holy cow, when I think about how I roamed all over Ardsley Park (a neighborhood in Savannah), all day long--I mean HOURS--and my mom had no idea where we were from one hour to the next...crazy.

    Those days are gone, for sure. As for the craziest thing I ever did as a kid...let's just say that priest in the confessional had quite a story and leave it at that. :-)

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    1. Cathy--Now you have my interest piqued! ;)

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  3. We also knew all our neighbors and most of the people in town because you didn't shop at the mall. Today I don't even know any of my neighbors names. I think part of what is missing today (just part) is the end of the Stay at home moms. The neighborhood watch is not what it used to be. Progress always has it's cost.

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    1. Joeh--For sure, our neighborhoods aren't "together" like they used to be. It IS sad...

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  4. I ran loose all summer, too, and even in the winter. The craziest thing I ever did? I don't think I did anything very crazy, back then.

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    1. Shay--That reminds me of the things I did in the winter...

      So not back then, eh?

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  5. The list is long. One that comes to mind is the time my cousin (male) dared me to jump out of a tree in his backyard. I was about 10. It was a hot summer in St. Louis. I had on a crop top and shorts. We both climbed to the top. Ladies first. I jumped, and half-way down I open my side on a branch that jutted out. Him? He climbed down the tree without jumping. I still have the scar.

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    1. Donna--What were we thinking when we did things like that? It's surprising so many of us survive childhood...

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  6. Great memories! I too wondered what those orange and black candies were. Bleah. I did SO many naughty things....One of the worst was when my friends and I prank phone-called people until we found some creepy guy who actually enjoyed talking to us. A lot.

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    1. Tammy--We preyed on a creepy dad--sent prank notes. We're lucky he didn't catch us.

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  7. Craziest? I accepted the challenge when my cousin dared me to smoke a dried-out old grapevine fatter than a cigar. I did not see the appeal.

    Other than that, I just did normal crazy things like ride double in a Radio Flyer down a steep sidewalk that ended with broken concrete where it went over a six-foot drop-off culvert with no side rails. I suppose I was EVAL KnieVAL.

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    1. Val--I thought I was the only one who smoked grapevine. (I graduated to skinny cherry cigars--but it didn't last too long.)

      People do say that about you, that you're eval. But they spell it a different way...

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  8. I know life is change, but it is sad to read of all the good things lost. So much has changed so fast in this world today!!! Some of it was worth keeping...but Pandora's Box you know!

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    1. Claudia--You are so right. The changes come fast and furious...

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  9. We ran around all day, too. Walking into "town," and playing in the woods. I was glad when my son was younger that he and his friends would ride their bikes to the creek and hang out there for a while. So many kids never get outside and feel that freedom of exploring.

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    1. Mary--My son had more freedom than I would have liked--sometimes--and I'm glad about it.

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  10. Glad my post sparked this one, Sioux, because I enjoyed reading this. It is kind of bittersweet, for sure---the things that were there that aren't anymore, but the memories you still carry are part of you, and no matter what those places look like now, your mind holds them locked in time. There are some places I don't want to return to from my childhood because I don't want to superimpose what they are today over what I remember them to be. As to crazy things I did, well, sad to say, there isn't very much. I was kind of a goody two-shoes. Most of the stuff I did involved tree climbing and rope swinging and making up stories with my BFF. She had a mad crush on Jack Wild---remember HR Puff-n-Stuff?---so we'd make up stories about him all the time. I learned to talk with a British accent for the storytelling just to make her happy. lol My personal love was David Cassidy.

    One thing that does stand out for me is that with no cell phones I had a lot of freedom. I told my mom where I was going, headed out, and as long as I came home before dark it was all good. I was always where I said I'd be (goody two-shoes), but back then there wasn't much to do besides play kick-the-can, hide & seek, tag, ride bikes, etc. So much more active that kids today!

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    1. Lisa--I adored David Cassidy. When he married, I was soooo jealous. My BFF and I formed a Partridge Family fan club (to join, you had to know all of their birthdays--even the dog's) and our meetings consisted of making brownies, eating them, and listening to their records.

      I was a goody-two shoes too, until I turned 15...and then I went a little wild.

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  11. I loved the Partridge Family, don't think I knew all their birthdays, but I would've learned them to be able to eat brownies while listening to their songs!

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    1. Mary--Once we even made baked Alaska. It didn't look beautiful but it was delicious. (I think one of the album covers had their birthdays on it.)

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...